VALENTINE STRAWBERRY Swirl HEART COOKIES
1 roll sugar cookie dough (I did 1/2 roll at a time, and refrigerated the other half)
1 small package strawberry gelatin (I only used half a package. Put the unused package in a small snack baggie, and back into the box to use for something else later ~ try adding some to homemade whipped cream, or canned vanilla frosting)
flour, as needed
bamboo chopstick (or something similar that's all the same diameter ~ a dowel would be good)
Scatter some flour on a cutting board (I put mine next to the sink, so it's easier to clean up later). Cut the log of sugar cookie dough in half (even if you're using the whole log, it's easier to work with 1/2 log at a time), and mash the dough down with your hands on the flour. Then sprinkle about a heaping TB of flour over it and knead it in a little with your hands. Mash the dough down again and sprinkle about 1-2 tsp. of the strawberry gelatin powder onto the cookie dough. Fold the dough over itself; then start kneading it again with your hands. Knead it until the gelatin is incorporated into the dough. (You want it to look "tie dyed", not solid ~ but you don't want pockets of loose gelatin mix in there.) If some of the gelatin mix falls onto the cutting board, just dab the dough onto it and pick it up.
Then roll the tie-dyed dough into a log (about 1/2" diameter) ~ I did mine the exact length of the chopstick that I was going to use. Stick the chopstick into the top of the log and push it down (I'm going to push mine down a little bit more next time, or use a larger dowel, so that the indentation at the top of the heart is larger than it was this time). Then turn the log over so that the chopstick is on the bottom; and pinch the bottom up into a point with your fingers (this will be the point at the bottom of the heart). Carefully take the formed log and put it into the refrigerator (or freezer) to chill before you slice & bake it.
When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350. I sliced mine about 1/4" thick and baked them for 8-9 minutes. Let them cool on the pan for a few minutes before removing to rack or paper to cool completely. ** The number of cookies that you get will depend on how thick you make the logs, but the entire log of sugar cookie dough should make 3-5 dozen cookies.
TIPS You may need to smooth out the rounded top of the heart around the chopstick before you slice them to bake. ** To store in the refrigerator or freezer, I wrapped the log in plastic wrap, and then put it into a zip-top baggie.