Tonawanda News — Take a very small cookie cutter and press it into the sugar. The mixture should be cohesive enough that when you lift it, the sugar shape should come along with it.
Hold the cutter over the parchment-paper-lined cookie sheet. Tape on the sides of the cutter until the shape falls onto the sheet. Repeat until you’ve cut out as many hearts as you wish of that color.
It sounds easy — and I suppose it is — but it’s messy. There’s a reason why visiting the beach usually leads to sand being found in odd places around the house for weeks afterward (at least for the Keppeler family): It sticks to everything. This sugar mixture, with the same consistency, works the same way.
I’m usually draconian about working very neatly with my decorating stuff, but this left my counter strewn with purple sugar, my hands covered in it and me muttering under my breath as I kept up the careful tap, tap, tap necessary to get the dratted hearts to come out of the cutter in one piece. (Especially when I started, I was getting one successful shape for every three that fell apart. I later got the hang of the consistency and method, but the tapping was still annoying.)
If you only want one shade, skip to the baking specifications. If not, return to the rest of the colored sugar in your bowl. Add another 1/2 cup of sugar and stir again until the color is uniform. Add about 1 teaspoon (or more) of egg white. Repeat patting and cutting process.
You can do this as many times as you like to get as many shades as you like. It’s far more gradual than it originally seems. I did six different increments and while the color is distinctly lighter, I thought I’d get a better range for all that repetition. (You could probably add more white sugar each time to get more difference in shades.) However, since you’re adding a full 1/2 cup of sugar each time, you’re ultimately using quite a bit of sugar unless you cut out a ton of hearts. (I did 10 in each color.)