I have a confession to make. I love eating whipped butter and sugar. You know the part of a cake recipe where it says “cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy”. Well, after I’ve done that, I usually have a really large taste. It starts off with a finger dipped in, and ends with a teaspoon(s) and the beaters licked clean. I know, it’s so bad for me! But gosh it tastes goooooddd. Even worse, I like it when you add an egg too. That tastes lighter but heavenly. For this reason, I usually add a little extra butter and sugar to the recipe. Don’t judge me. It’s a sickness I tell you.
Oh that felt good to get off my chest.
Onto these cookies. So last year for Valentine’s Day I made cupcakes. Now I’m not usually one to celebrate these things. Working in the field of Marketing and being a little cynical I usually HATE these holidays. Just like Christmas. It’s so commercial. But a while ago someone changed that for me (nawwww). Don’t get me wrong, I still disagree with it. I won’t buy presents or go out of my way to spend money, but it’s nice to do something small. Enter baking.
To be honest, I’ve wanted to make these cookies for a while, so the upcoming Valentine’s Day was merely and excuse. Do you know what would make these cookies even better – sandwiching a buttercream in the centre! Hmmm might do that tonight...
VALENTINES DAY HEART COOKIES
125g unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup superfine caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
Few drops red food colouring
Few drops of strawberry essence (optional)
Icing sugar, for dusting
In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and continue beating until the sugar grains are superfine. Sift in the flour and cornstarch, and mix with a wooden spoon until well combined.
Divide the mixture evenly into three bowls. In one, add the cocoa powder and mix well. In another, add the food colouring and strawberry essence. Add a little at a time – you can always add more but never take from the mix. Use your hands to mould the dough into a ball then flatten slightly, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180ᵒC.
Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out between two pieces of baking paper until 5 mm thick. Use a medium shape heart cookie cutter to cut out hearts in the dough. Using a smaller cookie cutter, cut the centre of the heart with a smaller heart. Place the smaller hearts to the side and the larger ones on a baking tray. Continue with the other two dough’s. With all the large hearts cut out, place the smaller hearts in the centre, mixing up the colours as you go.
Place in the oven and bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until set. Be careful not to overcook as they will become too dry.
Allow to cool on a wire rack then dust with icing sugar.