Photo by Judith Hausman
Jam, cinnamon and allspice make these heart cookies special.
Any excuse to make sweets, really, is fine by me. For Valentine’s Day, I love using the vintage heart-shaped cookie cutters I’ve collected over the years too. A couple came from my mom’s kitchen and a couple of others were picked up in my travels.
I’m not a chocoholic but I am a sucker for these pretty heart cookies, which also let me use the raspberry and strawberry jam I made last summer. The roll-out dough is easy to work with and more robust (as well as a little healthier) than most sugar cookies because of the whole-wheat flour and spices in it. It’s not full-fledged gingerbread but it goes in that direction. Make sure you leave time to let the dough chill before rolling and cutting out the little darlings.
You can leave the hearts un-sandwiched and just ice and decorate them with red sprinkles, or use pink frosting between the cookies instead. Save the dough recipe for Easter rabbits and eventually for reindeer, as well.
Recipe: Valentine’s Day Brown-sugar Hearts
- 1 1/3 cup butter, softened
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- red jam (raspberry or strawberry)
Cream the sugar (I use a food processor) and add 1 cup white and 1 cup whole-wheat flour. Beat in brown sugar, eggs, baking powder, vanilla and spices until well-combined. Mix in the remaining flours.
Divide the dough into three portions and chill for at least 1 hour. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll the dough on a floured board to 1/8-inch thick. For heart sandwiches, cut two small hearts, also cutting a small round in one of the pair. Bake about 9 minutes until just brown. Cool well on a rack. Then, dab about 1/4 teaspoon of red jam onto the base cookie and top with the other.
Makes about 30 small, heart sandwiches.