With Valentine’s Day approaching, I was trying to think of something fun, and pretty, and heart shaped to share with you. Eventually I decided on these, an adaptation of a favourite cookie I make at Christmas.
They’re not hard, but are finicky. The hearts are formed by simply pressing your thumb into the dough, which took me several tries to find a technique that produced a nice shape. So sacrifice your first scoop of dough and practice on it until you’ve mastered your technique. The cookies will spread and flatten a bit when baked, so be sure to make the indents fairly deep.
Choose a jam that you like (obviously), is red, and that doesn’t contain seeds or chunks… If your favourite jam contains seeds, strain them out with cheesecloth or a sift. If it contains chunks of berries, give it a whirl in the food processor to smooth them out… I used Crofter’s Organic Strawberry which is fairly smooth and the seeds are too small and few to worry about… Also, I discovered that the easiest way to fill them, is to pipe the jam into the hearts using a piping bag or a plastic bag with a corner snipped off. I then evened out the jam using the handle of a small spoon.
And finally, these cookies need to chill in the freezer for about an hour. This is mandatory, so to minimize the dough from spreading. So please plan accordingly.
If you give these a try, snap a picture and tag me @themisfitbaker on Instagram. I’d love to see what you did! 😀
Valentine Sweetheart Cookies
Recipe Type: dessert
Makes: about 26 cookies
- 2 1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/2 cup Vegan Butter (I used Earth Balance)
- 1/2 cup Shortening
- 3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
- 1/4 cup Non-Dairy Plain Yogurt
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 tsp Almond Extract
- 1/2 cup Red Jam*
- 1 cup Confectioner’s Sugar
- 1 – 2 tbsp Non-Dairy Milk (I used almond)
to make the cookies:
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Using a handheld mixer, beat the butter and shortening together on high speed until creamy (about 1 minute). Beat in the sugar on medium speed. Add the yogurt, vanilla and almond extract, and beat in on medium speed (stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary). Add the flour mixture and, on low, beat until a dough is formed.
Scoop a generous tablespoon of dough, roll into a ball, flatten to about 1/2″ thick, and form a heart shaped indent in the centre with your thumb.** If there are significant cracks, smooth them out best you can. Repeat with the rest of the dough, spacing the cookies 2 inches apart on the sheet.
Place the cookie sheets in the freezer, and chill for 40 minutes.
Working quickly (so the cookies don’t soften too much), remove from the freezer and fill the hearts with jam (I filled mine full). Return to the freezer and chill for another 15 minutes.
Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
Remove one baking sheet from the freezer and immediately place into the pre-heated oven.*** Bake for 15 minutes, until golden. Repeat with other baking sheet.
Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Cool Completely before icing.
to make the icing:
Stir together the sugar and 1 tablespoon of milk, adding additional milk until smooth and the desired consistency has been reached.
Drizzle over cooled cookies. Allow the icing a couple of hours to set completely.
Store in a tightly sealed container.
Best eaten within 3 days.
*Choose a jam that you like the flavour of, but doesn’t is fairly smooth and seedless. I used Crofter’s Organic Strawberry.
**The indents should be fairly deep, as the cookies will spread and flatten a bit when baked.
*** I baked my cookies 1 sheet at a time.
-Make sure the dough is cold and firm right before it goes into the oven. It softens quickly, so transfer the baking sheets directly from the freezer to the oven.