On a commercially driven day like Valentine’s, baking for someone you care about is an act of kindness straight from the heart. Aside from our first year together (when I bought my husband a leather wallet, and he got me chocolates), I try to make something new and different than the last. Before marrying, I remember one year when my brother in law baked large sugar cookie hearts for my sister and I – he used whipped butter and had to throw the first batch out and start over. He sandwiched them with chocolate ganache filling and they were scrumptious. I never forgot that.
These homemade chocolate cupid cookies are easy to make and are versatile. They freeze really well so you can make them ahead and thaw as needed. Sometimes I stick one atop a scoop of ice cream/gelato; dunk them in milk, ice and decorate…or sandwich with a soft gooey or creamy filling. Ice cream sandwiches are also a treat, with various flavors such as coffee, strawberry, vanilla, chocolate chip and mint chip (today) – you could even roll the dough out a little bit thicker; make sure to soften the ice cream before pressing between the cookies. Any size and shape cookie cutter will do. You can even make ice box cakes and crumb crusts with them. I used 1/3 whole-wheat pastry flour in this recipe; why not…somehow it makes me feel less guilty.
Straight forward ingredients. I suggest a really good brand of cocoa powder…since the ingredients are simple; the chocolate being the most important.
Mix, shape, wrap, and then chill for 30-60 minutes.
The dough is forgiving and easy to work with. If it’s warm in your kitchen, be mindful and work a little quicker – cut a few cookies out at a time, then transfer to the parchment. If need be, chill them immediately. Scraps are reshaped into a small disk and cut – refrigerate before cutting if the dough is too soft. I use every scrap, none is wasted.
Don’t forget to transfer to the fridge to chill…for 10 minutes (before baking).
Cute and yummy.
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!
Love Cookies: Chocolate Sweetheart Wafers
Makes about 4 dozen medium-size cookies
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
½ cup whole-wheat pastry flour
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup Dutch process (alkalized) cocoa powder
½ cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
¼ teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 large egg
1 ¼ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk
Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium-large bowl, whisk the flours, salt and baking powder together. Using a fine sieve, sift the cocoa powder into the flour mixture; whisk until thoroughly combined and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar and espresso powder on medium high speed. Add the egg and vanilla and continue beating until combined. Lower the speed to medium-low, add the flour mixture in two to three increments (followed by a tablespoon of milk), beating until blended. Add the Remove the dough and compact it with your hands, kneading once or twice to form a solid mass. Divide the dough in half, form two balls and press into two disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 45 to 60 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Remove one disk and roll it out 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick, on a lightly floured work surface. Cut out the cookies with a cookie cutter and use a flat metal spatula to transfer the cut outs to the parchment lined baking sheets. Place the cookies about 1-inch apart. If the remaining dough scraps are still cool, quickly roll out and cut more cookies (or gather and flatten into another small disk; wrap and refrigerate again until chilled). Place the baking sheet in the fridge for 5 to 10 minutes, until chilled. Remove and bake for about 10 minutes. Once the aroma of chocolate fills the kitchen, they are usually done within 1 to 2 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Repeat with the remaining dough.