I know, I know – Valentines Day was more than two weeks ago. But it’s still February. And what if I told you that these cookies were for an event that took place on the 16th? It was still a Valentines party of sorts, but it wasn’t on V-Day itself, so…I don’t feel so bad posting now instead of earlier.
But what was that mysterious event? Well, our office wanted to do a special lunch on New Years because it was going to be a short day, and there would be fewer people in the office. So someone bought sodas, but we never actually had the lunch. And then it got to be late January, and someone said, “Are we ever going to use those sodas?” And so it became a thing where we decided to have a post-Valentines dessert party on the Tuesday after Presidents Day (also the first day back at work after Valentines Day). My coworkers know I love to bake, and so asked what I would be bringing. I searched through my email recipe files, and found this seemingly easy recipe and said, shortbread hearts.
And guys – they were so easy. And adorable when finished. And fairly tasty. Not that shortbread has a strong flavor beyond “buttery and delicious”, but they were still quite good. I could see someone (maybe me?) making these cookies for another occasion, swapping out the food coloring for not-red, and using a different shape. I’ve got a chick cookie cutter – maybe sometime this spring I’ll make little chick cookies.
Though – no matter what color you use, watch your teeth afterwards. The boy tried one of the freshly baked samples, and when he went to brush his teeth later, spit out red in the sink. He panicked for a moment before remembering “Oh right – red food coloring in the cookie.” So consider yourself warned. 😉
Valentine Shortbread Cookies
Makes about 2 dozen cookies
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, cut up into small cubes
1 tablespoon red food coloring
2-3 tablespoons water
1. Preheat your oven to 320F. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook attached, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt until combined. Add the butter pieces and red food coloring and mix the mixture until it’s the consistency of fine crumbs. Next keep mixing it until it forms a dough adding some water if necessary.
2. Knead the dough on a lightly floured counter top, and then use a rolling pin to roll it about 1/3 inch thick. Cut the dough into heart shapes using cookie cutter. Place sprinkles into a shallow bowl and gently press the edges of each cookie. (note from Maggie – if the sprinkles aren’t sticking nicely, wet the edges of the cookie AND THEN press the edges into the sprinkles)
3. Place the cookies on a lined baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the centers of the cookies are set, then remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
From: Karmelowy.pl (yep – the original recipe is in Polish!)