Switching gears to something sorts of Valentine’s Day like. I think that I say this every year, but I have a love-hate relationship with Valentine’s Day. Ok, it’s mostly a hate-hate because of the absurdity, the consumerism and contrived nature of it all. Love? Well the reason that I might like it a little is that it is an excuse in the middle of the winter to make lots of cookies, chocolates, truffles and the like. And what the heck, you might as well have a theme. So I figured I’d start now, in case anyone wants to use these recipes for their own creations.
1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons finely ground coffee (espresso or French roast) Use less for a more subtle effect.
1 tablespoon ground cardamom. Use less for a more subtle effect.
for the chocolate coating
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (chips, or cut in small pieces)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
You will also need: a 2″ round cookie cutter and a heart shaped cookie stamp
In the work bowl of your stand mixer, cream together butter, sugar and salt. Mix in the flour, cardamom, and ground coffee until the dough just comes together. Pull the dough together with your hands and set on a floured surface. Wrap in plastic wrap and let chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Roll out to about 1/4 inch. Cut out the cookies using your cookie cutter and stamp with your cookie stamp. Chill on parchment lined baking sheets for another 10-20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare additional baking sheets with silpat or parchment paper.
Transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets and bake for about 10-12 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet slightly before transferring to a cooling rack.
To make the chocolate coating, put the chocolate and vegetable oil in a small, microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Microwave for another 30 seconds. Stir until melted. Place into a large ziptop bag and snip off a very small corner. Pipe chocolate into the heart indentation of the cookies. Set the cookies down on parchment or wax paper to harden.