Ahhh, Valentine’s Day. The grocery stores are decorated with cardboard hearts, half-deflated balloons, cheap chocolate and flowers that might not last the ride home.
It’s enough to make you cringe but my twin daughters love Valentine’s Day. They rush home from school, scatter their Valentine cards on the floor and read them in a fit of giggles — until one discovers she has fewer Valentine’s than the other.
Then, I’ll step in and offer them something homemade: cookies and ice cream.
Because you can’t buy love in a grocery store.
Makes About 12 (4”) Heart Cookies
■ 4 ounces butter, softened
■ 3⁄4 cup brown sugar
■ 1 large egg, room temperature
■ 1 tablespoon molasses – optional
■ 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, Dutch-processed
■ 1 1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour, plus additional flour as needed for rolling the cookie dough
■ 1/8 teaspoon salt
■ 1 quart of your favourite ice cream
■ You’ll need a heart-shaped cookie cutter and parchment paper or a baking mat to line your baking sheet.
Preheat oven to 350°F
In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter and brown sugar and mix together by hand, or with the paddle attachment of a standup mixer, until light and fluffy.
Add the egg and molasses and mix until incorporated. All the remaining dry ingredients and continue to mix until a very soft dough forms.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured sheet of parchment and roll the dough approximately 1⁄4″ thick. Refrigerate for an hour.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the cookies are just done, rotating the tray in the oven partway through the baking.
If you wish to make a punched trim, carefully poke holes into the cookies with a bamboo or metal kitchen skewer while they are still warm.
When the cookies have completely cooled, add a generous scoop of your favourite ice cream, about 1⁄3 cup, and top with another cookie. I used a small off-set palette knife to clean the edges of the ice cream.
You’ll want to serve these immediately.
If you’d like to forgo the ice cream, you can simply decorate your cookies with icing. I prefer Royal Icing because it dries hard, without a smudgy mess. It also dries quickly, so keep it covered while you’re working.
Makes 1 Cup
■ 1 1/2 cups sifted icing sugar
■ 1 egg white
■ To decorate the cookies, as pictured, you’ll need a small pastry bag, available at kitchenware store, with fine tip. You could also make a simple cone made of parchment. There are plenty of free videos available online — just look up “how to make a parchment cone”.
Using an electric mixer, whip the egg white with the sifted icing sugar at medium-high speed until you have a glossy, meringue-like texture, about 3 minutes.
Spoon your icing into a piping bag or parchment cone.
Pipe small dots of icing onto the outer edges of the cookies. The smaller the dots, the neater the cookie.
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