Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Cookies & Muffin Tin Monday

This year, the girls and I tried two new cookie recipes for Valentine's Day.  The Heart Sandwich Cookies are the ones that Sophia made; and the Thumbprint Heart Cookies are the ones that Olivia made. 

Heart Sandwich Cookies that Sophia made

Heart Sandwich Cookies

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 can of your favorite canned frosting (we made the frosting from scratch rather than using canned frosting using a recipe for creamy frosting from the Betty Crockers cookbook)

Directions

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.  Beat butter and sugars in a bowl until creamy.  Beat in eggs, one at at time.  Add vanilla.  On low, beat in flour mixture.

On floured surface, roll out half of dough to 1/8 inch thickness.  Cut with 1 3/4 inch heart-shaped or small round cookie cutter.  Transfer to ungreased baking sheet. (Note: I did use cooking spray and the cookies came right off the baking sheet.)

Bake in 375 degrees oven 8-10 minutes.  Transfer cookies to a rack to cool.  Roll, cut, and bake remaining dough. 

For filling the cookies, spread 1 tablespoon of frosting on half the cookies.  Sandwich with a second cookie.  Let set for 30 minutes.

The cookies are firm and lend themselves well to decorating.  The flavor is good on its own, but tastes even better with frosting. 

Sophia made some of cookie sandwiches and then came up with this combination of cookies (the letters she form with leftover cookie dough and baked it):


Olivia saw the picture for double thumbprint cookies in my file of ideas for Valentine's Day.  She said she wanted to make them.  The recipe called for jam in the center of the cookies.  However, they reminded me of the thumbprint cookies my mom used to make at Christmas. 

My mom would roll the balls of cookie dough in chopped walnuts and then put her thumbprint on each one.  After the cookies cooled, she put peppermint frosting in the center of each one - some were green and others were red. 

The cookies were never made at any other time except Christmas.  So, I was happy that Olivia picked this double thumbprint cookie recipe to try.

Cookies that Olivia made and frosted

Double Thumbprint Cookies
(Family Fun - for the dough recipe; Better Homes and Gardens for the cookie design)

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened (I used dairy-free butter)
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups flour
Jam or frosting (for frosting I used powdered sugar with water and a bit of peppermint extract)
Directions:

Using an electric mixer at medium-high speed, cream the butter, gradually adding the sugar.  Beat in the egg until evenly mixed, then blend in vanilla extract and salt.

With a wooden spoon, stir the flour into the creamed ingredients, about one third at a time, until evenly blended.  The dough may seem soft, but it will firm up when refrigerated. 

Divide the dough in half.  Flatten each portion into a disk and seal in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate overnight.

The next day, divide and roll the dough into 3/4" balls.  Put two balls of dough next to one another and then press your finger into each ball of dough.  This will form the top of the heart.  Move the dough at the bottom into a heart shape. Make sure there's a depression in the middle of the cookie so it can be filled with jam or frosting.

Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  Transfer cookies to a cookie rack.  When the cookies are cool, fill the middle of each one with jam or frosting.

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I found the recipe for the cookie dough from Better Homes and Gardens.  I didn't have the recipe when we were making the cookies (apparently I just clipped the photo of the cookies rather than the recipe).  So, it might be good to try this recipe to see if the result might be different in terms of the cookies holding their shape a bit more (the ones we made spread out a bit, but that could be because of using dairy-free butter).

Double Thumbprint Cookies
(Better Homes and Gardens; February 2005)

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 to 1/3 cup cherry jam or preserves, or seedless raspberry preserves

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degree F. In a large bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until mixture is combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, milk, and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour.

2. Shape dough into 3/4-inch balls. For each cookie on an ungreased or parchment paper-lined cookie sheet place 2 dough balls side by side with one side touching. Press thumbs into each ball to form an indentation in each. Press in center of each with thumb and taper bottom of cookie with fingers to form a heart shape. Repeat with remaining dough balls, leaving about 2 inches between cookies.

3. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and transfer cookies to a wire rack. While warm, fill each indentation with jam or preserves (if necessary, snip any large pieces of fruit). Cool completely. Makes about 30 cookies.

To Store: Place filled cookies in a single layer in covered storage containers and store at room temperature up to 3 days or freeze up to 3 months.

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For breakfast, I made pumpkin spice muffins:


For fruit, the girls could pick from pears, frozen strawberries (which they enjoy eating frozen rather than thawed), and cherries:


Even though we didn't eat the cookies for breakfast, they were on the table along with peanuts (which the girls did eat for breakfast):


I also made a French coffee cake, but don't have a picture of it.  It was a new recipe that was made in an angel food cake pan.  It took longer to bake than the recipe noted.  So, when it came out of the oven I immediately flipped it onto a plate.  Needless to say, it didn't hold the shape.  However, the taste was very good and I'd definitely make it again.  Next time...I'll wait to flip the cake or make it in a Bundt pan for a different shape. 

Quilling on Ann's Hand
Happy Valentine's Day!

3 comments:

Mama to 4 said...

Following back from Friday Blog Hop - thank you for joining! Happy Valentine's Day! ♥
<>< Nicole

JDaniel4's Mom said...

You ate so well yesterday!

Liz said...

Everything looks so yummy! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am following now! :-)