Boo My Valentine


 Prep Time : 10 + 30 Minutes | Cook Time : 12 Minutes | Total Time : 2 hours | Difficulty : Fiddly

Hello my lovelies! Halloween is just around the corner. It’s not as big a deal here in NZ. But it’s still fun to get in on the action. Especially if there are puns involved. This year we are taking a turn for the sweet rather than the scary. Borrowing from one holiday to improve another. Taking candy hearts to a new level. This black shortbread is delicious and simple to make. The dough can be hard to work when it’s cold so be patient and let it come back to room temp if you need to. The devil is in the details. I made these cookies using a fabulous cookie stamp set that I bought on Ebay. You can also get them on Amazon. It’s perfect for people who don’t love to pipe script. I got it originally to make sassy Christmas cookies. Which I will still do. If you get one of these be careful washing it so the letters don’t go down the drain. If piping is your jam then go for it! And quite frankly if you end up with a lot of black heart shaped cookies and have run out of time to pipe messages on them then make sandwich cookies with a red coloured filling – just give them a good squeeze to make sure they are bleeding sufficiently. These are a great size to use for trick-or-treaters as well as serving up to guests. Or sending to a loved one for a holiday appropriate giggle. The recipe comes from Thomas Keller and has been widely shared before because it is the best home-made oreo cookie around. To get black cocoa in NZ head to www.equagold.co.nz.

Cream the butter, salt and sugar until light and fluffy. If you only have salted butter then leave out the additional salt. Make sure the butter is at room temperature before you start or it will be struggle.

Sift the flour, cocoa and baking soda together.

Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter and mix until combined. Add the rest and mix to a firm dough.

Tip the dough out and bring it together with your hands. If the butter is on the cold side you will need to work it a bit longer to get a cohesive mass.

Pat it out into a disc or rectangle. Wrap or pop into a sealed container and chill for at least an hour. I have a clip top plastic container that is for this purpose so I don’t use up a lot of plastic wrap.

Once the dough is chilled, heat the oven to 180C (350F). Let the dough sit out on the bench for about 10 minutes to warm up a bit so it’s easier to roll.

Roll out the dough using two sheets of baking paper. It’s just easier. Roll it out to about 3mm thick. Using a heart shaped cookie cutter, cut as many hearts as you can. You will need to use a size that you can comfortable fit the messages on so they will be bigger than actual candy hearts.

If you are using a stamp, press the messages into each cookie and transfer them to baking sheets lined with baking paper.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the cookies look dry on the surface and are starting to show tiny cracks. Press one gently with your finger to make sure it’s getting firm.

Leave the cookies on the sheets for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

If you are going to pipe messages, prepare red royal icing and pipe at will once the cookies are cold. You can also cut matching heart shapes from coloured fondant and write your messages using a food paint pen.

If you have used a stamp, you can enhance the messages by dusting each cookie with a little red lustre dust or icing sugar. You can also coat the cookies with a very thin glaze that will settle into the stamped text .

When your cookies are ready and any icing has set, you can package them for trick-or-treaters or send a seasonally appropriate message of love to your ghoul-mate..

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Black Valentines


Prep Time : 10 + 30 mins | Cook Time : 12 mins | Total Time : 2 hours | Difficulty : Fiddly | Makes : 70+ small hearts

Black shortbread cookies with a heart of gold.

Ingredients:

For the cookies

  • 2 sticks (225 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon (160 grams) sugar
  • 2 cups less 2 tablespoons (260 grams) all purpose flour
  •  (85 grams) dutch processed or black cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

To decorate

  • Royal icing
  • icing sugar or lustre dusts
  • red food colour

– If using metric cups, reduce volume measures by 1 tablespoon for every cup of dry or liquid ingredients – 

Equipment:

  • Standing or hand-held electric mixer
  • Heart cookie cutters
  • Decorating tools – piping bags and a fine writing tip, food paint pens, adjustable cookie stamps
  • Cookie sheets lined with baking paper

Directions:

Cream the butter, salt and sugar until light and fluffy. If you only have salted butter then leave out the additional salt. Make sure the butter is at room temperature before you start or it will be struggle.

Sift the flour, cocoa and baking soda together. Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter and mix until combined. Add the rest and mix to a firm dough.

Tip the dough out and bring it together with your hands. If the butter is on the cold side you will need to work it a bit longer to get a cohesive mass.

Pat it out into a disc or rectangle. Wrap or pop into a sealed container and chill for at least an hour. I have a clip top plastic container that is for this purpose so I don’t use up a lot of plastic wrap.

Once the dough is chilled, heat the oven to 180C (350F). Let the dough sit out on the bench for about 10 minutes to warm up a bit so it’s easier to roll.

Roll out the dough using two sheets of baking paper. It’s just easier. Roll it out to about 3mm thick. Using a heart shaped cookie cutter, cut as many hearts as you can. You will need to use a size that you can comfortable fit the messages on so they will be bigger than actual candy hearts.

If you are using a stamp, press the messages into each cookie and transfer them to baking sheets lined with baking paper.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the cookies look dry on the surface and are starting to show tiny cracks. Press one gently with your finger to make sure it’s getting firm.

Leave the cookies on the sheets for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

If you are going to pipe messages, prepare red royal icing and pipe at will once the cookies are cold. You can also cut matching heart shapes from coloured fondant and write your messages using a food paint pen.

If you have used a stamp, you can enhance the messages by dusting each cookie with a little red lustre dust or icing sugar. You can also coat the cookies with a very thin glaze that will settle into the stamped text .

When your cookies are ready and any icing has set, you can package them for trick-or-treaters or send a seasonally appropriate message of love to your ghoul-mate..

Cook’s Notes:

  • Decorate in these cookies in the best way that works for you – if you want to pipe (or practice piping) then do that or use a stamp or ice the cookies and write the messages on with a food paint pen.
  • Be creative with your messages – the world needs more puns!

 – These cookies will keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for a week – 

Adapted from Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller.

© 2017 The Winsome Baker. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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