Skip the Chalky Conversation Hearts This Year

It’s true, I’m not really that into Valentine’s Day. It’s too over the top, too pink, and in general, just too much. However, Valentine’s Day happens to be a great excuse to bake adorable treats and share them with friends. Which, coincidentally, is something I really enjoy doing.

So this year, as I’ve done in the past, I’m skipping the paper valentines and cards, I’m skipping the candy and chocolate from the stores, and I’m making something tasty and sharing it with friends. How better to show my love than to share these tasty treats? With this spirit in mind, I’ve got two lovely desserts that I will be sharing with you. The first, are these adorable sugar cookie sandwiches with a brown sugar icing. The second will be a post on poached pears, which will be up next week.

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These are so much fun to make. Below is my go-to sugar cookie recipe but feel free to use any you like. I’ve paired it with this absolutely heavenly brown sugar icing, but any kind of frosting or your favorite jam will do. So, let me ask you, do you like sugar cookies? Do you like icing that tastes of marshmallows? Oh, you do? Then these cookie sandwiches are for you! Forget the sweets at the store, homemade goodies that come from the heart are always better.

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My Favorite Sugar Cookie

Slightly adapted from Bake at 350

Ingredients:

  • 14.5 oz (3 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract or 2 vanilla beans

Directions:

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small mixing bowl and set aside. Using a stand or hand mixer cream the butter and the sugar together until well incorporated and fluffy. Add the eggs and extracts into the mixture. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Mix on a medium speed until well combined.

Reduce the speed of the mixer to low and gradually add the dry ingredients. Increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough comes together. The dough might be a bit crumbly, but it will come together after some kneading by hand.

Now for the fun part! On a floured surface roll out the dough to 1/8 in thick. I roll these pretty thin since they are to become cookie sandwiches. Use any cookie cutter you like. I wanted something with fun edges so I decided to use these mini tart pans I got from my Nana. I liked the frilly edges, the variety of shape, and they are the perfect size.

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Arrange the dough on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or a baking mat. Cut out a heart (or any other shape) to create a window in half of the cookies. These will be the tops of the sandwiches. Place the cookies sheets in the refrigerator and let them chill for 10-15 minutes. This will help the cookies keep their shape when they are baking.

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While the cookies are chilling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the cookies for 7 minutes. Bake the mini hearts from the center of the cookies for 6 minutes.Allow them to cool on the pan for about 5 minutes before carefully transferring them to a wire rack for cooling.

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While the cookies cool, make the frosting you would like in the center of the sandwiches. I made a small batch of this brown sugar icing. It is fluffy and delightful and I’ve been wanting to try it out for a while, and now seemed like a good time to do so. You can use any frosting you like for the center of the cookie sandwiches, you don’t even have to use frosting at all. Jam is beautiful and tasty in between these cookies.

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After the cookie have cooled completely and your frosting is ready, it’s time to assemble the cookies. Separate the cookies onto two baking sheets or trays, placing the cookies without a cutout in the center on one tray and the other half of the cookies on the other tray. The cookies that are the bottom of the sandwich get a dollop of frosting (or jam). The cookies that are going to be on top get dusted with powdered sugar.

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Now assemble the cookies. Sprinkles optional.

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I love how dainty these cookies look, like they should be enjoyed while sipping on a hot cup of tea and discussing literature with a British gentleman who wears a monocle. Too much? Just enough.

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Anyway, I hope you enjoy these adorable cookies. Make them, share them with those you love (and/or you choose to tolerate but it would rude not to include).

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P.S. look at how adorable these little heart cut outs are? I could eat, like 20 of these!

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My Favorite Sugar Cookie

Slightly adapted from Bake at 350

Ingredients:

  • 14.5 oz (3 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract or 2 vanilla beans

Directions:

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small mixing bowl and set aside. Using a stand or hand mixer cream the butter and the sugar together until well incorporated and fluffy. Add the eggs and extracts into the mixture. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Mix on a medium speed until well combined.

Reduce the speed of the mixer to low and gradually add the dry ingredients. Increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough comes together. The dough might be a bit crumbly, but it will come together after some kneading by hand.

On a floured surface roll out the dough to 1/8 in thick. I roll these pretty thin since they are to become cookie sandwiches. Use any cookie cutter you like.

Arrange the dough on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or a baking mat. Cut out a heart (or any other shape) to create a window in half of the cookies. These will be the tops of the sandwiches. Place the cookies sheets in the refrigerator and let them chill for 10-15 minutes. This will help the cookies keep their shape when they are baking.

While the cookies are chilling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the cookies for 7 minutes. Bake the mini hearts from the center of the cookies for 6 minutes. Allow them to cool on the pan for about 5 minutes before carefully transferring them to a wire rack for cooling.

After the cookie have cooled completely assemble the cookie sandwiches; spread brown sugar frosting or jam between two cookies and top with powdered sugar.

 

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Brown Sugar Frosting

From I Wash You Dry

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup corn syrup
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Directions:

Mix brown sugar, water and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil. (Be careful, as it will rise, so make sure the sides of your pan are taller). Let it boil at medium to medium high until the syrup drops like a hair from spoon (approximately 10 minutes). Remove from burner and set aside.

Meanwhile, beat egg whites until stiff.

SLOWLY pour the hot syrup in a THIN stream into egg whites, beating constantly. Beat until icing holds peaks, then blend in vanilla.

Let cool to room temp, then store covered in the fridge until ready to use.

 

 

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