New Recipe: Recipe: Valentine’s Day cookies for those you love

With Valentine’s Day a few days away, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about what to make for the special people in your life.

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With Valentine’s Day a few days away, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about what to make for the special people in your life.

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Valentine’s Day need not be limited only to couples. The last time I checked, the people I love include parents, grandparents, children and close friends. Wouldn’t it be nice to show how much you care about them by way of a homemade treat?

Here are two fun projects to surprise those you love on Valentine’s Day:

I Love You Beary Much Cookies

Not only are these cookies adorable, but they’re also delicious, with a buttery flavour and a crisp, yet chewy, texture. For the shape, I used a huggy-bear-style cookie cutter on the dough. Since cookies always taste better iced, these bears are iced on the underside so that the details of their adorableness remain unobstructed.

3-1/8 cup (390 g) all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

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1 cup (227 g) butter, softened at room temperature

1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar

1/4 cup (60 mL) milk

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp almond extract

Red gel food colouring

Royal Icing

3 oz (6 tbsp) pasteurized egg whites

1/4 tsp cream of tartare

4 cups (500 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1 tsp clear vanilla extract

In a bowl, whisk flour and baking powder together to combine. Set aside.

In a stand mixer, outfitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and creamy. Add the milk, egg, vanilla extract and almond extract. Mix until well-incorporated. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until the dough comes together. Don’t overmix.

Remove about 1/8th of the dough. Add a few drops of food colouring to the dough. With well-floured hands, fold the dough onto itself. Coat your hands with more flour as needed. Continue folding and adding more gel colour until the desired colour is achieved. For a marbled effect, don’t fully incorporate the gel colour, leaving the dough a little streaky.

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Place the red dough on a well-floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the red dough out to 1/8″ thickness. Using a small heart or flower cutter, cut out heart or flower shapes. Set the cut-outs aside. Wash your hands before touching the other portion of dough.

Clean the work surface to remove any red food colouring. Flour the surface well. Then transfer the balance of the dough onto the work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to 1/4″ thickness. Using a huggy bear cutter, cut out the bears. Transfer the bears onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet, placing them 2″ apart. Place one heart or one flower cut-out on the belly of the bear. Fold the bear’s arms in so that they appear to be holding onto the heart or flower cut-out. Using a little milk as glue, attach the paws to the hearts or flowers.

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Place the cookie sheet in the freezer to chill for at least 15 to 20 minutes.

Move the oven-rack to the lower third position. Preheat oven to 350 F.

Bake the cookies for 15-16 minutes until they’re barely golden around the edges. Remove the tray from the oven and allow the cookies to cool for about 5 minutes before transferring them onto a cooling rack to finish cooling.

For the royal icing

In a stand mixer outfitted with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites with cream of tartare until foamy. With the machine on low speed, gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, beating in between until fully incorporated. Add the vanilla extract then increase speed to high. Continue beating until mixture is very thick and forms stiff peaks. Transfer the royal icing into a piping bag. Store any unused royal icing in an airtight container to prevent the icing from drying out.

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To ice the cookies

Once the cookies have cooled completely, using a piping bag with a round top, pipe an outline of the bear on the back of the cookie. Then flood the cookie with royal icing (you may have to thin the icing with a little water to achieve flood consistency). Don’t over-flood the icing. Place bears face down on a parchment-lined cookie sheet for the icing to set, about 2 hours. Once set, store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Enjoy!

Makes 3 dozen cookies.

New Recipe: Recipe: Valentine's Day cookies for those you love

Valentine’s Fortune Cookies

Do you love breaking and reading fortune cookies but never eat the cookies because they taste like cardboard? Here’s a recipe for light and delicious, thin and crisp fortune cookies that you can make at home. Dressed up with a little chocolate and topped with heart-shaped sprinkles, these make the perfect vessel for Valentine-theme messages.

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NOTE: Cookies are baked in pairs to prevent them from getting cold; cold cookies can’t be folded. Also, cookies will be hot. Therefore, recommend wearing gloves if possible.

2 large egg whites, room temperature

1/2 tsp almond extract

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar 1/2 cup (60 g) all-purpose flour

Pinch of salt 3 tbs (45 mL) water

16 valentine messages written on 3”-long-by-1/2”-wide pieces of paper

1 cup (170 g) good dark or milk chocolate, chopped

1 tsp coconut oil

Heart-shape sprinkles

Preheat oven to 425 F.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk egg whites, almond extract, vanilla extract and sugar until foamy. Using a rubber spatula, fold in flour and mix until almost smooth. Add 1 tablespoon of water at a time, folding after each addition, until batter is completely smooth.

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To bake, add 1 tablespoon of batter to a cookie sheet lined with a silicone baking mat. Using an offset spatula, spread the batter to create a 3” circle. Repeat for the 2nd cookie on the sheet.

Bake for about 5-7 minutes until the edges are slightly golden. Remove from the oven.

Working carefully yet quickly, use a silicone spatula to lift the soft cookie from the tray and place the good side face down on a cutting board. Place a Valentine message in the middle of the cookie and fold the cookie in half, forming a semicircle. Immediately lift the cookie and place a straight edge across the rim of a 4-cup-glass measuring cup and pull both pointed ends down, forming a fortune cookie shape. Immediately transfer the warm cookie to a muffin tin to cool so that it may retain its shape. Repeat for the second cookie.

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Repeat steps until all the batter is used.

For chocolate-dipped fortune cookies, combine the chopped chocolate with the coconut oil in a microwaveable bowl. Microwave on the defrost setting in 30-second increments, stirring in-between, until the mixture is smooth.

Holding onto one half of the cookie, dip the front and back of the cookie into the melted chocolate. Lift and allow any excess chocolate to drip off. Place the cookie on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and drizzle extra chocolate over the other half. Immediately add heart-shape sprinkles. Repeat for the balance of the fortune cookies. Allow the chocolate to set. Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Enjoy!

Makes 16 cookies.

Karen Gordon is as food blogger from North Vancouver who shares her latest recipe creations on Instagram at @karen.t.ology and online at Karentology.com.

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