Sunday, May 05, 2013
Hearts for Mom
If you have kids, they can help cut out the hearts. The dough is easy to work with. Then let them poke the top with the tines of a fork before they are baked. Even if the indents don't make a pretty pattern, it is sure to charm Mom.
Chocolate Shortbread Hearts
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 cup strained unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
A) On a sheet of waxed paper, mix these 3 ingredients together until well mixed.
Then collect these ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coffee extract or 1 tablespoon espresso powder (optional)
B) Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Adjust two racks to divide oven into thirds.
C) Cream the butter in a large mixer bowl. Add the confectioners sugar, vanilla, and coffee flavor or espresso powder and beat to mix. On low speed add the flour and cocoa mixture, scraping the bowl and beating only until the mixture holds together. If the dough is not smooth, place it on a board or smooth work surface and knead it briefly with the heel of your hand. Form the dough into a ball and flatten it slightly.
D) Flour a pastry cloth or board and rolling pin. Place the dough on the floured surface and turn to flour both sides. Roll the dough until it is 1/4 inch thick, or slightly thicker, with the same thickness all over. Re-flour rolling pin as needed while rolling out dough.
E) Dip a 1 1/2 inch or 2 inch heart shaped cookie cutter in flour, tap off excess. Cut the cookies as close to each other as possible. Place the cookies 1 inch apart on unbuttered cookie sheets. Gather scraps of dough together, knead once or twice, and re-roll, then cut more cookies. With skewer or tines of a fork, pierce cookies in a pattern. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until cookies are firm to the touch. Check often. These burn easily. Transfer to racks to cool. Makes about 3 dozen.