Saturday, February 03, 2007

How Do I Love Thee?... A Little, More, A Lot

Today is three things, right?

It may seem silly, but I have three food processors. They stair-step like the Three Bears. The baby one rarely gets used, although it’s good for chopping herbs. I’d just rather use a sharp knife most times.

The middle one (Mom) is great for turning oatmeal into oat flour for pancakes or muffins, for mixing herb compound butters and similar medium sized jobs.

The big daddy is the most useful, although it takes up a lot of space. My favorite use is to make cookie dough. I love making butter cookie recipes which go together really quickly in the food processor. Tart dough is another one that often can be done in a snap with the processor. It’s also good for grating vegetables and such, but cleaning up the discs and work bowl takes more time than just using a box grater for small amounts, so guess what I use?

Although I posted Chocolate Shortbread Hearts in December, here is the way to do them with the food processor. You can do it in the medium sized one too, but it puts a lot of stress on the motor since it makes a dense dough. The bigger one is better if you have it. If you don’t have a processor, go to the recipe for a mixer in the archives, Dec.9, 2006. Since these are heart shaped, they are perfect for Valentine’s treats.

Although I wouldn’t have used the food processor in 1980 to make these cookies (I didn’t own one yet), the recipe was in the Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Chocolate Desserts from 1980, so let’s hear it for Retro Recipes #6 with the theme of Food of Love by Laura of Laura Rebecca’s Kitchen. Hearts, chocolate, butter…what could be a better food of love than these cookies?

Chocolate Shortbread Hearts – Food Processor Version
a recipe in Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Chocolate Desserts, 1980

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup strained unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1) Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Adjust two racks to divide oven into thirds.

2) Fit the food processor with a steel blade and place the dry ingredients in the bowl. Cut the cold butter into ½-inch slices over the dry ingredients. Add the vanilla. Cover and process until the ingredients hold together. Remove the dough from the food processor. Form the dough into a ball and flatten it slightly.

3 )Flour a pastry cloth and rolling pin. Place the dough on the cloth and turn to flour both sides. Roll the dough until it is 1/2 inch thick (no thinner) with the same thickness all over. Re- flour the rolling pin as needed while rolling out dough.
4) Dip a 1 1/2 or 2 inch heart shaped 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. With skewer or tines of a fork, pierce cookies in a pattern. Bake 25 to 30 minutes until cookies are firm to the touch. Check often. These burn easily. Transfer to racks to cool.

Makes about 3 dozen.


  1. Anonymous6:03 PM

    I used to never use my food processor. However, in the past year I've dusted it off and use it on an almost weekly basis. Recently I made a tart crust in it and couldn't believe how easy it came together! I can't wait to do more sweet treats in it.

    Great thing to love!

  2. Anonymous3:39 PM

    I have a baby processor that I use all the time. Chimichurri, salsa, soups. My big bad boy is collecting dust!

  3. Sandi I'll ahve to try the smaller one for soup and salsa. Hadn't thought of those. Great suggestions.