Jeweled Heart Cookies are little gems, with a sweet message for Valentine's Day. They'll disappear in no time, as easy to eat as they're easy to make.
These edible Valentines are filled with raspberry jam. You might consider a Cookie Party to bake them, recruiting a group of kids. Children love to make their own special Valentine treats, and this recipe is simple enough for them to help make tasty gifts to share with teachers or friends.
The basic sugar cookie recipe is combined with bright ruby-red seedless raspberry jam and a choice of sugary toppings. You will need different sizes of heart-shaped cookie cutters, and a big jar of jam to put together these bite-size masterpieces.
Both red raspberry and black raspberry jam are available in groceries nationwide and would work equally well for the filling. If you're pinched for time, refrigerated sugar cookie dough can be substituted — all that would need would be a quick trip to the market. So dig out your rolling pin, gather the kids and get ready for some fun.
JEWELED HEART COOKIES
(Preparation 45 minutes plus 1 hour chilling time)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks) softened
1 cup seedless raspberry preserves
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
Colored sugar for decoration or sugar sprinkles, optional
In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, vanilla extract and salt. With pastry blender or two knives used scissor-fashion, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle 4 to 5 tablespoons cold water, 1 tablespoon at time, into flour mixture, mixing lightly with a fork after each addition until dough is just moist enough to hold together. Shape dough into a ball; wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour or until firm enough to roll. (Or, place dough in freezer 30 minutes.)
Preheat oven to 350 F. On lightly floured surface, with floured rolling pin, roll one-third of dough at a time 1/8 inch thick, keeping remaining dough refrigerated. With floured 3- or 4-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut dough into as many hearts as possible. Place hearts, 1/2 inch apart, on ungreased large cookie sheet. Reserve trimmings. With floured 1 1/2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out centers from half of hearts. Remove cutout centers and bake along with larger cookies, checking after 7 minutes for doneness.
Bake cookies 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. With pancake turner, remove cookies to wire racks to cool. Roll remaining dough and trimmings together to make more cookies; bake.
When cookies are cool, sprinkle cookies with cutout centers with confectioners' sugar. Spread each cookie without cutout center with 1 rounded teaspoon raspberry preserves; top each with a cookie with a cutout center, gently pressing cookies together to form a sandwich.
You can also make open-face jam-covered cookies, using single heart-shaped cookies; spread jam over cookie and decorate with colored sugar, sugar sprinkles or small cutout hearts.
Store cookies in tightly covered container. Makes about 1 1/2 dozen cookies.
Nutrition information per sandwich cookie: 190 cal., 2 g pro., 29 g carbo., 8 g total fat (5 g saturated), 21 mg chol., 160 mg sodium. Recipe from Oregon Raspberry and Blackberry Commission.