Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Valentine Cookies Roundup!

                 Valentines Day has proven to be just as busy as christmas! to be honest I don't usually go all out for it. My husband makes me special every single day,buys me flowers all the time and any time I want the most amazing chocolate at a cheap price..I just buy some at the store! This year I decided to bake several cookies for my husbands work. I took a simple chocolate cookie recipe and decorated it several ways. You have your plain white chocolate.
         Since the chocolate cookie has crushed walnuts in the dough I decided to dip the cookie into melted chocolate and crushed walnuts.
          I left some with just a simple dip at the top.
       I also took some plain pretzels and dipped those into melted white,milk and hazelnut chocolate. 
       I took my favorite Lemon Sugar Cookie recipe and cut the dough into heart shapes. I used a raspberry frosting and made designs on the top.
        Last year I took the heart shaped cookie,flimped them upside down and turned them into bra and panties : )

I'm including the recipe for the chocolate hearts. These were the biggest pain for me out of everything I made. The dough never came together like the recipe stated and I ended up having to pat the dough out instead of rolling it. If I were to ever make these again I would bump the chocolate flavor up and use almond extract instead of vanilla. They are a nice crispy cookie but lacked the chocolate taste I was hoping for.

Walnut Chocolate Hearts..4 Dozen

1 cup Butter, cubed
2/3 cup Packed Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 Egg,lightly beaten
2-1/4 cups Flour
1/4 cup Cocoa
1/2 tsp. Salt
3/4 cup Finely chopped Walnuts

1-1/2 cups Semisweet Chocolate Chips
2 TBL Shortening
1/2 cup Ground Walnuts
** I went ahead and used melted white and chocolate almond bark other wise known as candy coating.

In a saucepan, combine butter and brown sugar. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Cool for 15 mins. Stir in Egg.

Combine the flour, cocoa and salt;add to butter mixture. Fold in walnuts. Cover and chill for 30 minutes or until easy to handle.

Preheat oven to 350 or 180 celcius. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with floured 3 inch heart shaped cookie cutter. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 9-10 mins or until edges are firm. Remove to wire racks to cool.

For topping,in a microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening over low heat,stir until smooth. Dip half of each heart into chocolate mixture,allowing excess to drip off. Dip sides into ground walnuts. Place on wax paper,let stand until set. You can also drizzle the chocolate over the cookies,dip in other flavors,add other types of chopped nuts,sprinkles,candy..whatever you like!

Source: Taste of Home