I hate Valentine’s Day. Wait, not quite correct. I hate all card-company made up holidays that make you think you need to purchase a (cheesy) card for someone and basically waste money. These holidays include both Mothers’ and Fathers’ Days too. Ugh, so gross.
Valentine’s the the most egregious though made up holiday. Overpriced roses that have no smell whatsoever. A meal out that is meh at best and again, overpriced. Pressure for the whole evening and lord help you if you have just started a new relationship. Just wait and ask her/him out in March or something. Go out for Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day – it worked for me.
That said, I took a recent cookie recipe and make sweet little heart cookies with chocolate and then did the perfect thing – added cayenne. Hey, why not, right?
16 Tbs unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 egg yolks
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate – Ghirardelli
1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
Fleur de sel / Maldon
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add the egg yolks one at a time and mix well. Combine the flour and salt in a small bowl, then add the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture, mixing until well combined.
Shape the dough into a flat disk, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate for 10 minutes.*
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out hearts with a cookie cutter and place the cookies on the baking sheet.
Bake for 11 to 13 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Let cool completely on the baking sheet.
Bring water to a simmer in a double boiler, or set up a heatproof bowl over a small saucepan with water in the bottom. Melt the chocolate over the simmering water. When the cookies are cool, spread them gently with a thin layer of melted chocolate. Before the chocolate dries, sprinkle lightly with the pecans and a few grains of fleur de sel and a pinch or so of cayenne – let your conscious be your guide here. Let the chocolate set. The cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Makes 20 – 24 cookies – all depends on your cookie cutter.
*It took more than 10 minutes – way more – just leave the dough in the fridge overnight.
Johnson Brothers – Old Britian Castles – pink.