Cookies for Valentine’s Day
“I’ve got these new sweets for you.”
East of Eden, John Steinbeck
Valentine’s Day is a perfect excuse to overdose on whimsy! Hearts, lace, flowers, I’m dazzled by the fun of it all. Roses are the traditional flower for Valentine’s Day and so with rose petals and rose water I was drawn into the kitchen.
My plans for making a simple shortbread laced with rose petals took a detour when I misread the recipe. I altered the ingredients and ended up with an entirely new cookie. Less butter, then more butter, but still not enough to form the ingredients into a cohesive dough. In desperation I tossed in an egg and developed a buttery cookie that is the perfect foundation for the jam filled valentines. With crisp edges and a sturdier crumb than traditional shortbread, this cookie can be transformed to match any holiday attire. Use food coloring or not, decorate with frosting, candy, sprinkles or not, shape into a holiday motif or not. This is my Valentine for you.
The rose pairs so serenely with the strawberry I am planning on combining these flavors again. I envision a jam of rose and strawberry to slather on toast or scones. A strawberry shortcake laced with the aroma of roses. A summer tart bursting with strawberries and strewn with rose petals. Ice cream, cupcakes and perhaps even something chocolate. If you enjoy the scent of roses you will enjoy baking with them.
|31/2C/440gr||all purpose flour|
|1C/226gr||unsalted butter, softened|
|2T||dried culinary rose petals|
- Heat oven to 350°. Line cookie sheets with parchment, set aside.
- In a medium size mixing bowl sift or shake through a large sieve the dry ingredients: flour and salt. Set aside.
- In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter until softened 1-2 minutes. Add the sugar and mix until thoroughly combined with the butter. Stop and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure all the ingredients are combined. Add the vanilla extract and the rose water, mixing to combine. Add the dry ingredients and the rose petals and mix just until combined. Take care not to over mix. Once again, stop and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure all the ingredients are combined. Divide the dough into two portions. Flatten the dough into disks and then wrap in plastic. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes before forming the cookies.
- Heat oven to 350°. On a lightly floured work surface roll out the dough 1/4” thick. Cut out heart shaped cookies and place on baking sheet 1” apart. If using a Linzer cookie cutter, cut out an equal number of cookies for the tops and bottoms. Scraps can be chilled and rolled out to make more cookies. Baking time will depend on the size of your cookies: 8 minutes for small, up to 12 minutes for larger cookies. Take care not to let the cookies over bake. When done, the cookies will be just faintly brown around the edges. Cool completely prior to filling with jam.
- Fill the cooled cookies by spreading a thin layer of jam on the side of the cookies that rested on the cookie sheet while baking. Do this with half of the baked cookies. Take care not over fill the cookies as the jam will ooze out of the filled cookies. With the side of the cookie that rested on the cookie sheet, top the jam filled cookies with the remaining cookies. Press down gently to adhere the top to the bottoms of the cookies.