February 14, 2014

Taste: Valentine Heart Tarts!

Happy Valentines Heart Tarts.
These Valentine Heart Tarts are so adorable. They make a great handmade treat for your loved one. I learned this recipe from my incredible day with Mary the Cookie Lady, and have made them a few times since our grand baking extravaganza. My family devoured these in ONE DAY. Officially known as Moroccan Jam Cookies, these cookies are special because they have a shortbread taste with a delicious tart jam filling. And they're shaped like hearts. Duh.

Ingredients:

- 3 cups flour + more for flouring the pastry surface
- 2 1/4 sticks butter (unsalted)
- Little more than 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup eggs, beaten (I usually end up using 2 eggs, but just see what works)
- Cookie Filling (I use apricot & raspberry baking jam)*

*Baking jam is different than regular jelly or jam. You don't want to use jelly/jam when baking, because it will burn more quickly than a baking jam will. You can purchase baking jam online or find it at a local bakery. Or you can wing it with jelly. Just remember, I told you so :-)

Tools: My food processor really comes in handy with baking. Instead of mixing the ingredients with a hand mixer, I just throw everything and process it. Until I get one of these bad boys, using the food processor is the way to go. Also, I got my heart-shaped cookie cutter at William-Sonoma. And for the center cut-out, I used a bottle top (from bottled water). Just find whatever works!
// Using a food processor makes this recipe SO EASY. As long as you're not afraid of getting your hands a little messy :) //

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix flour & butter together in a food processor or mixer, just as you would for a pie. (It's best if you use ice cold butter cut into cubes.)

2. Add the beaten egg (s). Knead the mixture well, it should be sticky at this point.

3. Roll out the dough on a pastry surface. Make sure to lightly flour the surface before rolling out the dough, this will keep the mixture from sticking. Make sure to bathe your rolling pin in flour, as well!

4. Cut out the hearts with a cookie cutter. You will want to count so that you have an even number of hearts with a hole in the middle and without. Eventually, you will layer these one on top of the other, so you want to make sure you have an even number!

5. Bake hearts until lightly brown, about 10-12 minutes. Give them plenty of time to cool.

6. Spread the hearts (without cutouts) with baking jam. Top with the hearts with cutouts. Voila! You should be able to see the jam through the hole in the center of the cookie.

7. Optional: You can lightly sprinkle the cookies with powdered sugar. I chose not to because they already look so pristine!

// The friendliest cookies on the block. //


Oh Happy Day.
If you're snowed in this weekend like me, you could try out this recipe for your special someone. Whipping up a batch of these delicacies is a surefire way to get a whole lot of "I Love Yous!" Also, if you're still looking for a gift, you can check out my Valentine Guide. And if you want to make a loving weekend brunch, try out these yummy crepes.
Happy Valentines Day!




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