St Valentine’s Day descends every year amid a flood of complaints that it has become a commercialised and meaningless event. However the post-Christmas period tends to be a bit drab so a day of romance is worth making a bit of effort for, to cheer up an otherwise dreary February. Avoid the commercial hell of fluffy teddy bears and lifeless garage forecourt blooms by going for the personal touch instead. Making your own valentines heart cookies will be greatly appreciated by partners, and if you don’t have one at least you’ll have something delicious to scoff and won’t even have to share!
Love heart cookies
These tasty valentines’ heart cookies are easy to make and you can decorate them as you wish. Makes 12 cookies.
- 250g butter, at room temperature
- 320g plain flour, sieved
- 125g icing sugar, sieved
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 170ºC and grease and line a baking tray. Beat the butter in an electric mixer until soft and light. Add the remaining ingredients, mix together well and knead to a soft dough. Lightly flour the work surface and roll the dough out to a thickness of about 6mm. Use a heart shaped cookie cutter like those sold by Wares of Knutford to cut out 12 heart shapes, place them on the prepared baking tray and cook for about 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely on a wire rack before icing.
Icing your heart cookies
It’s the icing that makes these cookies really special. You can emphasise the heart shaped theme with a simple layer of red icing, spell out a special message to the one you love or go for a mixture of designs. Remember to use a very light touch with the food colouring; you’ll only need a drop or two for each colour batch you make.
- 400g icing sugar, sieved
- 3-4 tbsp water
- A few drops of food colouring
Mix the water with the icing sugar gradually until the mixture reaches a smooth paste consistency – you may not need all of the water. Divide the icing into clean bowls for each colour you want to make and stir in a drop or two of the appropriate food colouring to each bowl, mixing well until the colour is uniform. You can spread the icing onto the heart cookies with a palette knife or use a piping bag and shaped nozzles to create detail. Set aside and allow the icing to harden completely before serving.