Well Happy Valentine’s Day friends. That ever so special day of chocolate, hearts and overpriced flowers. I’m doing a few chocolate posts for the month and this is no exception though today, I’ve holiday’d it up for you. I’ve made cookies and if you’re going to make cookies for Valentine’s Day, they have to be heart shaped. It’s a rule.
I’ve made a chocolate shortbread cookie today, this one shot through with cardamom as it’s a combination I particularly enjoy. The deep, almost woodsy, exotic flavor complements the chocolate so very well. It also makes it just a bit more interesting. Rather than plain, old chocolate there’s something a little different and I think that’s important on Valentine’s Day. We all come to the day with certain expectations honed over a lifetime. Why not jazz it up a bit?
The shortbread is rich and buttery, the chocolate and spice flavor come through rather nicely and there’s a nice surprise of little pockets of chocolate from the addition of mini chips but it needed something else, something befitting the specialness of the day. So not only did I cut them into heart shapes, I dipped them in more chocolate. Then I sprinkled them with chopped pistachios and just for kicks, a few crumbled dried rose petals. Because, you know, Valentine’s Day. They tick off all the appropriate holiday boxes – chocolate, heart shaped and pretty. Done, done and done.
STRESS THERAPY FACTOR: CHOCOLATE LOVE. You need a little something special for today and these are ideal. Their prettiness belies the ease in which they are made. A simple dough, an easy roll, a quick bake. No big deal. Then a pretty chocolate gloss and a shower of green and pink, befitting the day, takes these to a sweet, special place and slides an ordinary cookie over the line to something different. Enjoy.
Eight years ago: Khachpuri (cheesy Georgian bread)
Seven years ago: Fancy Valentine’s Day Cookies
Six years ago: Dark Chocolate Tart
Five years ago: St. John Dark Chocolate Ice Cream
Four years ago: Peppermint Patty Brownies, Chocolate Raspberry Tart
Three years ago: Dulce de Leche Fondue, Chocolate Linzer Cookies
Two years ago: Flourless Chocolate Cookies
Last year: Orange Chocolate Angel Food Cake with Candied Clementines
CHOCOLATE CARDAMOM SHORTBREAD HEARTS
makes about 2 dozen cookies but really depends on the size of your cutter
Dried rose petals can usually be found in tea shops, Chinese grocery stores, in the bulk section of Whole Foods or online.
for the cookies:
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ cup Dutch process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (½ cup/1 stick)
½ cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
2 Tablespoons dark mini chocolate chips
for the chocolate glaze:
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
lightly crushed rose petals
- For the cookies: Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside until needed.
- In a bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, cardamom and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer) and cream the butter and brown sugar on medium until smooth and creamy.
- Add the egg yolk and vanilla and mix until blended, scrape the bowl.
- On low, add the flour mixture in a few additions and just before completely blended, add the chocolate chips and mix until well blended.
- Turn the dough out onto a sheet of parchment and roll to an even thickness of about ½” or just a touch under.
- Transfer to a sheet pan and refrigerate for 1 hour until firm.
- With small heart cutters (or whatever shape you desire), cut shapes and place back on the sheet pan.
- Gently press and roll the scraps together and continue cutting additional cookies.
- Pop the sheet pan back in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes while the oven preheats to 350°F with the rack in the center.
- Arrange the cookies with about ½”-1” space in between.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until lightly firm and set to the touch. Cool completely.
- For the glaze: melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave (1 minute increments at 50% powder, stirring between bursts).
- Stir in the vegetable oil and let cool for 10 minutes until just barely warm to the touch.
- Dip half of each cookie, two or three at a time, gently shaking to let the excess glaze fall back in the bowl and place on a clean parchment paper lined sheet pan.
- Sprinkle the chocolate dipped half with chopped pistachios and crushed rose petals.
- Refrigerate until glaze is set, about 10 minutes.
- The cookies will keep, tightly wrapped and with parchment or wax paper between the layers, up to four days. If you’d like to make ahead, freeze the cut, unbaked cookies and bake off as needed.