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28 May 2017Last updated
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Food | Recipes

Sweet at heart

If an intimate night in is your idea of love, get cosy with these baked goodies and a movie to boot

Camera Press
7 Feb 2016 | 03:42 pm
  • Shortbread hearts.

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  • Heart cookies
.

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  • Heart loaf.

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  • Jam cookies.

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Shortbread hearts


Prep time 20 mins
Chilling time 15 mins
Baking time 12-15 mins
Makes 30

250g butter, plus extra for greasing
1 tbsp rose water
250g icing sugar, plus extra
2 cups cake flour
5 tbsp + 1 tsp cornflour
3 tbsp crushed chia seeds (optional)
Cream cheese, as needed
Strawberry jam, as needed
Milk, for brushing
Coloured sugar, as needed

Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a baking sheet.

Process the butter and rose water in a food processor until creamy. Add the icing sugar, flours and chia seeds and process again until the dough forms into a stiff ball around the blade. Remove and chill for 15 minutes.

On a flat surface, roll the dough into a 3mm thick sheet and cut out hearts with a heart-shaped cookie cutter.

Arrange half the hearts on a baking sheet. Top with a dollop of cream cheese and jam each. Brush the edges with water and cover with another heart. Crimp the edges with a fork and on the top of each cookie, cut a cross in the middle.

Brush with milk and sprinkle with coloured sugar. Repeat with the remaining heart-shaped dough pieces.

Bake for 12-15 minutes. Cool slightly then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar and serve.

Heart cookies


Prep time 20 mins plus refrigeration time
Baking time 8-10 mins
Makes 48

250g butter
1 tbsp rose water
250g icing sugar
2 cups cake flour
5 tbsp + 1 tsp cornflour
3 tbsp crushed chia seeds
A drop of red food colour
1 egg yolk, whisked

Process the butter and rose water in a food processor until creamy. Add icing sugar, flours and chia seeds, and process again until the dough forms into a stiff ball around the blade. Remove and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Cut off a third of the dough, add food colour to it and roll out to 5mm thick rectangle on a flat surface. Cut hearts out 
of it using a heart-shaped cookie cutter and stack them up neatly to make a log. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Roll out the remaining dough into a large rectangle on a flat surface, big enough to cover the heart log completely.

Remove the latter from the chiller, place it lengthways on the plain dough and fold the other end over to cover the log. Brush the edges with egg yolk and press down to secure. Refrigerate overnight with the glued edge facing down.

The next day, preheat the oven to 180°C.

Cut the dough into 3mm thick slices and arrange on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Serve warm.

Heart loaf


Prep time 40 mins
Baking time 45-60 mins
Makes 1

For the cake
120g butter, plus extra for greasing
2 cups cake flour, plus extra for dusting
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 extra-large eggs
2 tsp baking powder
250ml milk
25 drops of red food colour
For the icing
1½ cups icing sugar
40ml milk
½ tsp vanilla essence

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a baking sheet and a medium loaf tin with butter and dust with flour.

Divide all the cake ingredients by half, as you will be making the loaf in two batches.

For the first batch, beat butter and sugar until creamy, then beat in the vanilla essence. Add an egg.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt and fold into the butter mixture, alternating with the milk. Add all the food colour and mix well.

Pour the batter on the baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Cool and freeze until firm, then cut out red hearts using a heart-shaped cookie cutter.

Prepare the second batch of batter, without the food colour, and pour some into the loaf tin – enough to cover the bottom. Pack the red hearts tightly together in a single row down the middle, pointed sides facing up, then carefully pour the remaining batter over the hearts.

Bake the cake loaf for 25 minutes. Cool, then turn out on a cake stand.

To prepare the icing, mix together all the ingredients until smooth. Pour over the cake and leave to set.

When ready, cut the loaf into slices and serve warm.

Jam cookies

Prep time 15 mins plus refrigeration time
Baking time 8-10 mins
Makes 30

250g butter, plus extra for greasing
1 tbsp rose water
250g icing sugar, plus extra to serve
2 cups cake flour
5 tbsp + 1 tsp cornflour
3 tbsp crushed chia seeds
Strawberry jam, as required

To make the shortbread, process the butter and rose water in a food processor until creamy. Add icing sugar, flours and chia seeds, and process until the dough forms into a stiff ball around the blade. Remove and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a baking sheet.

Roll out the dough and cut into discs. Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out hearts from the middle of half the discs.

Arrange on the baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove and cool.

Spread jam on the whole cookie discs and top with cut-out cookies. Press down slightly to allow the two cookies to stick.

Dust with icing sugar and serve fresh.

Camera Press

Camera Press