My little Miss Nearly-4 does an unbearably cute thing to profess her love for her family. She had learnt how to make a diamond shape with her darling little fingers some time ago (courtesy of Twinkle Twinkle’s diamond in the sky) and from there I showed her how to form a heart by dropping and curving her index fingers. She calls it (or any heart-shaped object for that matter) ‘heart love’. We never bothered correcting her since it’s so much sweeter than ‘love heart’.
I’m blogging about this primarily because my husband and I will no doubt recall ‘heart love’ in years to come as the sort of endearing thing wee folk say or do and which, inevitably, they sadly stop saying or doing after a certain age. It’s also rather timely given today is Valentines Day :)
Last year I presented my family some V Day cupcakes (Red Velvet Cupcakes with Rose Icing) in spite of not being overly romantic, and somewhat cynical of the commercial exercise that is February 14 (this is according to what I wrote last year anyway!). This year, I wanted to do something that involved ‘heart loves’ because well… it makes me feel all lovey dovey.
At first I had high ambitions to make some heart-shaped red velvet macarons but my kitchen has been too hot and humid over summer and last night was sadly no exception. I should have known just looking at the flatness of my egg whites (which weren’t particularly aged either…) that macarons were not going to happen.
Feeling somewhat flat like my egg whites, I decided to make lemonade out of my lemons and made a batch of cookies with the discarded egg yolks instead. A macaron book (I Heart Macarons by Hisako Ogita) that I enjoy very much cleverly has a section at the back with recipes to use up the copious sum of egg yolk accrued through manic macaron baking (or via macaron fails…). She calls them Icebox Cookies for some reason. I am calling mine Heart Love Cookies.
These aren’t really for those watching their cholesterol but it’s not bad to have a supply of this cookie dough in the freezer for when friends come visiting. They are simple but absolutely moreish. I used some whole wheat flour for a more graham cracker-like texture and flavour but plain flour will give you a smoother finish (in case you were wondering what the flecks are in my photos!). You can naturally colour them to your liking or add cocoa to make chocolate cookies. A very versatile recipe and makes good use of the yolks.
Heart Love (or Icebox) Cookies
100g sugar (maybe 20g more if you prefer a sweeter cookie)
2 egg yolks
250g plain flour (I used 190g plain and 60g whole wheat)
1/2 vanilla pod scraped
To Make: Pre-heat oven to 180C. Cream butter until very soft and pale. Add sugar and cream together until fluffy. Mix in the egg yolk until well blended. Add your flour and vanilla until you have a soft cookie dough. If planning to make plain round cookies, roll the dough into an even log (say 5cm wide), wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. Follow same instructions as below once dough is cooled.
To make my Heart Love Cookies, set aside 2/3 of the plain dough in fridge and add 1 tbsp of red food colouring to the remaining dough along with an extra 1 tbsp of flour and mix well. Roll the red dough into a thin log (say 3cm wide) and shape the log into a pyramid shape. On a side with a flat edge, cut a straight line down the middle of the log (about 1cm deep). Separate the two sides a litte and shape the newly created top parts of the heart. Place red dough in fridge. Roll out plain dough to a thickness of 1.5cm and reserve a small strip to wedge between the split in the red heart dough log. Place slightly cooled red dough in middle of rolled out plain dough, wedge the split with the small strip of dough, then carefully wrap the plain dough around the red heart dough log. Shape the log a little but I don’t recommend handling the dough too much, especially if it’s getting warm. Place log in fridge for at least 20 minutes. When completely cooled, make 1.5 cms wide slices of the dough and place on a lined baking sheet/tray. If after slicing, the dough is soft again, place in fridge for another 10/15 minutes. When cold again, place tray in oven and bake cookies for 10 minutes. Check on progress then rotate the tray for even baking. Bake for another 4/5 minutes until bottom of cookie is golden brown. Allow to cool completely.