Valentine’s Day – Sure it’s hard to really ignore the deluge of those ‘in-your-face’ mushy couples with their heart shaped balloons, heart shaped candy, tiny red hearts with “I love you” inscribed on them, teddy bears with those same pesky tiny red hearts, corny greeting cards (some kinky as well), mugs with hearts all over them…hearts, hearts and more hearts all over the place, and not to forget the exponentially growing ‘Pink Chaddi Campaign’…oh you get it by now, yeah? As for me, V-day is altogether non-sappy, and the way it is celebrated, is sooo soooo soooooo overdone and such a turn-off…ugggghh! I’d rather I shower the mister with love every day, than just on this one day alone! Well, that was just my two cents’ worth.
Coming to what happened in my kitchen today, I’ve been a busy bee! Busy, baking heart shaped biscuits! No, I know what you’re thinking now…STOP! I’m certainly not adding to the deluge of V-day hearts!! I had planned to make these cute li’l heart(y) biscuits for my anniversary, along with those mug cakes I made, but thanks to KPTCL’s maveric and un-timely power-cuts, I had to dismiss all thought, or hope about making them and surprising the mister 😦 Damn KPTCL! The dough was sitting in my refrigerator for the last 5 days, waiting to get baked and I couldn’t ignore it ‘cos it stared me in the face every time I opened the refrigerator. So in short, though I hate to admit it, I couldn’t help having my share of hearts today, and before I could even plan a surprise for the mister, he had already come in to the kitchen and grabbed a few hearts from a batch that was cooling on the wire-rack, and started guttling them. I had to shoo him out before he ate them all up! (He is not gonna forgive me if he sees this!).
For the dough:
- Whole Wheat flour/All purpose flour – 3 cups
- Butter (unsalted) – 1 cup
- Sugar – 3/4 cup (preferably measured and then powdered to ease the process of creaming)
- Cream cheese/Pureed Cottage Cheese – 1/3 cup (I used pureed cottage cheese)
- Egg – 1 no (replace with 1/4 cup pureed banana or applesauce if you don’t wish to use egg)
- Vanilla extract – 1 1/2 tsps
For the topping:
- Dark Chocolate compound/Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips – 1 cup (you could always lick up the remnants of the chocolate 😉 )
- Butter/shortening – 4 tsps
- Sift the flour and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar; cream till the mixture appears light and fluffy.
- Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula so the mixture blends evenly.
- Add cream cheese (or pureed cottage cheese), egg (or replacer), vanilla extract and beat well until thoroughly mixed.
- Add the flour; stir until well mixed.
- Form the dough into a 6 inch flattened disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until well chilled, 1 to 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 180 C (350F).
- On a lightly floured pastry board (or your clean kitchen platform), and using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough to a little less than 1/4th inch thick. Cut dough with a small-sized heart-shaped cookie cutter that has been dipped in flour (to help prevent dough from sticking to the cutter).
- Place the cutout hearts 1 inch apart on baking sheet/tray (yeah, these are not gonna fluff up much like your regular biscuits). Bake for about 15 minutes or until cookies are set and the edges are very lightly browned. Remove cookies from baking sheet/tray with a metal spatula and place on a wire-rack to cool.
- In the meanwhile, melt the chocolate compound/semi-sweet chocolate and shortening together for a minute in the microwave or on a double boiler; stir well with a rubber spatula to combine.
- Dip half of each heart (vertically, like in the picture) into the melted chocolate. Place on plastic paper/aluminium foil; let sit until the chocolate is hardened (takes about a half hour).
- These tender cream cheese heart cookies are not overly sweet, so you can enjoy the hearty treat with a nice, hot cuppa!
These little hearts are going straight to Priya’s ‘Hearts for St. Valentine’s Day‘ Event.