Thursday, February 11, 2010

Dark Chocolate Valentine Cookies



  There was a time when I  would make these cookies every Valentine’s Day and wrap them up in adorable little packages with red cellophane and red yarn. And then pregnancy, childbirth and a few intervening events stalled out the tradition. But now I’m back, and the chocolate is darker than ever. I’ve taken to using Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder in my baking. It has a flavor similar to Dutch process, but is even darker.

The recipe originally comes from a Mrs. Field’s cookie cookbook that got a lot of mileage in my childhood home. The cookies are supposed to be in crescent shape--I think they were called ‘Snowy White Chocolate Crescents,' come to think of it—but we had dubbed them ‘poo cookies.’ The dough, of course, is a suspicious brown color and stiff enough to make you look twice, and when the less artistically inclined in the household took to awkwardly trying to form crescent-shaped nuggets of dough…well, you can imagine the unfortunate, fecal-looking results. Anyway, I liked the texture and flavor of the cookies enough that somewhere along the line I made them my standard V-day cookie.

Just one thing: I absolutely loathe rolling out dough and using cookie cutters. I would probably rather clean the shower tiles with a toothbrush than undertake the thankless task of dusting, rolling, cutting, re-rolling…and then frosting. Ugh. So I form these by hand, and I really think it’s faster. Or at least it’s fast enough. And I like the homemade irregularity of the results. Luckily hearts are shaped nothing like turds (at least none of mine has ever been heart-shaped), so the poo association is pretty much gone.

1 C butter

3 C flour

2/3 C cocoa powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 C sugar

2 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

powdered sugar for dusting

Cream butter and sugar, add eggs and vanilla and beat well. Add dry ingredients and stir until combined (this will probably be a little too stiff for your mixer, if yours is a woosey handheld one like mine). See, it’s a little poo-like in dough form:


Form the dough into heart shapes (or whatever shape you want, really), and bake at 325 degrees for about 11 minutes. Let the cookies rest on the cookie sheet for 2-3 minutes before transferring to a cooking rack. When cookies are completely cool sift powdered sugar over the top.


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