Monday, February 14, 2011

It is the thought that counts

Happy Valentines Day!
I had all the best intentions last week to get my baking done in time to send off care packages which would arrive in time for Valentines Day. With an unexpected business trip scheduled midweek I had to scramble to get packages out by end of week.
The packages were sent but arrived in less than perfect condition.

Here was the plan....

Make Chocolate Almond Hearts drizzled in chocolate. Not enough time? Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.


2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons almond extract
1/2 cup cocoa
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teasponns salt

Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add almond extract.

On low speed, add cocoa, flour and salt. Mix just until well blended. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 -3 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Roll out dough about 1/4-inch thick onto a surface lightly dusted with cocoa. Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut the dough into shapes. Place cookies onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Bake 12 - 15 minutes or until firm

Remove cookie sheet from the oven and transfer to a wire cooling rake. Cool completely.

Serve plain, dipped or drizzled with chocolate or dust with confectioners' sugar. Store in an air tight container.

These cookies look cute, but don't mail well. Pack very securely if sending.

As a back up, I also included a batch of Madeleines, which do pack very well. To make these requires a madeleine pan.


1 stick butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other Orange Liqueur
2/3 cup cake flour
Pinch of Cream of Tarter

In a medium bowl, with a wire whisk, blend butter and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Add egg yolks and Grand Marnier. Mix until well blended. Gradually stir in flour. Set aside.

With an electric mixer, beat egg whites and cream of tarter until stiff.

Fold egg whites into the butter and sugar mixture. Fold until well blended.

Spray madeleine pan with nonstick baking spray. Fill molds 3/4 full with batter.

Bake 10 - 12 minutes or until edges begin to brown and center of cookie springs back to the touch.

Remove pan from the oven. Carefully unmold cookies and place on a wire cooling rack. Brush out mold. Cool mold completely before re-spraying and filling. Repeat until all batter is used.

Store cookies at room temperature in an airtight container.

Yield: 15 Madeleines

So that's what went off to the kids.....

what I made for ourselves....


recipe available from Boston Globe

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