Valentine’s Day may be over, but it’s never too late to celebrate love. And certainly never too late to eat a cookie. You should also never say never, follow your bliss, shoot for the moon and remember that today is the first today of the rest of your life….. But let’s stick with love and cookies for now. Because though V-Day ’13 is passed (and past!), heart shaped cookies live on. I made my favorite oatmeal raisin into love-centric bites by swapping the raisins for cranberries (red!) and adding chocolate chips (extra sweet! and hey why not).
It’s also just a super easy recipe that involves some bomb-cookie making tricks. You cream two sticks of butter with a cup of brown sugar and a 1/2 cup of sugar and then add two eggs… okay, so far that’s normal. But then you grind up a vanilla bean (whoa) and add all that – not the scraped out innards… but The. Whole. Thing. Step one for epic cookie-ing. Then you mix your dry ingredients and add those: 3 cups oats, 1 1/2 cup flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp cinnamon. Your batter is made and now it’s all about the mix ins. And I say the more the merrier (and yes, Cher’s debate speech rattles in my mind when I say it: “If we could just get to the kitchen, rearrange a few things….”).
The next step to surreal sweets is letting the dough rest. Wrap that love dough up and pop it in the fridge. I suggest doing a 30 minute arm work out. But you could let the dough rest for way longer than 30 minutes. In fact, over night is optimal. There’s something about the changing proteins of the eggs having time to get friendly with the other molecules. For real. Ask Harold McGee. Now when you bake them they go from really cold to really hot – and that helps, too.
When you remove the dough from the fridge, roll it out and make heart shaped cut outs – use a cookie cutter or just slice irregular shaped hearts with a pairing knife. Bake at 350 for 8-11 minutes. Let cool. And then decorate with icing if you desire (and get HARDENING icing if you do!). If you’re feeling extra crafty, make a heart-shaped potato stamp to create your own stationary. I did that randomly back in June and then found them the day before V-Day. You could make them a few days post cupid and serendipitously find them at Christmas. Life could be worse!