Friday, February 10, 2006

Myocardial Confections

Valentine's Day is creeping up on us. For some of you, this is a chance to put your creativity and resources to good use for the one you love. Planning a romantic getaway, or a surprise gift you've been waiting all year to reveal. For others, this is a painful and distasteful holiday. One you're convinced was a conspiracy designed by the American media to dissolve any semblance of self-esteem and solitary happiness you once maintained. At one time in my life I held the latter stance; doing anything I could to escape the hellacious holiday. In fact, one year I actually managed to avoid it with cunning success. Left on a flight for Japan on Feb 13. Arrived in Japan Feb 15. Pure Magic. Like a time machine I had set to some sort of "Abort V-Day" Hyperspeed setting. It was brilliant.
Luckily my perception of this holiday has changed and matured into a true and sincere appreciation for all that is love-struck.

I made a visit to a tiny little, unassuming shop so aptly named Cookies last weekend. This 10-ft x 15-ft establishment is filled with every kind of cookie related product one could imagine: sprinkles, frosting, cookie cutters, stamps and mixes are only the tip of the iceberg. Since I planned on making heart cookies for this oh-so-lovely holiday, I made the trek to check them out.

I tried to design a few 'broken-hearted' hearts for all of you cynics out there, but they didn't turn out well at all. Maybe its Cupid undermining my anti V-Day efforts.

Valentine Heart Cookie
Cream Cheese Hearts
dipped in ganache

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup cream cheese
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 cup pastry flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate
2 Tbs. heavy whipping cream
2 Tbs butter

Preheat oven 350 F
1. Cream butter, cream cheese and sugar together. Add egg, vanilla and nutmeg and continue mixing.
2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, salt, and baking powder.
3. Incorporate into flour mix into the butter and sugar mix. Blend until smooth.
4. Place a good deal of flour on a surface and flour your hands well. Flatten batter with your palms and cut heart shapes. These are sticky, so be generous with the flour.
5. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Do not over cook.
6. Let cool. Yields 32 cookies

1. Heat a medium sauce pan at medium heat. Place butter and chocolate in.
2. After chocolate has melted, incorporate the cream and blend well.
3. Dip cookies in and decorate as desired.
4. Set on wax paper and cool for 20 minutes to set.

Monkey Notes:
The cookie dough is slightly sticky and finicky to handle, but they firm up nicely after baking. So be careful with them. Maybe this can be used as some sort of a metaphor for love. Be gentle with your heart, and it will become aesthetically pleasing and tasty. Doesn't really work, does it? I tried.


At 2:32 PM, Anonymous Lycius said...

Very good cookies. I came back for a second.

At 2:33 PM, Anonymous Cogbottom said...

A light, moist, chewy cookie with a creamy taste and just enough chocolate to accent but not overwhelm.

Fantastic, I also hit the dish for more!

At 2:33 PM, Anonymous Dre said...

Delicious, but a skidge dry. The chocolate on only 1 half with the lil' sprinkes is offset wonderfully by the bare half. It allows one to really appreciate the flavor of both the cookie itself and the chocolate.

At 2:41 PM, Anonymous Greg said...

I had one of these cookies once back on a warm February day...but it wasn't all great. You see I was a victim of "ugly cookie violence". Some of you may be shocked by this, but I was given a cookie with an uneven amount of chocolate.

Fortunately the cookie was very moist and tasty and I was given plenty of heart sprinkles. I prefer these of the standard sugar cookie and mostly just like to harass the chef.

At 3:08 PM, Anonymous COOKIE ZOMBIE said...

Yumm. The cookie that I had from the published batch was yummalishus! It's a rare occassion that one gets to enjoy a cream cheese cookie and this was good cookie for that occasion.
And furthermore, I think that the cookie chef should be given a-urk! My chest! Oh no! A cookie zombie is emerging!



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