Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentine baking: molded and pressed cookies


For today, I thought I would share some Valentine cookies that are not cut-out ones. If you hate the thought of dragging out the cookie cutters and the rolling pin, try one of these. Most of them are molded cookies -- that is, you roll them into balls or otherwise shape them by hand -- and one uses a cookie press.


HUGS & KISSES COOKIES

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 Tblsp. milk
2 1/4 cups flour
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup chocolate chips
9-ounce bag chocolate kisses or hugs, unwrapped

Heat oven to 350º. Beat together butter, sugars, and vanilla until blended. Add eggs and milk; beat well.

Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, blending well. Stir in chocolate chips.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place on parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake 11 minutes.

Cool 1 minute; press a chocolate kiss or hug into the center of each cookie. Cool another minute before removing cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Yield: About 4 dozen cookies.

These were a big favorite when our kids were away at school. Each week I would send a tin of cookies back with them, to get them and their friends through the week.

These Almond-Raspberry Kisses are so pretty and just perfect for Valentine's Day.

In fact, about any cookie recipe topped with a chocolate hug or kiss would be appropriate.

And here is a recipe I tried recently.
(Photo from Tasty Kitchen)
Very pretty and very appropriate for Valentine's Day! They happen to be delicious, too:
Strawberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

I had forgotten about this one until I came upon the recipe card while searching for something else. I copied this recipe from a newspaper ages ago. It's an easy way to make a more or less heart-shaped cookie. I used to make these for Valentine treats years ago. These cookies have the added nutritional advantage of oats. Note that the dough must chill several hours or overnight.

SWEETHEART COOKIES

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 Tblsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup quick or old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Pink Frosting:
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 Tblsp. softened butter
4 tsp. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 to 3 drops red food color
Valentine sprinkles if desired

For cookies, beat together the butter and cream cheese until creamy. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat again. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and add to the creamed mixture. Stir in the oats and nuts (if using). Mix well. Chill the dough several hours or overnight.

Form chilled dough into 1-inch balls. To shape into hearts, press each ball to flatten slightly. Pinch at the bottom end to form a point. With index finger press dough from top edge of cookie toward point, to make indentation at top of heart. Place cookies on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350º for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove cookies to wire rack to cool.

For frosting, beat all ingredients until smooth. Frost cooled cookies. If desired, sprinkle frosted cookies with Valentine sprinkles. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.


Here's one more of my favorites. If you have a cookie press, you can make heart-shaped cookies without rolling and cutting. I make this recipe: Fruity Pastel Cookies using raspberry gelatin powder.

Makes a lot of very easy, bright pink heart-shaped cookies.

Have fun with these Valentine cookie ideas!

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