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February 1, 2021

Valentine’s Day Share-A-Heart by Dorie Greenspan

dorie greenspan

When we need a recipe for an extra-special sweet, we always turn to the delightful Dorie Greenspan, who is happy to share her treats with E List readers. A giant, shareable cookie sounds to me like the perfect thing to whip up this Valentine’s Day.

Excerpted from DORIE’S COOKIES © 2016 by Dorie Greenspan Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Rux Martin Books. All rights reserved. 

photos by Davide Luciano

I love the idea of a big cookie, a really big cookie, one that can be put in the center of the table, within easy reach of everyone, and picked at and broken and cracked and nibbled while the conversation keeps going. And I love this giant cookie because of its deep chocolate flavor and its fabulous texture: part flaky shortbread and part crisp snap. I originally created it for Valentine’s Day, cutting the dough into two large hearts and using the scraps to make smaller cookies, and it’s great for this celebration not just because it’s sharable, but because it’s so easy to decorate with anything from a dusting of sugar to XOXOs made from candy or a fancy filigree picked out in royal icing (page 000). It’s the proverbial blank canvas. I’ve decorated many of these, but my two favorites were two of the simplest designs: For one, I covered the entire cookie with cocoa icing and then piped XOXOXO across the middle in white icing; for the other, I went very old-school and put the fanciest cake stencil I could find (you could use a doily) over the cookie, covered it with confectioners’ sugar and then lifted off the stencil (refraining from calling out “Voilà!”).

Of course, any cookie that’s this delicious, this easy to work with and so reliable, shouldn’t be a once-a-year treat. Turn to this recipe whenever you want to make decorated cut-out cookies—I do.

Makes 2 large hearts plus a variable number of smaller cookies

FOR THE COOKIES

1 1⁄2 cups (204 grams) all-purpose flour

1 1⁄4 cups (150 grams) confectioners’ sugar

1⁄4 cup (21 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 stick plus1 tablespoon (9 tablespoons; 4 1⁄2 ounces; 128 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into18 pieces

1 cold large egg yolk

1 tablespoon ice water

Sanding sugar, for sprinkling (optional)

FOR THE ICING (OPTIONAL)

1 cup (120 grams) confectioners’ sugar

1 to 2 tablespoons water

Unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)

Sanding sugar, sprinkles or small candies, for decorating (optional)

To make the cookies: Put the flour, sugar, cocoa and salt in a food processor and pulse to blend. Scatter over the chunks of butter and pulse until they are cut in and the mixture looks grainy. Lightly beat the yolk and water together in a small bowl and add a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. Then process in 10-second pulses until the dough forms clumps and curds. Pinch the dough, and it should hold together—if it doesn’t, pulse a few more times.

Turn the dough out onto the counter, divide it in half and shape each piece into a disk.

Working with one piece of dough at a time, put it between sheets of parchment paper and roll into a circle, turning the packet over frequently and lifting the paper often so that it doesn’t roll into the dough and create creases. Try to get a circle that’s about 9 inches in diameter and about 1/8 inch thick, but a little thicker is fine. Slide the rounds, still between the paper, onto a baking sheet—you can stack them—and freeze for at least 1 hour or refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

When you’re ready to bake, position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat it to 350 degrees F.

Again working with one sheet of dough at a time, peel away the top and bottom pieces of paper and then replace them (if you don’t loosen them, the dough may buckle during baking). Using a pencil, draw a large heart on the top paper and use a sharp knife to cut out the heart. Lift off the top paper, remove the excess dough (save the scraps) and slide the heart, still on the bottom piece of paper, onto a baking sheet. If you don’t plan to decorate the cookies, you can sprinkle them with sanding sugar, if you’d like.

Bake the hearts for 19 to 22 minutes, rotating the baking sheets top to bottom and front to back after 10 minutes, until they’re dull, a little crinkled, set around the edges and almost firm at their centers. Transfer the baking sheets to racks and let the cookies rest for 5 minutes, then carefully slide them, paper and all, onto the racks to cool completely.

While the big hearts are baking, gather the scraps together, reroll them, chill and then use small heart-shaped cutters to cut out additional cookies; bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until done, as above.)

To make the optional icing: Mix the confectioners’ sugar with 1 tablespoon water. If it’s too thick to run off the tip of a spoon and form a ribbon, add more water drop by drop. If you want chocolate icing, scrape some of the white icing into a small bowl and stir in as much cocoa as you need to get the color you like. Use an offset icing spatula or a table knife to cover the cookies with icing and then decorate any way you want. If you’re using sanding sugar, sprinkles or small candies, sprinkle them over the icing while it’s still wet. Allow the icing to set at room temperature.

Storing:

The dough can be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 2 months; you can work on it directly from the freezer. Without icing, the cookies can be kept in a covered container at room temperature for about 4 days; with icing, they’re best served the day they’re made. If they haven’t been decorated, the cookies can be packed airtight and frozen for up to 2 months.

doriegreenspan.com

 


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