Can you believe Valentine’s Day is just around the corner? Apolinaras and I don’t exchange presents or anything, but I do like the excuse to indulge in more chocolate than usual and I also enjoy going all out in the kitchen to make a really decadent meal. This year the festivities began early because I made these over the top heart cookies last week so I could share them with you before the 14th. I also received a fabulous box full of Guylian Artisanal Belgian Chocolates to sample. Mmm, their chocolate seashells have a praline truffle center enrobed by milk, dark, and white chocolate – divine! And, I have a cute Valentine’s day package of them to giveaway, so check out the details at the bottom of this post to enter to win.
But first, here are the cookies, which were inspired by the cute white and pink heart shaped sprinkles that jumped into my cart at the grocery store. I’m such a sucker for sprinkles and muffin cups with fun patterns – they get me every time! Luckily, I was at the store by myself, so I didn’t have to deal with any eye rolling from Apolinaras. Poor guy, a container of sprinkles from my stash always seems to fall out when he opens our baking cabinet. Then when he tries to put it back, another one gets pushed out since it’s literally overflowing with decorating supplies. I’ve shown him my technique to simply shove things in the back, but he likes things orderly and never takes my advice. I suppose I don’t follow his advice to stop buying sprinkles either though, haha.
Anyway, I eventually decided to make chocolate cookies in the shape of hearts. Of course I couldn’t stop there, and amped them up by putting a layer of eggless cookie dough on top, followed by ganache and the sprinkles. The cookie dough here is a classic chocolate chip without the chips. I figured if I was rolling the dough out to cut into hearts, that I wouldn’t want any hard pieces of chocolate getting in the way. As you probably know, playing with eggless cookie dough is one of my favorite past times, so if you try these, the trick to getting perfectly shaped hearts out of the dough is to grease you counter really well with butter and slightly chill the dough. SO good – I wish I still had some of these left!
To enter to win the chocolates, just leave a comment on this post letting me know what your ultimate Valentine’s Day meal would include. Entries must be in by Wednesday, February 16 at 11:59pm EST. Good luck and thanks Guylian!
The fine print: Guylian’s Chocolates sent me a variety of their goodies to sample, but I received no compensation for this post and all opinions are mine. The winner will be picked with random.org on Thursday, February 17 and announced shortly thereafter.
Valentine’s Day Heart Cookies
Chocolate Cookie Layer:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup baking cocoa powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cookie Dough Layer:
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup Valentine’s Day sprinkles
To make the chocolate cookies, place butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in a large bowl and mix until well creamed; stir in egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Stir in flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking soda, and salt until soft dough forms. Refrigerate for an hour or until well chilled. Heat oven to 350˚F. Spread a bit of extra cocoa powder out your counter and rolling pin and roll out chocolate dough to about 1/4–inch thick. Cut out heart shapes with a cookie cutter and transfer to cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining dough (I got 17 cookies with my cookie cutter). Bake at 350˚F for 10 minutes or until set. Transfer to cooling racks and let cool completely, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the eggless cookie dough. Mix butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in a large bowl until creamed; add vanilla and milk and mix until well blended. Mix in flour and salt. Shape dough into a ball and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until chilled. Place chilled dough on a well greased surface (I spread butter on my counter before rolling out the dough each time), roll out to about 1/4-inch thick, and use the same heart cookie cutter to carefully cut out the same number cookie dough hearts as chocolate cookies you have. Place cookie dough layers on top of chocolate cookie layers.
To make the ganache, place chocolate chips and cream in a small microwavable bowl; microwave on high for 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds. Continue stirring until the chips are melted and the mixture is smooth. Place dollaps of ganache on top of the cookie dough covered heart cookies and use the back of a spoon to spread ganache evenly over each cookie. Sprinkle evenly with sprinkles! Place cookies in the refrigerator for an hour or until ganache is set. Makes 17 cookies.
Nutrition: 351 calories, 18.0g fat, 1.7g fiber, 3.8g protein per cookie
Cost: $0.37 per cookie