February 13, 2010
My mom and I made these this morning. She has been making these for Valentines Day for as long as I can remember. The cookies are sweet, but not too sweet, because of the chopped almonds. The pink frosting with almond extract is delicious. And the fresh taste of raspberry jam in the center completes them. This actually might be my favorite cookie. There is something about making a cookie once a year that makes it extra special. I like to make these and pass them out to friends on Valentines day.
When I made it over to my mom’s house this morning, she had all the ingredients measured out, cooking show style.
The cookie dough is a simple mixture of the usuals. Butter, flour, nuts, sugar, etc. I like to make assorted sizes (we got carried away and only made one size this year..), but nothing too big as the cookies are double layered. Too big and there is just too much cookie.
We first chopped the nuts, rather coarsely in the food processor. Then we creamed butter and sugar, added vanilla and sour cream (egg replacement), and finally the flour. The dough is rather dry and crumbly, but you don’t want it too moist, or it will turn a little cake like and the cookies won’t be as crisp.
My mom rolled all the cookies out.
She was really good at jiggling the dough with the spatula to separate the cookies from the surrounding dough.
Once the cookies were cooled, it was time to spread them with jam, and make little cookie sandwiches. I saved a jar of homemade raspberry jam that I made this fall for the center layer. I put on just enough to make the cookies stick, making sure that nothing dripped down the sides of the cookies.
It is important to jam the undersides of the cookies together. They stick better that way, and then the outside of the cookies look better too!
The icing is made with powdered sugar (we used the natural stuff, even though it is a little more “home-made” looking), almond extract and vanilla. To give it color, we chopped up some beet stems and boiled them for a few minutes in water. Then we added the colored water to the icing, adding a little extra powdered sugar to stiffen it up.
The icing is carefully applied to the top of the cookie with the back of a spoon (another trick I learned from my mom…).
The whole jam and frosting part took for ever!
And always, last step is to wrap the cookies up in parchment paper packages. This particular grouping is ready to go to the post office!