Valentine’s Day will soon be here. And what will you give your Valentine”(s)? A gift made with love means much more than a store bought one. Here’s a quick and easy shortbread recipe cut out of the newspaper years ago and, when the little hearts are dipped in chocolate or when the lips are sprinkled with sugar, they are absolutely fabulous. Your Valentine(s) will agree!
Makes a lot of little cookies (less fattening that way)
3/4 lb. unsalted butter at room temperature (3 sticks)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
4 ounces dark or semi-sweet chocolate (or chocolate chips)
2 Tbls. Half & Half or heavy cream
1/2 tsp. canola oil
1 egg white
Red sprinkling sugar
Mix together the butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until just combined. Add the vanilla. In another bowl, sift together the flour and salt; add it to the butter and sugar. Mix until the dough starts to come together. Dump on a floured board and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Roll the dough 1/4 inch thick and cut with a small heart-shaped or lip-shaped cookie cutter. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 14-15 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Let cool to room temperature.
In the top of a double boiler (or a bowl over a kettle of simmering water, making certain the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl), melt the chocolate with Half & Half and the canola oil (for shine). Dip half of the heart in the chocolate and let dry on a wax-paper covered tray. Sprinkle with hearts if desired.
Brush the egg white on the lip cookies and sprinkle with red finishing sugar.