Red Velvet Shortbread Hearts

Red Velvet Shortbread Hearts

I live in a male dominated household. There’s nothing frilly, pink or cutsie laying around here. It’s all Power Rangers, Avengers and basketball. Even I wear warm-up pants, a t-shirt and sneakers everyday. So when my rough and tumble sons asked me to make them cookies for Valentine’s Day I was confused. Of course they waited until two days before February 14 to ask for these cookies.

Everything is red velvet this time of year so I jumped on the band wagon and came up with a quick red velvet shortbread recipe adapted from Ina Garten’s foolproof shortbread cookie recipe.  I added a white chocolate drizzle for a little contrast to the bright red hearts.

My boys’ faces lit up when they saw the cookies I made especially for them. However, when I approached them for my well deserved hugs and kisses for baking homemade Valentine cookies at the last minute, they looked at me like I had a man hanging from my nose. So I took back my cookies and said, “Daddy will enjoy these.”

My loving children tackled me with their hugs and kisses in exchange for their cookies. I saved a few for my husband who graciously offered up a hug and kiss as well as an unexpected goose for my thoughtful effort.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Red Velvet Shortbread Hearts, adapted from Ina Garten
Makes about 15 cookies

1 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
4 teaspoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vegetable

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking pans with parchment paper.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder and salt into a medium bowl.

Beat the butter and 3/4 cup sugar in an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Mix in the food coloring, vanilla and egg yolk. Reduce the speed to low until the dough comes together. Dump the dough onto a floured surface.

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Shape the dough into flat a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

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Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick and cut with a 3-inch heart-shaped cutter.

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Place the hearts on the prepared baking pan and sprinkle with sugar. Freeze the cookies for at least 30 minutes up to overnight.

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Sprinkle the cookies with sugar.

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Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the edges begin to brown, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time. Cool the cookies in the pans on wire racks for 15 minutes. Transfer the cookies directly to the wire racks and cool completely.

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Microwave the chocolate chips with the vegetable shortening in a microwave-safe bowl on high for 1 minute. Stir the chocolate to melt. Heat at 15 second intervals, stirring until melted. Drizzle white chocolate on cooled cookies. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to set the chocolate.

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