These are my Valentine Day alternatives. For those who want to celebrate or commiserate this impending commercialised affair. If you want to bake for yourself or for all your single friends or even for those who are completely in love but just can’t stand the standard pink and red vibes. These ‘Black Heart’ Sugar Cookies are for you and they are BLOOMING tasty.
Ingredients for ‘Black Heart’ Sugar Cookies
110g unsalted butter
65g icing sugar (+ extra for dipping and dusting)
1 medium egg
2tsp vanilla extract
200g plain flour
1 tbsp cocoa
black food colouring
makes about 30 small hearts (+ a few extra tiny ones on the side!)
2 Heart shaped cookie cutters (I used one 2 1/2″ and one 1 1/2″)
2 baking sheets lined/greased
extra parchment paper for rolling
make sure you have a shelf free in your fridge for chilling
1) In a large bowl whisk together the butter and sugar until a little paler in colour. Once done, whisk in your egg and vanilla extract. TIP: Throughout this step, try not to over mix/mix too much. Whisking well will make the biscuits light and fluffy BUT it is likely to make them spread during cooking, which we don’t want! So, whisk until everything is just combined and then move on.
2) Next pour in the flour. To start off I used a wooden spoon to bring everything together and then finished off using my hands until it forms into a ball. Chop this ball, roughly, in half. Cover one half with cling film and pop it in the fridge.
3) Pop the remaining half back in the bowl and chuck in the cocoa and a few drops of the black food colouring (I used round 5/6 drops – but gauge by eye, and go slowly). The food colouring makes the dough wetter, hence adding the cocoa, it’ll counteract the moisture while still keeping the dough dark. I mixed with my hands until I got the black colour I wanted. If it feels very wet in comparison to the other dough, add a bit more cocoa. Once done, wrap in cling film and pop in the fridge. Leave in there for at least an hour.
4) Once chilled, take the balls out of the fridge. Place one ball on one large-ish piece of parchment paper, sprinkle with icing sugar and, using the rolling pin, roll the dough into one large flat sheet, at about 1-2cm thickness. (No worries if it’s little thicker, you just get a thicker cookie) Then take one of your biscuits cutters, dip it into some icing sugar and cut out your heart shapes – think which colour you would like to be the large heart and which colour the smaller heart. Continue re-dipping in icing sugar as you go, and place them onto the baking sheets. These can be placed quite close together, as they don’t spread much in the oven. (Make sure you use all the dough, re rolling any extra dough together and repeating)
5) Repeat with the other ball and place these smaller shapes on top the bigger ones.
6) When all the dough has been used and you have some very full biscuit trays, place them back in the fridge for, again, at least a hour, a little longer if you have time. This seems arduous, but it’s worth it. It means they keep their shape.
7) Preheat the oven to 180oC and then place your trays around the middle of the oven for about 10-13 mins. The thickness of the cookies will determine the time in the oven, so keep a close eye on them. As soon as the lighter ones begin to brown around the edges, take them out and leave them to cool on a wire rack.
and there you have it… ‘Black Heart’ Sugar Cookies.