Valentine's Day Cookies

Photo by Mother Earth Living.

In just a week, it will be the sweetest day of the year, Valentine's Day. And whether you are celebrating with a sweetheart, with some friends or celebrating with your kiddos, it's always fun to splurge on some sweet treats. These cookies take a little time, but they are so cute and worth the effort!

This one is two parts, cookie and mousse. First up, white chocolate-mint mousse. Here's what you need:

1/2 cup loosely packed mint leaves, stems removed, coarsely chopped
 
1 cup heavy cream, divided
 
6 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped


To make mousse, first take the mint and 1/2 cup cream in saucepan and bring to scalding over medium heat. Turn off heat and then steep about 30 minutes.

Strain cream mixture into another clean saucepan, pressing excess liquid from mint. Add chopped white chocolate to cream and place over low heat.

Stir constantly just until chocolate is melted and mixture is very smooth. Transfer to medium bowl.

Cover surface flush with plastic wrap and allow to cool to room temperature, about 40 minutes. Using an electric mixer with whip attachment, whip remaining cream to stiff peaks. Fold into chocolate mixture.

Chill mousse 3 to 4 hours or until thick and creamy. (And try not to eat it all before you make the cookies!)

Now for the cookies. Here's what you will need:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure mint extract

1/2 cup unsweetened, cocoa powder

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

About 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, for dusting work surface

2 to 4 tablespoons granulated sugar, for sprinkling on cookie tops

About 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted

 

To make cookies, mix butter and 1/2 cup sugar with mixer. Cream until well-blended for about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Scrape down sides of bowl. Continue to beat at high speed until light and fluffy, another 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in mint extract.

Stir together cocoa powder and flour and combine with butter mixture, stirring just until evenly blended.

Divide dough, shape into two disks and wrap each tightly in plastic wrap.

Chill at least 4 hours or until dough is firm to touch.

Meanwhile, with rack in center of oven, preheat to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside. On lightly floured work surface, roll out one disk of dough to about 1/8-inch thickness.

Cut with 1 1/2-inch fluted round cookie cutter and transfer rounds to cookie sheet. Using 1/2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut a window in half of the cookies. These will become sandwich tops. Sprinkle evenly with granulated sugar.

Bake 12 to 14 minutes, or until cookies are firm and lightly browned on bottoms. Remove to racks to cool. Repeat with second half of dough. Allow cookies to cool completely. Using a small knife, spread thin layer of melted chocolate on bottoms of windowless cookies and place cookie chocolate side up. Let chocolate set.

Now it's time to combine the delicious fruits of your labor! To assemble sandwiches, fit pastry bag with #10 round tip and fill halfway with mousse. Pipe small amount of mousse on top of set chocolate. Place cookie with window, right side-up, on top of mousse. Press gently to squeeze mousse to edges.

Store unfilled cookies in airtight containers up to a week at room temperature. Filled cookies should be refrigerated, and are best served within 24 hours.

Enjoy!

 

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