Love is in the air this Valentine’s with this recipe for heart biscuits from Pixie Hall Cakes…
Ah February, this month is full of love and cuddling up on the cold, dark evenings and hoping that spring will soon arrive. There are snowdrops peeking through the frosty grass in the church yard and spring bulbs are just showing their bright green stems in the garden. It’s nearly here! Not too much longer!
First we’ll get to Valentine’s Day. I know it can be commercialised and cheesy. The shops at this time of year are full of red and pink, in anticipation for the big day. I must admit, we’re not really into Valentine’s Day in our house. I am, however, into twee baking with lots of cutesy hearts. I can’t help it! I’m a total sucker for novelty.
So, with this in mind I’ve made these heart biscuits for you this month. They take a little time to put together but they are incredibly cute. You need a really good heart cutter with crisp corners and rounded edges (mine wasn’t quite perfect so the hearts came out a little pointy at the top). You also need a little time set aside to chill the dough so that you can work with it easily. I got the idea for this recipe from Laurens Latest but changed up the recipe and method a little bit.
115g softened butter
½ tsp vanilla
200g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
Red food colouring
In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. You can do this by hand or with a mixer.
Add the egg and vanilla and mix again until thoroughly combined.
Stir in the flour and baking powder until a dough forms.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead gently until smooth.
Take one third of the dough and colour it red. You might need to use gloves for this or alternatively, pop the dough and the colouring into a sealable freezer bag and knead until thoroughly mixed.
Wrap both of the doughs in cling film and place in the fridge for around 30 minutes.
Take out the red dough and roll out thickly. Take your heart cutter and cut the dough and form the hearts into 2 stacks.
Take the plain dough and tear a couple of pieces off, roll them into sausages the same length as the heart stacks and pinch along one side to form a triangular shape. Stick these pieces in the cleft of the hearts (between the two rounded lumps at the top).
Roll out the rest of the vanilla dough and, starting at the point of the hearts, cover the outside with the dough and trim at the end. Squeeze the join together, gently round out the shape a little and pop them back in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180C and line a couple of baking sheets with baking parchment. Using a sharp knife, slice the cookie logs into disks around 1/2cm thick. Place them on the baking sheet leaving a little room for the dough to spread.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until pale golden at the edges.
Allow to cool on the tray for a few minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Linds Bestwicke runs Pixie Hall Cakes in Fakenham and can be found selling her delicious baking at Fakenham Farmers’ Market on the 4th Saturday of each month.
Photographs by Keith Osborn Photography