Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Bake the perfect Valentine's gift for someone special this February. By Bethan Davies
You will need
For the cookie dough
90g unsalted butter (room temperature)
100g icing (confectioners) sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
275g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
For the vanilla buttercream
75g unsalted butter (room temperature)
175g icing sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
For the jammy layer
100g strawberry jam
1 tbsp water
1. Pre-heat oven to 180ºC (350ºF) Gas 4.
2. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl or mixer.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the egg and vanilla. Gradually add this mixture to the butter and sugar until the egg is thoroughly and evenly incorporated.
4. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt and add a little at a time to the mixture until it forms a dough. The dough should be firm but not too dry. A good test is to take a piece and roll it into a ball – it should be firm enough not to stick to your fingers but not so dry that it crumbles into pieces.
5. Roll the dough out to around 5mm thick. Rolling the dough between two pieces of greaseproof paper will prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin rather than adding more flour, which can make the cookies too dry and crumbly.
6. Using a 6cm round or 5cm square cookie cutter, cut out approximately 30–40 cookies and place on a non-stick baking sheet.
7. Next, using your smaller heart shaped cookie cutter, cut the middle out of half of your cookies. To prevent breakage I find it easiest to do this once they are already on the baking sheet you will be using to cook them.
8. Bake in the oven for 8–10 minutes or until they begin to turn a light golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before moving to a wire rack to cool.
9. Meanwhile, mix up a buttercream by creaming together 175g of icing sugar with 75g of butter and ½ tsp of vanilla extract.
10. Combine the jam and water in a small saucepan and heat over a moderate heat until the jam melts into a smooth mixture. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve into a bowl and discard the lumps and seeds.
11. When your cookies are cooled, take the base layer cookies and use a small palette knife to spread a little of the vanilla buttercream followed by a thin layer of the jam into the centre of the biscuit.
12. Place the top layer cookies onto the buttercream/jam covered base and gently press into place. Set aside for 20–30 minutes to set. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.