Love is in the Air!
Yes, it’s all about chocolate on this day.
However, you can switch it up by baking adorable
Tri-Color HEART Cookies.
Need some Valentine’s Day gift ideas?
Caitlin’s got some great gift ideas.
Check out Caitlin’s youtube video. Click on title below.
By Caitlin Cooks
Well, it’s time to bake. Meet me in the kitchen!
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Love is in the Air:
Tri-Color HEART Cookies
from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
Adapted slightly by Carmen Ortiz of Baking is my Zen
For a PHOTO RECIPE TUTORIAL of these Tri-Color Heart Cookies, go to my blog post on blogger.com.
FOR THE COOKIE LAYERS:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
7 ounces almond paste (recipe follows-or purchase it)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs
Grated zest of 1 orange (I used lemon zest instead)
Pink Rose food coloring (liquid or gel-I use Pink Rose for Valentine’s Day)
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
FOR THE FILLING:
2/3 cup apricot jam
2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur
FOR THE GLAZE:
6 ounces dark chocolate (60% cacao), coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
1 stick unsalted butter, softened, cut into cubes
MAKE THE COOKIE LAYERS
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Butter (or use oil spray-like PAM) three 8-inch square baking pans.
Line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper and butter (or oil spray) the parchment.
Dust with flour and knock out the excess flour. (I used cooking spray in place of the butter.)
Sift the flour and salt together in a small bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the almond paste, sugar, and almond extract together until small crumbs form.
Add the butter and beat on high speed until the mixture is combined.
Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated.
Add the orange zest (I used lemon zest instead) and beat until combined.
Add the flour mixture in three parts, beating on low speed after each addition until combined.
Divide the batter among three small mixing bowls.
In the FIRST BOWL, add a few drops of orange (I use Pink Rose) food coloring to the batter, and mix well.
Continue to add a few drops of food coloring and mixing until the batter is medium orange (or pink, if using Pink Rose) in color.
In the SECOND BOWL, add the cocoa powder to the batter and whisk until fully incorporated.
Leave the THIRD BOWL plain.
Pour each batter into a prepared pan and smooth the tops.
Bake the layers for 12 to 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each layer comes out clean.
Transfer the pans to a wire rack and cool for 20 minutes.
Invert the cakes onto the rack, remove the pans, and let cool completely.
Remove the parchment.
MAKE THE FILLLING
In a small saucepan over low heat, stir the jam and amaretto until warmed through and completely blended, 3 to 5 minutes.
ASSEMBLE TRI-COLOR COOKIES
Place the chocolate layer on a serving rack and evenly spread half of the apricot jam over the top.
Top with the plain layer and spread with the remaining apricot filling.
Top with the orange (or pink) layer and let the layers sit in the refrigerator for 5 minutes (or while you make the chocolate glaze).
In a large nonreactive metal bowl, combine the chocolate, corn syrup, and butter.
Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until the mixture is completely smooth.
Remove the bowl from the pan and stir for 30 seconds to cool slightly.
Spread the glaze over the top of the bar cookies, completely covering the orange (or pink) layer (some glaze may spill down the sides of the cake).
Place the tray in the refrigerator until the chocolate topping completely sets (about 1 hour).
Remove the tray from the refrigerator, wait 30 minutes for the chocolate to warm up, and cut into 20 individual squares or use a heart shaped cookie cutter to create the heart shape.
The bars can be stored in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to 4 days.
HOW TO MAKE ALMOND PASTE
1 1/2 cups finely ground almonds
1 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
Put all the ingredients in a food processor with 2 tablespoons water and process until a paste forms.
Remove from the processor, wrap tightly in plastic, and refrigerate until ready to use.
Extra almond paste, tightly wrapped, keeps well in the freezer.
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My opinion of these cookies: The apricot jam with the amaretto liqueur really makes this cookie special. It brings it over the top.
Baking is my Zen…sweet nibbles for the soul
NOTE: DO NOT use my photography WITHOUT MY PERMISSION.