Valentines fresh from the oven have a cozy way of warming the heart, not to mention the kitchen, in mid winter.

Here is a peek at the results and some favorite “process” snaps.  This year’s batch includes my favorite jelly hearts, cranberry scones, and gooey brownies to be passed around to some of my
favorite Valentines.

An all time favorite, this butter cookie recipe based on one I got years ago
from a dear friend (thanks, Ruth!) gets broken out every year at Valentines for these oversize linzer tart style cookies, not to mention doing double duty for Christmas shapes and jelly sandwich cookies whenever needed.  Here it is:

  • Whisk together:
    2 3/4 cups flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    In a small bowl, combine with a fork:
    1 egg
    3 tablespoons milk
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    In a large bowl, combine together
    with a pastry cutter:
    16 tablespoons (2 sticks) cold butter
    1 cup sugar
    pinch salt

Have some jelly on hand for filling if desired.

Beat egg mixture into butter mixture, than mix into dry ingredients in the large bowl. Knead lightly to make a smooth dough, and refrigerate if dough is too soft to roll.  Roll out half at a time, cut shapes and re-roll scraps.  Bake shapes on lightly greased sheets in preheated 350˚ oven about 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned at the edge. Cool on sheets about 10 minutes or so, then cool on racks. For these filled hearts, I used raspberry jelly.  Other jellies work great also.  Delicately press the front of the cookies (which will be the top layer) face down in powdered sugar after they have cooled (or sugar will melt), before assembling the tarts.  Spread the jelly on the cookie that will be the back layer and place the sugared top layer on carefully.  I refrigerate these until distributing them.

In a long cold winter, today will be a treat in more ways than one with 50˚ temperatures being forecasted… so best wishes for a warm and wonderful Valentine’s Day spent with your nearest and dearest.  I’ve posted a few stories about our Valentine’s traditions as well as some observations on the very timely appearance of one of my favorite colors as a nod to warm hearts near and far, and in celebration of cupid’s annual appearance… Enjoy!

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