Heart-Shaped Shortbread Cookies
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I love celebrating the seasons and the holidays that go with them, and Valentine’s Day is no exception. I want to make as many days as I can special for my daughter, and so I decided this year was a good year to start a new simple but fun holiday tradition: baking heart-shaped cookies for Valentine’s Day.
I’ve always loved shortbread cookies at Christmas time, especially the ones with that are sandwiched together with jam in the middle. Know the ones I’m talking about?
Anyway, I wanted to make a heart-shaped version for Valentine’s Day this year (even though I can’t even eat them right now because I recently cut out sugar!) Still, I wanted to make them with and for my daughter Evelyn,
- because she loves baking with me and I want to nurture that
- because even though it’s a sugary treat, it’s homemade and I know what’s in it (ie. no palm oil or other garbage!), and
- because now we have a special Valentine’s Day tradition to look forward to each year <3
So I looked up a basic shortbread recipe, broke out a jar of strawberry jam and my heart-shaped cookie cutters for the first time and Mini-Me and I got to work in the kitchen:)
Related: Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie Recipe
First we made our dough and rolled it out to about ¼-inch thick.
Then we (I) cut out a whole bunch of large hearts, half of which would form the base of our cookies and half of which would form the top. I popped the bottoms on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and popped them in the freezer for a few minutes to harden them up a bit.
In the meantime, I took the other half of the hearts (the tops) and I cut little hearts out of the centre of each one.
Then I pulled the cookie bottoms out of the freezer, preheated the oven to 350ºF and we spread some homemade strawberry-vanilla jam over the bottom layer of hearts.
I carefully placed the top layer of hearts on and popped them in the oven to bake for about 12 minutes.
When they came out of the oven, I let them cool and then dusted a little bit of icing sugar over them to finish them off.
They baked up perfectly and disappeared pretty quickly between my daughter and my husband (and the half a dozen cookies I put in the freezer for later… Because yes, these freeze well too!)
I rolled out any leftover dough and used the smallest cookie cutter to cut out a bunch of mini heart cookies, but I baked them a couple minutes too long (I should have shortened the cook time because they were smaller). Shortbread in general can easily be over-baked because of the high butter content, so keep a close eye on them to make sure they don’t start to brown.
These were definitely a hit in our house, and even though I couldn’t eat any, spending time with my littlest love in the kitchen made it well worth it. (Plus, I may have snuck a couple tastes from around the edge;)
What about you? Do you have any Valentine’s Day traditions or treats you make? Let me know in the comments below:)
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Cream together butter, sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Slowly add in the flour and mix until well combined.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to about ¼-inch thick. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Cut out 24 large hearts with a heart-shaped cookie cutter and place 12 of them on the baking tray. Place baking tray in the freezer for about 10 minutes. These will be the bottom layer of the cookies.
- Using a small heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut small hearts out of the centres of the other 12 large hearts and set aside. These will be the top layer of the cookies.
- Take the large hearts out of the freezer and spread the strawberry jam over them. Carefully place the hearts with the cutouts (the top layer) on top of the jam-covered bottoms.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, checking them every so often to make sure they don't begin to brown.
- Let cool completely. Then sift some icing sugar overtop to finish them. Serve and enjoy!
Wishing you homemade, homegrown, homestead happiness 🙂
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