There’s nothing that represents true love on Valentine’s Day better than two heart-shaped cookies joined in sticky matrimony with a sugary concoction between them. Even us singles can still look forward to this: stacks of heart-shaped, icinged, chocolate-dipped, powdered sugar-dusted, and daintily decorated cooookies.
All week I’ve been seeing some fascinating cookie-making take place. The photo above comes to us from my photographer friend Jeannie, who snapped shots of the San Francisco bakery Batter. In the blogosphere, Deb has given the heart-shaped sandwich cookie a smack of toasted coconut. At the Chili Takedown I was smitten to receive a sneak sampler of Blondie & Brownie‘s soon to be posted heart-shaped peanut butter jamwiches. Erin Cooks outdid her more classic heart cookies of last year with some heart-shaped peppermint patties. And I’m sure there’s tons more cookies being cut, baked and blogged about as we speak. It appears that everyone stole my idea, folks. I had the crushingly original notion of making heart-shaped cookies this week. But as I waited around for someone to lend me a cookie cutter and dreamt of how they would taste, many have beaten me to the chase, and with such flying colors.
Aw, sugar. But I’m not giving up. In fact, to make the perfect cookie for my Valentine this year (you, dear readers, are officially my Valentine this year), I’m tossing out a handful of ideas for you to choose from. I’ll make them and post the recipe on Saturday, the big day, depending on what you decide, so please choose wisely.
Before I go on with the nominee confections, I wanted to bring up another conundrum of this day we name after Saint Valentine. It’s the real meal. What, exactly, is the perfect romantic meal, or “date meal”? One of the chapters in my upcoming book will concern the little-known phenomenon of the date meal. Little-known not in that it isn’t a term we see tossed around quite a bit, but because its characteristics and limitations are so rarely defined. What makes a meal steamy? Just in terms of food, that is, and that doesn’t include chocolate body paint or some other edible salve. (Did I just say that? Wait, I’ve never heard of that stuff. What? No… )
So I’d love to hear your thoughts on that, too. I’m guessing it wouldn’t be chili. Seafood doesn’t smell right for this category either. To cook at home, I rather think a juicy pan-seared steak is just the type of luxurious but easy to prepare dish that lends itself to optimum leisure time — and risotto seems sexier than mashed potatoes to go with that. But what do I know, I’m just guessing in the dark.
And back to dessert. Here are those heart-shaped cookie ideas, in no particular order. Place your vote, Valentine, and they will soon “be mine.”
1. Vanilla heart cookie sandwiches with lime frosting
2. Butterscotch-drizzled sour cream heart cookies
3. Deep, dark chocolate and chili-spiced heart cookies
4. Toasted sesame seed-topped fresh gingersnap heart cookies
5. Green tea heart cookie sandwiches with red bean paste filling
6. Red velvet cookie sandwiches with cream cheese frosting