The Vanilla Bean Sandwich cookies are from a recipe on the food blog Smitten Kitchen. I love this recipe because it is versatile and freezes well. I've even substituted a gluten free flour and the texture of the cookie remained wonderful snap crunchy. Instead of flattening balls of dough, which does give lovely edges, I rolled and cut out hearts for the holiday. Some were filled with a vanilla bean butter cream and the other half with a dark chocolate ganache - like a Fudgeo, but better!
These above are a smaller bite-sized cookie. I do have a slightly bigger cutter that is almost a 'folk art' style heart and that is the one I really like to use. They turn out a perfect sized cookie. Glass of milk anyone?
For the folks at work I made some chocolate cupcakes with vanilla icing. I dug a small divot into each cupcake and filled it with the remaining ganache. It was either that or squeeze it into my mouth and I had already exceeded my sugar intake for the month eating the remaining sandwich cookies. I am still trying to find the perfect chocolate cupcake recipe. This one is close, but I think I could still get them a little more chocolately.
I am also struggling to get those perfect domed tops. I tried playing with the oven temperature to see if that worked. They did dome up better, but were lopsided! I know it's not an uneven heating because the direction was different on various cupcakes.....it's a mystery. I hope that my cupcake class at the Cordon Bleu school this weekend with give me a chance to get some answers.
The white chocolate heart toppers were super easy to make with Merkins wafers and a disposable piping bag. I just piped loads of them in different shapes and picked the ones I liked best. If you pipe them so that the bottom of the heart is a little elongated, it makes a perfect stick to anchor the heart in the icing.
Happy Belated Valentine's Day!!!