Chocolate Drizzled Coconut Sandwich Hearts

Feb 10th

This is what I’ve learned about birthdays. You have to make as big of a deal of your birthday as YOU want made, or else you will wind up somewhat disappointed. My husband came home from work after his birthday once and I said, “did everyone wish you happy birthday?”. He said no, a little forlornly. “Did you tell anyone it was your birthday?” I asked. No. Hmm.

I think Valentine’s Day is the same way. Instead of worrying about what your husband/wife/gf/bf/friend is going to do for you, do for THEM! Send out a few cards, make some cookies and give them to anyone you see that day. Eat a bowl of chocolate ice cream for breakfast as your Valentine’s Day present to YOURSELF.

These cookies look cute (if I do say so myself), but more than that, they’re tasty. The cookie is my basic, favorite, easy-to-work-with sugar cookie dough, but with red food coloring. The filling is full of coconut and is cream cheese based – tastes like frosting. I drizzled them with chocolate because I drizzle things with chocolate. You will need an electric mixer (hand mixer will work just fine), a heart cookie cutter, and red food coloring. If you can find gel coloring it’s your better bet as it’s more potent and the liquid won’t change the density of your batter or dough. Liquid will work if that’s all you have, but maybe measure your vanilla a little scant so that the amount of total liquid is the same. Happy Valentine’s Day, and remember… don’t depend on others to make it special (does this make me sound like Debbie Downer?).

Chocolate drizzled Coconut Sandwich Hearts

Makes about 32 cookies

Cookies

2 1/2 c. flour

3/4 c. sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

16 tbsp. unsalted butter (two sticks), softened but still cool, cut into tablespoons

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tbsp. cream cheese, room temperature

red food coloring gel (or liquid)

Filling

8 tbsp. cream cheese, room temperature

1 1/2 c. sweetened shredded (or flaked) coconut

2/3 c. powdered sugar

pinch salt

1 tsp. vanilla

Chocolate Drizzle

1/2 c. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips

1 tsp. canola oil

 

1. In the bowl of a standing mixer (or a large mixing bowl), blend flour, sugar and salt.

2. Add in butter with mixer on, one tablespoon at a time, until mixture looks crumbly and sort of wet, about 1 minute.

3. Add vanilla, cream cheese and food coloring (start with a small amount) and mix on low about 30 seconds, or until dough comes together in large clumps. Add more food coloring to achieve the color you like.

4. Turn mixer off and knead slightly in the bowl until dough comes together into one cohesive mass. Not knead as in kneading a yeast dough, just kind of mash the mixture with your hands and form it into a ball. 

5. Divide dough into two disks and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate about 30 minutes (or up to 3 days).

6. When dough is chilled, preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly flour a counter top.

7. Roll out dough, one disk at a time, to about 1/8 in. thickness. Remember to roll from the center-out, lifting the rolling pin slightly when you get to the edge. You want the edges of your dough to be a cliff, not a sloped hill. This way you avoid uneven cookies.

8. Cut cookies with a floured cookie cutter heart, working as close to the edges and to other cut hearts as possible. You only want to re-roll your dough one time. If you overwork cookie dough, the gluten in the flour will develop and you will have tough cookies. 

9. Remove hearts (using a floured flat spatula) to a parchment lined baking sheet, spacing cookies 2 inches apart.

10. Re-roll scraps 1 time, making as many more cookies as you can. Throw out (or eat) scraps. I don’t condone eating dough, but your odds of contracting salmonella are 1 in 10,000. I abhor gambling, but that’s a bet I’m willing to take. 

11. Bake cookies for 10 minutes. Cool for several minutes on pan and then cool completely on wire racks.

12. To make filling, beat cream cheese, coconut and salt until smooth using an electric mixer. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth.

13. Match the hearts that are of similar shape together, and then spread centers with about 1 heaping tsp. of filling.

14. Melt chocolate chips and oil and a small glass bowl in microwave for 30 seconds. Stir, and continue in 15 second increments (stirring each time) until smooth. Drizzle chocolate over hearts with the tines of a fork. Let set until hardened and store in an airtight container in the fridge. Set cookies out on a plate about 1 hour before they’re served.

Tessa says Happy Heart Day!!

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