Valentine Sandwich Cookies
All week I’ve been trying to conjure up some ideas for valentine treats. Last month I made Chocolate Raspberry Balsamic Truffles a decadent dessert for your Valentine or anytime. I’ve made Raspberry Napoleans, Heart Shaped Pancakes, Fondue, Chocolate Raspberry Wonton Hearts, basically everything from breakfast to dessert. You can view all my Valentine’s Day dishes here. Plus don’t forget my Chocolate Cups – fill with anything your heart desires from mousse to ice cream to candy.
I decided to try some basic cookie recipes and jazz them up a bit. After all, homemade gifts from the heart always mean so much. In fact, these recipes even your children can make.
My family adores chocolate chip cookies, so why not shape them into hearts and sandwich them with your favorite buttercream frosting, and if you like, tint it pink or red for valentines day. If you prefer, leave it white and roll in red sugar crystals to add even more pizzazz. I chose to color mine pink. These were scrumptious!
I also love Whoopie Pies and a favorite are my Pumpkin Whoopie Pies. They’re so moist and delicious you don’t need to sandwich them with anything. I decided to make a Chocolate Whoopie Pie cookie, a recipe I found online at King Arthur Flour. After searching for many recipes this one sounded perfect! However, much to my disappointment it was dry, bland and barely sweet. So if you like that type of cookie you’ll like this recipe. I feel like if I had added melted chocolate instead of cocoa powder and an additional egg it would have been great. That said, now I’ll need to go back and see if that works better.
The icing I chose to stuff my Chocolate Whoopie pie with was yummy. I made a simple Cream Cheese Frosting that I’ve made many times before but added fresh strawberries to the batter that I macerated first with a teaspoon of sugar, pureed, then strained before adding to my cream cheese mixture. That was delicious.
Since I love Chocolate Covered Strawberries I figured this would be perfect. It would have been, had the cookies not been so dry and bland. I went over the recipe several times to see if I left something out but I did not, and I always slightly under cook my batter since I prefer very moist and soft cookies – so that wasn’t the problem. Although they were very pretty, the cookie needs some doctoring – maybe even the addition of some yogurt to the batter. More testing is needed.
Below I’ve shared my Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting and Buttercream Frosting for you to sandwich in between your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe or any cookie. Bake your cookies as always and as soon as they come out of the oven shape with your valentine cookie cutter. You could also bake them in a sheet pan and cut them once out of the oven. However, I believe you’ll yield more cookies if you drop them individually on a sheet tray.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting & Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:
- 1 lb. confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter softened (soften on countertop rather than microwave for best results)
- 3/4 cups solid vegetable shortening (such as Crisco)
- 1 Tablespoon clear vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoons lemon or almond extract
- 1/8 cup milk (any milk is fine)
- pinch of salt to cut the sweetness (dissolve your salt in the liquid before adding, if preferred)
- red gel paste
Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 10 large strawberries, quartered
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Vanilla Buttercream Frosting: Cream butter, shortening and extracts until creamy and smooth.
- Add confectioners’ sugar and milk. Mix thoroughly on medium speed for approximately 8 min. until creamy and smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally during the mixing process.
- Add red gel paste and blend until it reaches the desired color.
Note:If you are serving this on a hot summer’s day, you may want to omit the amount of butter listed, and replace with all shortening. Using all shortening will allow the icing to hold up all day without melting.
- Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting: Combine strawberries with sugar and allow to macerate for 2 hours. Puree in food processor, then strain, reserving liquid and discarding the seeds. Set aside.
- Sift confectioner' sugar into a medium bowl; set aside.
- In a bowl mix butter until smooth.
- Add cream cheese and beat until well combined.
- Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla, beat until smooth.
- Fold in strawberry puree, tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired color and flavor. If icing gets runny add additional confectioners' sugar. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before applying to cookies or cake. (I added this frosting to an icing bag fitted with a Wilton 2D star tip).
My schedule has been crazy and I’d hoped to get this out early today with another post on Wednesday. With any luck I’ll get one last recipe in for Valentine’s Day. If not, I hope you check my past Valentine’s Day recipes – you’re sure to find something you will like.