I know what I am having for dessert tonight…
What does red velvet taste like to you? For me its like “chocolate light”… and the color, for me, increases the deliciousness because I absolutely love red.
Hearts have become a signature of my work which is especially meaningful to me… “do what you love, love what you do.” Of course you can use any heart cutter for this recipe but our new bubble heart cookie cutter is a re-design of a vintage cutter I have been using for years. This heart has become an all year ’round cookie for me. Its an easy shape that is perfectly sized (not too big, not too small). Is there anything sweeter than presenting your bestie, valentine, husband, wife, host or hostess with a plate of hearts?
Here’s the recipe for our
Red Velvet Bubble Heart Cut-Out Cookies…
2 Sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
2 Cups granulated sugar
1/4 Cup Unsweetened cocoa powder
2 to 3 tsp vanilla*
1 tsp almond or orange extract*
1 tsp red gel paste food coloring- I used Americolor Holiday Red
1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 C all purpose flour + 1 tbsp
Pre-heat oven to 350. Cream butter, sugar, salt. Add eggs, vanilla, extracts if using (see notes below), food coloring… Mix until combined. Add flour and cocoa and beat until combined. Dough should be sticky but balling up on your paddle as its turning. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Roll shapes to 1/4 inch thickness and chill again before baking for 10-12 minutes.
Dough color will deepen a bit as you roll and re use but the color seems to bake the same.
* My favorite version was with the vanilla extract only, so I used 3 teaspoons of vanilla. If you’d like to try to mix in the other extract flavors use 2 tspns vanilla then 1 of almond or orange. Keep in mind that these are a stronger extracts so 1 tspn is really the maximum needed… even 1/2 would be fine.
The white and pink cookies are iced with our usual royal icing. To keep the pink in the same color family as the cookie, I mixed a lighter version of Holiday Red instead of using pink gel (which sometimes can take on a cooler tone). The chocolate cookies are iced with Chocolate Ganache and are so yum!
Easy Chocolate Ganache
1 Cup Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/2 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
In a small saucepan heat chocolate chips and cream over medium heat stirring constantly. Lower heat if melting too quickly. Ganache is ready when color turns to same color as chips. Pour into bowl and let cools a bit. For easy icing, pour warm ganache into Sweet Dani B thick tip icing bottle and outline and fill as you normally would. Use spatula to spread, give the cookie a shake to even, and sprinkle with non-pareils or tiny heart sprinkles (these are my new fave! how do they do it?).
You can substitute dark chocolate chips… color will be a bit darker, and ganache will be less sweet.
You can use a double boiler to melt chocolate if you prefer but I always tend to make a mess that way.
Store Ganache in an airtight container in the fridge for a week. Re-melt and use as hot fudge sauce or whip with your hand mixer into the most glorious frosting!
One other option is to bake smaller Red Velvet Hearts and fill with Ganache (YUM) OR Cream Cheese Frosting (which is most traditional to Red Velvet). We love Martha Stewart’s recipe for Cream Cheese frosting… get it here.
With Valentine’s Day just a week away, this is the perfect week to give red velvet cut-out cookies a try! Happy heart baking and icing! Xo Dani