Valentine’s Day used to be my least favorite holiday. I used to feel, way back when, that it was another excuse for the candy, card, and entertainment industry to suck money out of you, but deep down, it was most likely that I didn’t like Valentine’s Day because I didn’t have someone special to share it with. I don’t mean family and friends, because that’s different. (My wonderful dad would give my sisters and me little treats he’d made, from chocolate shaped like teddy bears to chocolate cups with ice cream inside, and my mom would always write cute, little love notes. And for many years, my single friends and I would pick a fun restaurant in town and dress up and enjoy a nice time out. We’d then go home, rent some non-sappy movie, and eat milkshakes. So I wasn’t deprived in the love department.)
When you’re single, and you don’t want to be, you tend to dread this holiday and are reminded of what you don’t have. But I don’t want this post to be about that. I feel that I’ve grown up a bit, and while I still don’t feel the urge to buy a sappy love-letter, or make a romantic dinner on this particular day, (or feel entitled to a dozen roses by my hubby), I do really like the idea of Valentine’s Day being shared with the ones you love, no matter how you love them.
This is such a simple dessert to make for someone special in your life. All you need is heart-shaped cookies, ganache, and sprinkles. Simple, right? Exactly. That’s what I thought. (I’m not being sarcastic, really. I promise it is easy.) I make my chocolate sugar cookies from a recipe in the book Cookie Craft, (which is why I’m not posting it on the blog), but there are some good recipes on-line if you so choose. Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, (mine were 1 1/2 inches, but you could use any size), bake and fully cool the cookies. (Half are flipped in this photo to make creating the sandwich really easy.)
Ganache sounds like a really scary word, and until the other day when I made these cookies, it was. But I found it pretty easy, even though the recipe I decided to try, from Martha Stewart Living, had confusing directions. (I will do my best to de-mystify this in the instructions below.) And normally, I alter recipes, but since I had never done this before, I thought it best to stick to the directions. Anyway, that was a bit of a side note. But this isn’t any kind of ganache–it’s whipped ganache, and it’s lighter, fluffier, and fudgier. Once the ganache is made and whipped, scoop it into a pastry bag with a #12 tip.
Pipe onto the underside of half the cookies.
And sprinkle with pearlized sugar.
Do this for all the cookie sandwiches. And there you have it. A lovely gesture to those you love. (I realized in this photo that my husband and son are matching and I just have to laugh, because I am not one to dress our family in the same color on the same day, but this must have been a fluke.)
Share the love with those you love and make some chocolate sandwich cookies. Even if it’s just for yourself. And I’d love to hear some of your favorite Valentine treats or special things you do to celebrate the ones you love. Just leave a little note in the comment section. :) Enjoy! xoxo
Chocolate Heart Sandwich Cookies
makes 15 sandwich cookies
30 chocolate heart sugar cookies, baked and cooled
Red sanding sugar or pearlized sprinkles
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate (61% cacao—I like Scharffen Berger)
1 c heavy cream
1/8 t salt
Bring heavy cream to a slow boil over medium-high heat. (Watch that it doesn’t scald or burn.) While the cream is heating up, coarsely chop the chocolate and place into a heat-proof, deep bowl. As soon as the cream comes to a boil, gently pour over the melted chocolate and add the salt. DO NOT TOUCH for 10 minutes. (This allows the cream to melt the chocolate.)
After 10 minutes, use a whisk to mix the ingredients until it all comes together. Scrape the bowl, even the very bottom, a few times to incorporate all the chocolate. Let the ganache come to room temperature, 20-60 minutes. Every 5-10 minutes, use the whisk to stir the contents.
Once the ganache is at room temperature, pour into a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment, and mix on medium-high speed for 2-4 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scoop into a disposable bag with a #12 tip and pipe whipped ganache on the inside of 15 cookies. Place another cookie on top of ganache, to create a sandwich. Sprinkle sanding sugar around the cookie, so that it sticks to the ganache.
Store in an airtight container up to 3 days.
Recipe Source: Martha Stewart