Valentine Cookies

The boys and I made our first batch of Valentine's cookies a couple days ago. I wanted to be sure it would work, which I should've known they would. It's the same recipe I used for Oreo's back in September. It really is great to have a cookie recipe that allows the use of cookie cutters...I thought those days were gone. Although we've come up with other cookie recipes, none hold their shape like these. I modified this recipe from a recipe I found at the Cinnamon Quill and am so thankful I found it, it'll make for happy Valentines. I did change it just a bit from the one I made last fall, but both are great...Happy Valentines! We're off to try and make heart-shaped lollipops...

Valentine's Cookies 

Adapted from Oreos and/or Thin Mints by the Cinnamon Quill

Cookies:

1-1/3 cup brown rice flour

2/3 cup + 1/4 teaspoon tapioca flour

2/3 cocoa powder

½ cup organic cane sugar

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

3/4 teaspoon guar gum

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon sea salt

7 Tablespoons cold palm shortening

 6 Tablespoons cold water

1 Tablespoon molasses

extra flour, sugar, cocoa for rolling

Filling:

2 Tablespoon beet water*

1-3/4 cups corn-free powdered sugar

¼ cup palm shortening
 

Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add shortening and mix with fingertips. Add water and molasses and mix with your hands, forming a ball. The consistency should be similar to play-dough. Add more water, by the tablespoon, if it’s too dry (I used 8 in this batch). Once a ball, cover tightly with saran wrap and put in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix extra flour, sugar and cocoa together for rolling (about ¼ cup). Cut dough into four pieces and roll out the first piece, until it is about 1/8-inch thick. Using a cookie cutter, cut into shapes. Any shapes would work, of course, but in honor of Valentine's, we made hearts :) Place on a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes. They will get crispy as they cool, so don’t overbake them.

Once cookies are cool, make the filling. Beat the shortening with a hand mixer for 15 seconds, then add beet water and powdered sugar, continue beating until smooth. Try the filling on one cookie, to be sure it’s not too soft or too firm. It should be soft enough to handle, but not oozing everywhere. It’s also oily because the hot water melts the shortening. If you find it to be too dry or too wet, add 1 Tablespoon of water or powdered sugar, depending on what direction you need to go.

Place 1-2 teaspoons of filling on one cookie, place second cookie on top and softly squish together. Let sit for about 30 minutes before trying to twist the cookies apart, then find your sweet Valentine and put a smile on their face with these cookies! P.S. wouldn't they be good dipped in melted chocolate chips (safe ones, of course, like those from Enjoy Life Foods?)...I'm going to try that for my Valentines!

*beet water: you will be amazed with the complexity of making beet water, haha...joking. I just cut a beet in a few pieces, threw it in boiling water and cooked it until it was done. I used the remaining water, now dyed red from the beet, as my 'beet water.' I know, very complex, I'm giving myself serious points for making something so amazing.