“Do you have any Valentine’s Day recipes?” my coworker, Cari, asked me the other day. Did I have any Valentine’s Day recipes? I almost laughed- I had about a bazillion pinned and about a gazillion more in my head (and a few on here). I was dying to make all of them, too! But I couldn’t. Despite reallllly wanting to make a Valentine’s Day dessert, I had just made cupcakes for our Mardi Gras gathering and was hesitant to add more sugar to my fridge (we may have 2 cupcakes left) or bring to the office.
So when Cari asked if I thought she could just cut one of the recipes I had shared with her in half, I somewhat jokingly suggested we bake together and split the recipe between the two of us. And she said yes! I didn’t know what to do – I don’t typically bake around other people. Sure, B’s usually in the room watching TV or reading, and at home my parents are somewhere nearby, but there are few times I actually bake with someone. I don’t mind it – but I’m a very messy baker, and not that accurate (I hardly ever measure vanilla … or other things), so my baking style sometimes shocks and scares others.
Was it messy? Yes. Were my hands, the counter top, and more, covered in red batter, powdered sugar? Perhaps. But was it a success? Yes. The cookies came out delicious (although not whoopee-pie like, like the original recipe, but thus the name change), Cari’s boyfriend was excited, and I have quelled my baking itch for another day or so. AND Cari has said she’ll bake with me again, so I really can’t be that scary, right?
Red Velvet Heart Sandwiches
For the cookies:
Here’s what you need:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ c cocoa powder
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 ½ c brown sugar, packed
- 1 egg (or ¼ c Egg Beaters, like I used)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ cup buttermilk, at room temperature (I used powdered buttermilk)
- 1 oz. red food coloring (a.k.a a whole lotta food coloring)
Here’s what you do:
- Preheat the oven to 375˚ F. Cut yourself a heart template from cardboard or card stock. Trace the template/stencil evenly spaced onto pieces of parchment paper or nonstick foil to fit two cookie sheets.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside. If you’re using powdered buttermilk, add the powdered equivalent to this dry mixture.
- In your KitchenAid or stand mixer, mix the butter and brown sugar on medium until fluffy and creamy. Beat in the egg (or Egg Beaters) and vanilla. If you’re using powdered buttermilk, add the 1/2 c water (or whatever the buttermilk box tells you) at this time.
- Turn mixer on low and slowly incorporate dry ingredients about a cup at a time. Do not overbeat.
- Blend in the food coloring. I used two full little containers of food coloring gel and probably could’ve used more.
- Using a spoon, move batter to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Pipe the batter onto the foil hearts.
- Bake 8-10 minutes and cool for 4-5 minutes on baking sheets before transferring cookies to a cooling rack. Allow cookies to cool completely before frosting/filling. I put mine in the freezer to speed up the process.
For the frosting/filling:
Here’s what you need:
- 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- 5 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- Pink sprinkles or sugar crystals (optional)
Here’s what you do
- Clean your stand mixer so you can make the frosting in there! Beat the cream cheese and butter on medium until smooth and creamy.
- Add in vanilla extract.
- Gradually add in powdered sugar until smooth and lump free.
Make the sandwiches:
- After cookies are cool, spread them out and pair them up, placing two hearts that appear the same shape and size on top of one another. Flip one cookie of each pair over so that the flat side is facing up.
- Make your sandwiches! Using a spoon (or another piping bag, as the original recipe suggests), place a heaping tablespoon of frosting on top of the flat side of the cookie you’d like to be the bottom. Sandwich the cookies together so the flat sides are facing each other and press gently to help the filling reach the edges.
- You should be able to see a thin white layer of frosting between two cookies. Feel free to sprinkle sugar crystals along the sides to add more Valentine flair.
- Store in the fridge and enjoy!