As I have mentioned before, I love to make homemade gifts – and cookies are the perfect gift. So, with Valentine’s Day coming up, I made these cookies for my husband. The recipe is adapted from the Filled Cookies recipe (p. 19) in Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book.
The recipe in the cookbook features options for pineapple, cherry, or date/fig/raisin fillings. While cherry would have looked pretty for Valentine’s Day, I did not have any maraschino cherries in the house. Instead, I made my own strawberry filling, which looks equally pretty in these heart-shaped cookies. I also prefer to bake with butter (instead of the shortening that the original recipe calls for). So, I have modified the cookie recipe slightly, as well.
Strawberry Filling Ingredients:
- 1 cup frozen, sliced strawberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
Strawberry Filling Directions:
In a small bowl, whisk together the water and cornstarch until smooth, removing any lumps. In a small sauce pan, heat the strawberries, sugar, and cornstarch mixture over medium heat. Bring to a rolling boil, and cook for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat, and use an immersion blender to puree the strawberry mixture. Continue to simmer the strawberry mixture over medium-low heat for an additional 5 minutes, until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and cool (the mixture will thicken as it cools).
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 cups flour + additional for rolling cookies
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Strawberry filling (above)
Cream together the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the vanilla and beat until combined.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, blending after each addition. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. On a floured surface, roll the dough to approximately 1/4 inch thick (this is thicker than the original recipe calls for, but I like the thicker cookies). Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes, two for each cookie. Use a smaller cookie cutter to cut a small hole in the center of half of the cookies.
Place the bottom cookies (the ones without the holes in the center) on a lightly greased baking sheet. Place one teaspoon of the strawberry filling in the center of each cookie. Spread the filling out, leaving room around the edges of the cookie. Place the top cookies on top of the filling, pressing to seal the edges.
Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes, until slightly golden. Cool for 3-5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Using a large heart shaped cookie cutter, this recipe made approximately 2 dozen cookies.