Sunday, February 21, 2010

Chocolate-orange Filled Hearts

I don't want to fool you with all these heart shaped items, but February and Valentines day are my LEAST favorite time of year. I've always been the kind of girl that went straight from Christmas/New Year's to thoughts of shamrocks, leprechauns and Irish Whiskey. Okay, okay, it's true, every year up until this one has found me sans-sweetie and occasionally bitter about love. But besides that, I just can't see what's so exciting about forced declarations of love and cheesy pre-packaged gifts to "prove" said love. I'm all for giving and receiving gifts but prefer it to be sweet and spontaneous as opposed to dictated by a date on the calendar. And then last year I met the love of my life. (Simultaneous "awww"s and puking sounds inserted here). And then a few weeks ago I found a set of nesting heart-shaped cookie cutters on sale and some recipes for yummy V-day themed cookies and decided to quit being bitter and just make some god-dammed cookies.
This particular recipe drew me in with the pretty picture, and honestly, who doesn't get excited about anything FILLED WITH CHOCOLATE? The reviews were another story, and proclaimed this cookie to be "tasteless rocks." Because I love a challenge and am cocky enough to think I can fix any recipe, I decided to give these a Voltron kitchen makeover. (Voltron kitchen being the name of the kitchen in my apartment. Just go with it, I'll explain later.) Ken wasn't too excited about them, as orange marmalade is number 3 on the list of foods that he'd nuke out of existence if given a chance (followed behind Pop Tarts at Number 1 and fruit roll-ups at Number 2), but he liked them enough that this cookie is now added to the list of "Baked goods that have not made it out the door before being entirely consumed."
Are these my favorite cookie? Not by any means. Were they as terrible as the reviews said? Judging by the quickness with which they were consumed, obviously not. Could they be made better? Absolutely, and I've got a few ideas about that. Will I continue to ask questions and then answer them myself? I promise this is the last one, for this post at least.
*Note: This recipe starts with Alton Brown's sugar cookie recipe and alters it. If you're not familiar with AB's recipe, you can find it here. It's a good standard recipe to build off of. It's not meant to be sweet, as the cookies are meant to be coated with icing, sugar, etc. I recommend generously covering them with sanding sugar before baking if you need your cookies sweet. 

Chocolate-Orange Filled Hearts
3 c. flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup earth balance vegan butter, softened
1 cup + 1 tbsp sugar
1 egg,  beaten
1 tbsp soymilk
1 tsp vanilla
Scant 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used Ghiardelli 84% cacoa bar)
2 heaping tbsp orange marmalade
1 egg white beaten with 1 tsp water
Sanding sugar
Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder together and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar until well blended, then add the egg and milk and beat until well incorporated. With the mixer on low, gradually add flour until mix pulls away from the side of the bowl. Divide the dough in half, wrap in plastic, and chill for 2 hours. 
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Stir together the chocolate and the marmalade. Using confectioner's sugar to cover the surface, roll out the dough to 1/8 inch thickness (mine were probably larger) and cut out hearts. Place about 1 inch apart on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper, and place 1 tsp chocolate mix in center, spreading out leaving about 1/4 inch from the edge (I definitely used more than 1 tsp, as I only had enough filling for half of the dough). Using the egg wash and a pastry brush, brush around the edges of the cookies, place another cookie on top, and press together. Brush tops lightly with egg wash and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake for 10 minutes, or until done. Let cool on the pan and transfer to a rack. 
*I only used 1/2 of the dough, and came up with about 20 cookies. I used the rest of the dough the next day to make sandwich cookies filled with jam, which I'll be sure to tell you about soon. 


  1. That's what I'm talking about.


  2. I'm with Ken on the orange marmalade, but these sound delish. I can has?

  3. Ahhh soooo glad to see you on here!!! This is such a great idea and now I have somewhere else to check out those mouth watering pictures you keep posting on Facebook (and try them out for myself)!!! You are amazing and inspiring!!

    ps. LOOOOOVE the name!!!!!!!!!