Walnut Cookie Hearts
Chef Christina Tosi
Momofuku Milk Bar
New York City
Readymade heart-shaped sweets are widely available for Valentine’s Day, but baking them from scratch makes for a special treat. For a different twist on a heart-shaped cookie, try this recipe from celeb pastry chef Christina Tosi. She glams up walnut cookie hearts with a chocolate coating, fig jam filling and a garnish of chopped walnuts.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup walnuts, toasted
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. salt
Pinch ground nutmeg
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled butter, cut in 15 to 20 pieces
2 egg yolks
2 tsp. water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 to 2/3 cup fig jam or apricot jam
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1. In food processor fitted with metal blade, combine flour, toasted walnuts, sugar, cocoa, salt and nutmeg. Process until nuts are finely ground. Add butter; pulse until blended into dry ingredients and mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
2. In cup, whisk together egg yolks, water and vanilla. Add to flour mixture and process until dough holds together in a stiff mass. Transfer dough into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes, until firm but not hard.
3. Preheat oven to 350 F; cover cookie sheets with parchment paper. Divide chilled dough in half (keep one half refrigerated until ready to roll). On lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a thickness slightly less than 1/4-inch. If top of dough is sticky, sprinkle lightly with additional flour.
4. Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter, cut cookies from the rolled-out dough. Gather scraps together, reroll and cut additional cookies. As cookies are cut, place them about 1/2-inch apart on prepared cookie sheets.
5. Bake cookies 8 to 10 minutes or until cookies look dry. Cool about 2 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely before filling. Continue rolling, cutting and baking until all dough is used.
6. To assemble and decorate cookies, place half in a single layer on large baking sheet. Spread each with about 1/2 teaspoon jam, then top with second cookie. When all the cookies have been filled, top each with about 1/2 teaspoon melted chocolate, spreading chocolate with back of spoon. Sprinkle walnuts lightly on top. Let cookies stand 2 to 3 hours, or until chocolate is firm; store in airtight container.
Photograph courtesy of California Walnuts