Valentine's Day is fast approaching, and whether the thought fills you with delight, or with dread, we have a recipe to sweeten your weekend. A package of homemade biscuits could be the perfect present for the one you love: thoughtful and sweet (without being sickly). Or why not bake yourself a batch: fill up your biscuit jar, and enjoy them with friends or family over a cup of tea.
Our deputy editor, Laura Pashby is here to share her recipe for Bakewell Hearts...
When it comes to baking for the Valentine's weekend, it has to be something heart-shaped. Musing on what I should make, I was struck by sudden inspiration. My husband is a huge fan of the Bakewell Tart, and it occurred to me that I could use the same flavours to create for him some Bakewell biscuits. Make them heart-shaped, and there you have it. Bakewell Hearts.
115g butter at room temperature
40g icing sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon almond extract
125g glace cherries, chopped
140g plain flour
200g icing sugar, sieved
2 teaspoons (approximately) recently boiled water
Cream the butter in a mixer until smooth. Sieve in the icing sugar and mix again to form a buttercream.
Beat in the egg yolk, followed by the almond extract.
Stir through the glace cherries and then add the flour at a low speed, being careful not to over-mix.
As soon as the mixture is combined, form into a disc, wrap in greaseproof paper and refrigerate for an hour, or ideally two, if you have time.
Preheat the oven to 180c
Once it is thoroughly chilled, roll out the cookie dough on a lightly floured work surface, to a thickness of about 1cm.
Cut into heart shapes using a cookie cutter and place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment.
Bake for about 12 minutes, until the edges are just beginning to brown, and cool on a wire rack.
To make the icing, sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and gradually add a small amount of recently-boiled water until the icing forms a thick paste. Using a small palette knife, spread the icing over the cooled cookies, leaving a border around the edge of the icing.
Serve with love.
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen