Posted by: Jason Wood | February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine’s Day!

img_17931

Z-man and Supergirl both had Valentine’s Day parties at school and we decided that we should make some cookies. Nothing says happy Valentine’s Day like chocolate and hearts.

We started by making a Lebkuchen dough for the hearts. 

img_1780

Never having heard of Lebkuchen before, and being the curious sort, I went to Wikipedia to find out what it was (the recipe itself looked good enough to convince me to give it a try but I always like to know more, but that is just me! If you couldn’t care less you can, of course, skip the next part)  :  )

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebkuchen

The addition of the molasses was not a popular addition

img_1781

Then we had to sift all the flour and spices into the mix. The expression on Supergirl’s face with the molasses got even funnier (to me at least) as we started to add all the spices to the flour. Ginger, cloves, black pepper, chili powder – what the heck type of cookies are we making here Dad?!

img_1783

We found out how much forearm strength both Z-man and Supergirl had sifting 3 1/2 cups of flour and all those spices!

After we cooled the dough for 30 minutes we rolled it out and got busy cutting out all the hearts.

img_1785

I sometimes wonder what is going though their minds in these pictures. What’s with those pursed lips?

Back into the fridge for another 30 minutes (actually, in this case, overnight) before baking them  and decorating them. We used melted semi-sweet, milk and white chocolate and then topped that with sifted cocoa, icing sugar and chocolate sprinkles

img_17871

img_1789

So, now these are all decorated, time to package them up! A quick trip to the local dollar store (which oddly enough, and irritatingly is no longer a dollar store, but a $1.00 or $1.25, or $1.5o or $2.00 store) to find some heart shaped boxes and we are all set.

img_1792_1

These cookies were GOOD! A kind of soft gingerbread-like cookie but with just that little extra kick that made them stand out. Even the kids, who were kind of skeptical, liked them. The final sign of how good they were? There were no leftovers brought home from the parties at school!

Enjoy.

Lebkuchen dough

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1/3 cup black molasses (you can substitute clear honey if you can’t stand molasses)

3 1/2 cups self-raising flour (if you do not have self raising flour add 1 tsp baking powder for every cup)

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground star anise

1/2 cup water

Chocolate sauce for topping

4 tbsp sugar

5 tbsp water

8 oz (1 cup) semi-sweet chocolate

Toppings to decorate

4 oz (1/2 cup) milk choclate

4 oz (1/2 cup) milk chocolate

cocoa

icing sugar

chocolate sprinkles

Cream together the butter and sugar until they are nice and fluffy looking and then beat in the egg and molasses (I won’t tell you what Supergirl told me it looked like at this stage, but if you make this with young kids I am sure you will be told).

Sift in all the dry ingredients and mix together. It should form a smooth dough. If it is too dry and not holding its shape add water by tablespoons until it holds its shape.

Flatten into a disc-like shape and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

on a floured work surface roll the dough out to about a 1/4 inch thick and then cut into desired shapes. Place the shapes on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and put back in refrigerator for at least another 30 minutes.

pre-heat oven to 350-degrees farhenheit.

Bake cookies for 8 – 10 minutes and allow them to cook for five minutes on the sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Melt chocolate in a double boiler (or, if you don’t have one, what I do is get a pot of water boiling and place a stainless steel bowl on top, works fine, just watch out, the bowl gets HOT, so use an oven mitt, and watch out for the steam).

Make the chocolate sauce for the topping by mixing the water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Let it boil without stirring it for 1 minute and then remove from heat and let cool for 3 minutes. Mix in the chocolate until smooth.

Place a small amount of sauce on each cookie and use the back of a spoon to spread the sauce to the edges (don’t use my pics as a guide for this step as we forgot to do it. Oops!).

Melt the milk and white chocolate (in separate bowls) and put in a pastry bag to pipe across cookies (or drizzle across top with s spoon, this is what we ended up doing).

Sift the cocoa and icing sugar onto the cookies

Sprinkle the chocolate sprinkles (what else do you do with sprinkles?!) on top.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: