Yesterday, of course, was Valentine’s Day! Lots of love all over the country, and lots of red and pink heart-shaped foods!
Valentines Day originates from the Roman times, when the Roman Emperor Claudius II was having trouble getting men to join his army, because the men didn’t want to leave their girlfriends or wives. Aww :) So the Emperor broke and forbid all marriages. The priest Valentine secretly married people in secret, and when the Emperor found out he killed Valentine – and so he became a saint! (That is a very cut down version of the story learnt from Fridays assembly, there are lots of other beliefs too)
Of course I too made a heart-shaped food for the occasion, and knowing me, I made heart cookies :). They are from 30 Brilliant Baking Recipes, which is a small book that came from Olive Magazine – and a book I have not baked from before! Olive is a great magazine for all foodie-lovers, it is one of the places I would love to work at when I’m older! They often give out these little books with the magazine. There has been 30 Comfort Foods, 30 World Recipes, 30 French Classics, etc ! In the book, the cookies have small circles cut from the middle, but I did hearts for Valentines Day.
They are very simple and easy to make although the recipe makes a lot so you have to do a lot of batches! It is best to use a smooth jam, without lots of big lumps of fruit. Unlike me, who used blackberry jam with a couple of whole blackberries in so the biscuits were a bit wobbly…but still yummy! The smoothness just helps the biscuits stick together a bit flatter – if that makes sense! So now I have made my own digestives, my own sort-of-jammy-dodgers today, what’s next – custard creams? Hehe :)
Hope you all had a lovely Valentines!
Jammy Biscuits, from 30 Brilliant Baking Recipes
225g unsalted butter
150g golden caster sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
3 beaten egg yolks
250g plain flour
110g ground almonds
thin jam for spreading – flavour of your choice
icing sugar to dust
1. Beat the butter and caster sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the vanilla and egg yolks and mix thoroughly. Gradually add the flour and ground almonds.
2. Lightly knead the mixture until it comes together in a ball. Wrap and chill for 1hour.
3. Heat the oven to 170’C/fan 150’C/gas 5. Roll the dough out to the thickness of £1 coin on a lightly floured surface and stamp out biscuits using a 6-7cm cutter.
3. Reshape leftover dough into a ball, re-roll and cut out more biscuits. Stamp out a small circle/heart from the middles of half the biscuits.
4. Put the biscuits on lined baking sheets and bake for 12-15minutes or until golden. Rest for a minute then transfer to a wire rack.
5. When completely cold, spread the whole biscuits with jam. Dust the ring-shaped biscuits with icing sugar. Put a sugar dusted ring on top of a jam covered biscuit and press lightly together.