These cookies are made from shortbread dough that is tinted with food coloring and flavored with vanilla, ginger and lemon zest. You can leave out or change the flavorings if you prefer; just be careful not to use ingredients that alter the consistency of the dough too much.
Colorful heart cookies for Valentine’s Day
200g plain flour
100g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla sugar/1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground ginger
Zest of 1 lemon
Blue and red food coloring
1. Mix all the ingredients except the food coloring in a bowl and knead together to form a firm dough. Divide the dough into three sections. I recommend making one larger section, which you leave plain, and two smaller sections.
2. Add a few drops of red food coloring to one of the smaller sections of dough and blue food coloring to the other; thoroughly knead in. If you want a darker shade, I recommend using concentrated food coloring so the consistency of the dough isn’t altered from too much liquid. I use just a small amount of food coloring for more pastel shades.
3. Tear off a piece from the plain dough. Then take a piece of blue dough and lay it on top of the plain dough, and lay a piece of the red dough on top of the blue. Keep layering in any order you like until you have used all the dough and you have a loose stack. Press the stack together at both ends to form one lump.
4. Place the dough on some plastic wrap and press it out a little. Fold it in half once and then in half again and press it out so the colors run into each other, but not so much that they blend completely.
5. Wrap the plastic wrap around the dough and let it rest in the fridge for 30-60 minutes.
6. Remove it from the fridge, roll out the dough to a thickness of about 5 mm and cut out the cookies using a heart-shaped cutter. Cover a baking tray with baking paper. Check which side of the cookie has the nicest color and place that side facing up on the baking tray.
7. Bake the cookies in the middle of the oven at 350 F/225 C /Gas Mark 4 for 5–10 minutes. Monitor the cookies so they don’t burn.
8. Remove from the oven and let cool. If the cookies lose their shape during baking, you can press the heart-shaped cutter through them again while they’re still soft.
9. Share the love with everyone you know – these cookies and a cup of coffee are a match made in heaven!