As a young child I used to make a version of this cookie at Christmas. Through
the years, I have transformed the recipe into a unique Valentine’s Day cookie. The
dough is full of buttery goodness with a hint of almond and vanilla. The unexpected
center is made from candy, and when melted resembles stained glass. Have fun putting
your own spin on these beauties and embellish them with icing, sprinkles or candy.
For an added bonus, give the petite center hearts as an extra hug and kiss to your
1 cup room temperature Challenge Unsalted Butter (2 sticks)
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups all-purpose
Brightly colored hard candies (Lifesavers, Jolly
1 three to four inch heart shaped cookie cutter
one inch heart shaped cookie cutter
Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or
a silicone mat.
Using a mixer, cream butter and sugar until smooth in a large bowl. Mix
in eggs and almond and vanilla extract. Slowly add flour, mix until a stiff
dough forms. Remove dough from bowl, and form into a large log. Wrap dough in
plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
When chilled, remove from refrigerator and divide into three sections. Working
with one section at a time, roll out into a 1/8 inch thick rectangle. Using
large cookie cutter, cut as many hearts as possible and place onto prepared
sheet. Using the small cookie cutter, cut a heart in the center. Remove heart
to create cut out.
Unwrap candies and place into heavy duty zipper bag by color. Place a towel
over bag. Using a meat mallet or rolling pin, crush candies. Place small cookie
cutter back into center of the heart to use as a guide. This will keep your
cookie clean and make filling them much easier. Fill each center with crushed
Bake cookies in oven for 10-15 minutes, or until lightly golden brown
around edges, and candy has melted. Let cool. If desired, decorate with your
favorite icing, sprinkles or candy.
Extra Bonus: Place remaining small hearts on cookie sheet and bake for 8 minutes
or until golden brown around edges. Decorate with frosting if desired, or sprinkle
with colored sugar before baking.
About Suzanne: Suzanne Clark is a mother of five and enjoys living in Phoenix
with her husband and her family. Every day is a creative endeavor for Suzanne. A
self-taught artist and cook, she creates award winning recipes and decorates homes
with her unique style and artwork. A few of her many accomplishments include winning
first place in the top ten in The World Food Championships, and winning many other
national cooking contests throughout the past years. As an artist, her artwork in
showcased in many homes across the country from Michigan to California. Suzanne
loves to share her creativity by teaching art and cooking classes to people of all
ages. She also is featured on several local television shows in the Phoenix area,
as well as being featured in an upcoming miniseries coming this spring.