Cookies, cookies, cookies
Okay, I love treats, especially during the holidays. But, healthy? No, not usually.
Life’s short so remember the 80-20 rule . . . eat great 80% of the time so you can splurge 20% of the time.
These homemade Valentine’s cookies are closer to a splurge than to healthy, but they aren’t terribly unhealthy either.
And, I needed a bit of fun for the family this week!
So, if you’re looking for truly healthy Valentine’s Day cookies – this probably isn’t your blog. But, if you want semi-healthy? Maybe healthier? Okay, not horrible for you homemade cookies – these were a ton of fun to make for the whole family! And each of these Valentine’s cookies has a little surprise inside of strawberries and cream cheese.
If you are crunched for time, you can purchase decent sugar cookie dough but I prefer to make mine homemade. It ups the health factor a touch.
Don’t get too caught up in the amounts for strawberries and cream cheese. Buy about equal amounts but make it too your taste. Any extra can be used for Valentine’s Day crepes or pancakes. Plus the extra will last about a week in the refrigerator so add it to oatmeal, celery, any fun food!
Valentine’s Cookie Recipe
- 1 ¼ c all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- ¾ tsp arrowroot
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp pastured butter, melted and cooled
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ c + 2 tbsp evaporated cane juice
- edible colored sugar
- organic strawberries (fresh or frozen)
- organic cream cheese
- To prepare the cookies, whisk together the 1 ¼ cups of flour, arrowroot, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the butter, egg, and vanilla extract. Stir in the evaporated cane juice. Add in the flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Shape the dough into two balls. Tightly cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
- While the cookie dough is chilling, prepare cookie filling. If using fresh strawberries – wash, and remove the stems from the strawberries. Puree the strawberries in a blender or food processor. If using frozen strawberries – thaw and puree. Strawberries should ultimately be about the thickness of jam or maybe even a bit runnier. Measure the strawberries (or truly, I just ‘eyeball’ this step) and add about an equal amount of cream cheese. Pulse until fully blended.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- On a well-floured surface, roll out one of the chilled dough until 1/8″ thick. Lightly flour a heart-shaped cookie cutter and press into the dough (we used a 3″ one). Place the Valentine’s hearts onto the prepared baking sheets. Reroll the unused dough, and repeat or return to the refrigerator. Work in small batches though as rerolled dough generally requires a little less cooking time.
- Place about 1/2 Tablespoon of the filling in the middle of a heart shaped cookies dough. Make sure no filling is near the sides of the heart. If you need to use less, that is fine, it’s just important to be able to “seal” the sides of the heart “pouch”.
- Place another heart shaped cookies dough directly on top of filling as close to covering the bottom heart shaped cookies dough as possible. Carefully “seal” the two cookies together but pressing all around the outside edges of the cookie. Make sure all filling remains between the two cookies or it will leak out and make a mess. You may need to remove a little filling until you find the precise amount for your heart shape.
- Sprinkle with edible colored sugar.
- Bake the cookies at 375°F for 14-18 minutes. Remember that the rerolled cookies may bake faster so keep an eye on them. They should be just slightly golden.
- Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.