For some strange reason, I had a strong craving for heart-shaped shortbread cookies with jam filling. I remember wanting to make them for last year's Valentine's Day (so long ago!), but nothing materialized because I was busy with school and I ended up making truffles for my boyfriend instead. So this craving came back, and again, I wanted to bake this instead of studying for exams. However, after realizing that I needed to chill the dough for at least an hour, I ended up only making the dough and freezing it for later.
Fast forward ~2 weeks later, I'm finally done with exams and have the chance to bake these cookies. The week prior, I was busy looking for heart-shaped cookie cutters because apparently I had absolutely none at home, not even basic shapes like circles. I searched all over the house and instead I found random equipment I didn't know we had, like a loaf pan, springform pans in different sizes, a cookie press, and not one but TWO muffin tins (this is only ironic to me because I had complained about not having any and I literally went to buy one just hours before I found my mom's hidden collection). Anyway, apparently if you want nice cookie cutters you have to go to well-stocked cookware store, so I trekked all the way there and ended up being too frugal to buy a plastic set for $12. So I ended up getting a set of circular cutters for $7 and my boyfriend insisted on bending them into hearts against my wishes.
Wow, I ended up rambling on the previous paragraph. Anyway, I decided to bake these, lopsided hearts and all. I had trouble with rolling the dough because it was rather crumbly, and they definitely should be rolled out a little thinner. Tastewise, the cookies are exactly what I had been craving for: crumbly and sandy, with a strong butter flavour and just enough sweetness & tartness from the strawberry jam. Unfortunately, I don't have good pictures of the assembled cookies because they all turned out blurry. Fret not, this is not the last time I will be making these cookies!
adapted from Joy of Baking
yields about 20 cookies
For the dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the filling:
fruit jam or preserve of your choice (I used strawberry)
1. Whisk the flour and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
2. Using a mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and continue beating for about 2 minutes. Add vanilla extract and beat until combined. Stir in the dry ingredients until incorporated.
3. Flatten the dough into a disk shape, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour in the fridge.
4. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
5. On a floured surface, roll out the dough until it is 3/4 inch (1 cm) thick. Using a cookie cutter, cut out the dough and place the shapes 1 inch apart on the baking sheet. Chill for 15 minutes to let the cookies firm up.
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until cookies are lightly browned on the surface. Cool on a metal rack for about 10 minutes.
7. Sprinkle icing sugar on the cookies.
8. To assemble, spread some jam on a cookie and top with another cookie, or eat as is!