For Your Valentine - Vodka Butter Cookie Hearts

Count Down to Valentine's Day

Vodka gives these cookies extra snap and makes the dough extra easy to roll out.

Raspberry jam filled hearts
waiting for your Valentine(s)
Fill the hearts with seedless raspberry jam and dust the tops with powdered sugar just before serving.

Cookies will soften (which is OK, too!) if filled with jam in advance.

Nice served with dry or demi sec champagne (never brut), espresso or orange spiced tea.

Makes 2 dozen (3 inch) cookies
Uses parchment paper

1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
1 cup sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 large or extra large egg  (1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon plain vodka (not flavored)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Filling - seedless raspberry jam - about 3/4 cup

Position oven rack so cookies will bake in center.  Preheat to 350 degrees.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Using a heavy duty mixer, cream butter and sugar. Sift flour and baking powder together. Add a bit at a time to creamed mixture. After all is added, continue mixing until the mixture is crumbly and uniform in size.

Stir in remain ingredients. Using you hand, bring dough together into a ball and turn out onto a lightly floured cutting surface.

Roll out half the dough 1/8 inch thick. Cut into hearts and place one inch apart on parchment lined cookie sheet. (Six 3 inch cookies per cookie sheet works well.)

Bake in preheated oven until the bottoms are golden and the edges just begin to brown - about 7 minutes.  Baking time may vary according to thickeness of the dough and size of the cutter.  Do not over bake.

Meanwhile, roll out remaning dough and cut into heart shapes as before.  Using a smaller cutter (a 1 inch heart cutter is perfect), cut out and remove the center of each heart. (We like to bake the centers separately for tiny cookies but you can re-roll the dough to make more larger cookies.) Place onto parchment lined cookie sheet.  A pan cake turner or metal spatula is helpful to position the cookies.  

Bake as before in preheated oven until edges just begin to brown. These cookies may take less time because the centers were removed.  Do not over bake.

Cool baked cookies 1 minute on pan then slide entire sheet (cookies and paper) onto cooling rack.  Remove cookies from paper when completely cooled.

At serving time, spread jam on a solid heart to within 1/4 inch of the edges.  Place a cut out heart on top of the jam and lightly press together. Repeat for the number desired. 

To keep cookies crisp, store in a sturdy, air tight container in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.  Freeze for longer storage.   Fill with jam just before so cookies will stay crisp.  


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