It's that time of year. Tomorrow Cupid will aim his arrow and the world will be covered in red (or pink or white) colored hearts and all things hearts. Restaurants world-wide will be booked with a steady stream of lovers - new and old, young and aged. More chocolates, roses and greeting cards will be shared on this day than any other day of the year. The day also unleashes our inner-baker. Whether baking for a loved one, family members or your young child's classroom, ovens will be heated creating delicious treats that will bring forward smiles and warm hearts.
Many of us already have too much on our plates - we're overbooked as it is and yet we've committed to yet another thing. My children wanted to decorate heart shaped cookies. Why shouldn't they? I had no good reason not to let them. The fact that my free hours are limited shouldn't matter. They're my children; I will make the time for this. So I did. I put my daughter in charge of making the dough! She's 16, a sophomore in high school and participates in a rigorous cooking program that has her learning how to properly handle sharp objects and how to cut and debone whole chickens. But she couldn't find the heart shaped cookie cutters. So she made a batch of circular shaped ones. The other batch sat on the counter. Untouched. In a lump. That's how teenagers operate.
I found the heart shaped cutters. She didn't look hard enough. (This too is how teenagers operate.) So there was a lump of dough and I really had no desire or inclination to cutting out 24 or 36, or however many shapes. Frankly, I couldn't be bothered. We can call it what it is. Let's blame laziness. But I didn't deny the children their hear-shaped cookies. I just went about it a different way. I made a heart-shaped log using parchment paper. First I rolled the dough into a log shape, then I flattened two sides by pressing me hands along the paper from end to end. Now we had 2 angles of a triangle. Then I flipped the log over and using a butter knife, I created a little divot on the top of the roll by gently running the dull blade from one end to the other. And this is how I got my heart shape. I carefully placed the log into the refrigerator for a few hours to harden, then when it was ready I simply sliced the dough to the preferred thickness. I may never use cookie cutters again!