Sweet Treats for Valentine's Day

13/02/2013 19:57

Melt in the mouth vanilla cookies topped with coconut and sweet cherries.

Makes 10

50g / 2oz butter
40g  / 1 1/2oz caster sugar
60g / 2 1/2oz self-raising flour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
110g / 4oz desiccated coconut
10 glace cherries

Preheat the oven 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4

Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the vanilla, and stir in the flour, mixing well. Divide the mixture into 10. With wet hands, roll each piece into a ball and roll into the coconut. Place onto a greased baking sheet, flatten slightly and place a cherry on each.  Pop into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden. Leave to cool on a wire rack.


 These Italian biscuits are so easy to make and perfect to share with that special someone.
The Italian name for these biscuits is 'Baci di Dama,' which literally means Kisses from a Lady.
(Two semi spheres of biscuit are sandwiched together with dark chocolate to resemble a ladies pout. : )

Makes 20

175g / 6oz butter
175g / 6oz plain flour
115g / 4oz caster sugar
100g / 3 1/2 oz ground almonds
1 egg yolk
55g / 2oz plain chocolate, broken into pieces
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk, add the vanilla, then the almonds and flour. Beat until well combined. Shape the dough into a ball and wrap in clingfilm. Pop into the refrigerator to chill for 1-2 hours.

Preheat the oven 160C/325F/Gas mark 3. Line a couple of baking trays with baking paper.

Unwrap the dough and break off walnut-sized pieces. Roll them into balls between the palms of your hands. Place them on the baking trays, allowing space for the biscuits to spread during cooking. Pop into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden. Remove the biscuits and carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Spread the melted chocolate on the flat sides of the biscuits and sandwich them together in pairs. Return them to the wire rack to set.


Classic shortbread biscuits which melts in the mouth.

Makes 12

225g / 8oz plain flour
150g / 5 1/2oz butter, cut into small pieces
125g / 4 1/2oz caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
caster sugar for dusting
Heart-shaped biscuit cutter - 5cm/2 inches across

Preheat the oven 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Lightly grease a baking tray.

Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl, rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.  Mix in the caster sugar and vanilla, bring the mixture together with your hands to make a firm dough.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface, to a thickness of 1 cm / 1/2 inch. Stamp out 12 hearts with  the heart-shaped cutter. Arrange the hearts on the baking tray. Pop them into the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the hearts are a light golden colour. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool. Dust the hearts with a little caster sugar before serving.