Wednesday

Valentine-y Vanilla Hearts

Choose which applies best -
A) I think it's another marketing gimmick by greeting card companies, restaurants, soft toy manufacturers, Hollywood, chocolate makers, florists...

B) I don't go overboard with the mushy stuff but there's no harm in having some fun.

If you chose A, replace the word 'hearts' with 'cookies' and proceed
If you chose B this recipe is for YOU!!!

vancookie2

VANILLA HEARTS
(adpated from Williams Sonoma Essentials of Baking)
(makes 16)
2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/2 cup super fine sugar
1 tsp good quality vanilla extract
sugar for dusting

Lightly grease a baking sheet with butter. Preheat oven to 350° F.

Sift flour into a large mixing bowl. Rub in butter with your fingers until mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Add sugar and extract and knead into a firm dough.

Place on a lightly floured surface and roll out into a disc of 1inch thickness. Cut out heart shapes with a 2 inch cutter.

Arrange on sheet and bake at 350° F for 12-15 minutes or until light golden. Transfer to rack to cool. Dust with sugar before serving.

cookie2

* These are the easiest cookies (rather shortbread) you will ever make. No stirring, whisking, creaming yet the dough comes together nice and fast. It gets a little difficult to cut out the cookies as the butter softens, so work quickly. They taste like the famous Shrewsbury biscuits of Pune ("khushkhusheet" for those who understand) with a more prominent vanilla flavor.

On another note, it's award season in blogosphere (thanks Manisha for the heads up). I am thrilled to be nominated alongside some fabulous blogs. Do visit the Indibloggies site and vote for your favorite - and I can't resist adding, it would be great if your favorite were me!

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38 Comments:

Anonymous bee said...

ashwini, shrewsbury biscuits always remind me of pune.
(and the irani bakeries in bombay)

i was once in shrewsbury, england, and asked for shrewsbury biscuits. no one had heard of them.
congrats on being nominated for best indian food blog.

bee

5:27 PM  
Anonymous Manisha said...

But why is the heart broken? ;-)

And yes, congrats for being nominated. I am so torn. All your blogs are wonderful. Of course, I am open to being persuaded to vote one way or another. Those cookies look mighty good!

9:08 PM  
Anonymous Anita said...

If they are anything like the Shrewsbury then they are the real shortbread and a 'must make'. If they are easy too then there is no excuse whatsoever!

10:02 PM  
Blogger Menu Today said...

Hi Ashwini,
Your vanilla herats looks awesome!!!! Congrats on being nominated!!!

3:40 AM  
Anonymous Coffee said...

I am for 'A' !!!! :)

They look absolutely delicious!!!! Lovely colour to the cookies (Mark my words, I said cookies and not hearts ;) )

Congratulations for being nominated!!!!

5:42 AM  
Anonymous Trupti said...

Ashwini....Congrats on being nominated! Cookies look great....anything from The Williams Sonoma collection is worth a shot!

trupti

7:05 AM  
Blogger Asha said...

Oooh!! That looks puffy and flaky.Very good recipe.You deserve the blog nom!

You are right,have fun with the family but don't go overboard spending money on cards,sweets and flowers.I agree!:))

7:34 AM  
Blogger RP said...

Yeah. Why is it broken? :D
Looks yummy though.
Congrats on the award nomination.

7:41 AM  
Blogger Lady Mcbeth said...

Looks like the cupid has struck! That's why the heart is in two pieces. Looks delish once again!

8:06 AM  
Blogger Mallugirl said...

ur cookies look adoarable. now i am going to try this one.congrats on ur nomination too and u can count on my vote!

8:15 AM  
Blogger Lakshmik said...

Thanks for the recipe. I will try out sometime. The cookies look awesome.

11:48 AM  
Blogger Krithika said...

Almost like a nankhatai, right ? looks fabulous.
Congratulations on being nominated.

4:53 PM  
Blogger Meenal Mehta said...

hey ashwini,

lovely hearts:) happy val's day

4:55 PM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Bee - Kayani's shrewsbury (& mawa cakes) are to die for!! You know I did the same - I thought I'd just walk into a store and pick up a packet of Shrewsbury in U.K.!! I think the shortbreads are from the same family though.

Manisha - Say no more - I will fed ex some to you right away :-D

Anita - there IS no excuse whatsoever!!

Coffee - however will Hallmark survive??? :-)

Trupti - I agree, I'd like to own all the WS books if I could. They are super.

RP - its broken coz the photographer took a bite ;-) Serisouly though I wanted to show the flaky inside..

Lady M (love that name!) - cupid indeed!!

Shaheen - you are such a sweetheart! And congrats to you too.

Lakshmi - let me know how they turn out

Thanks everyone for your wishes

Krithika - I'd say nankhatais are more dense...these arent. But yummy like them!

Meenal - thanks, to you too

5:44 PM  
Anonymous mufs said...

hi aswini!
i always enjoy ur foodblogs(flogs..is there such a word?)
for some reason i cant view the photos any more.
i stayy in uae,and whn i click on the area where the photo shud be,it goes to a site which is blocked here.
is there any way i cann see the photos?
thanks!!

3:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ash, You will be very happy to know that I have added three of your recipes into my recipe file in the last 10mins. i actually came to your blog looking for the Shingada Sheera you posted in August. I am making it today for Mahashivratri Fast. Thats when I came across the vanilla hearts and the paan pole. They are simply impossible to ignore. I must admit I have not cooked anything interesting since I came back from Pune but I am slowly warming up to cooking different dishes again. So thanks for all that inspiration.

Anupama.(Food-n-more)
Had to sign in as anonymous as Blogger won't acknowledge my user ID

3:04 AM  
Blogger Anjali said...

Oh Ashwini I'm late here. Congrats for the nomination. Hope you had a fun day. Hearts look mystical! Soon to try.

3:27 AM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Mufs - yikes thats too bad...I dont know why its happening. One of my friends in UAE can see the photos though.

Anupama - thanks dear girl! I am making the sheera too :-) And please start blogging some good recipes soon

Anjali - thanks dear

9:31 AM  
Blogger Sandeepa said...

A or B these Vanilla hearts/Cookies are for me :)

Congrats on the nomination

12:58 PM  
Blogger swapna said...

hi ashwini
congrats for ur nomination..
those cookies are awesome..

2:13 PM  
Blogger Jyothsna said...

Hi Ashwini,
Beautiful hearts! Cogratulations on being nominated!!

12:40 AM  
Anonymous Bhargavi said...

Hi!!
Lovely hearts.
Congrats on being nominated!

2:00 PM  
Blogger AKS said...

Hi,
I am a bit late here....Y'day I tried these vanilla hearts though not in heart shape....they turned out so tasty,crunchy (Khusakhushit) and easy....My hubby liked it so much and it was one of my initial adventure in Baking...so I couldnt resist to tell you though it is quite late...
It is really awesome!
I like your food blog and will try few more recepies soon...
Preetam

1:04 AM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Preetam I am so glad you liked vanilla cookies. Now you can try a lot more baking recipes too!

8:24 AM  
Blogger rv said...

liked your vanilla cookies :)

12:03 PM  
Blogger rv said...

just wanted to know whether they are hard? coz when i tried baking cookies, it always turns up soft , but i like them hard, i mean it should have a texture like normal biscuits we get in india,...how is that possible? u have any tips?

12:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1 inch thickness seems to be quite thick, does the cookie spread while it gets baked and so becomes thinner when fully baked?

9:14 PM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

The cookies are rather thick... like shortbread. Besides you wont actually be able to get a uniform 1" thickness as the dough is buttery. The cookies dont spread.

12:34 PM  
Blogger Ramya harish said...

hi ashwini.. i was so eager when i read this recipe n waited for a weekend to tried it today.. till the dough preparation i feel i was right.. later i dnt know wat went wrong.i had a problem wot preheating... let me explain wat i did..
In my oven(Onida 20l)when i set to 350 f preheAT time got automatically set to half an hour..after 5 min of preheating..ther was too much of odour(sumwat burnt)..so i stopped it n kept the cookies inside n timed for 12 min.. they wer looking good.. like how urs r..somewat light golden.. it was nt cooked..when i pressed it wit a spoon it was burying in.. i kept for 3 more min.. they turned even brown in colour..it was nt done evn thn,,2 more min. they wer tending to dark brown.. i got fed up n left it for sometime.. thn wen i tated it taste was good,..it was hard to break..but once i broke it tasted good n eay to eat..

whats wrong here... when i preheat to 350 f how long should i time it.. i just followed ur reicpe til the dough...please gimme some tips.. am going to definitely try again..

8:49 AM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Hi Ramya, first of all pre heating an oven to 350F takes about 8 minutes max. If your oven is Onida it sounds like you are in India. Which means you follow Celsius not Fahrenheit. So 350F for your oven is between 175 to 180C.

These really are the easiest cookies to make. Once you pop them in the oven, start keeping an eye from 10 minutes onwards because oven times wary.

Its okay to remove them slightly earlier because they firm up a little as they cool. Let me know if you have better luck next time.

11:10 AM  
Blogger Ramya harish said...

hey thanks a lot ashwini.. we got the oven recently..so am eager to try out as many recipes as possibl..pizza came out really well.. for ths cookies..i set temp at 180C.. next time i ll preheat for abt 8 min n try.. wil try tmw itself possible n tell.. ll make hearts next time.. today i simply made circles n kept thm tody..

11:55 AM  
Blogger Ramya harish said...

hi ashwini.. i tried these once again and they came much better than before but not like urs.. this time they spread a llil.. i cooked for 12 min n let them cool.. later i found few biscuits stuck to the crispy plate though i had greased wit butter.. n they wer half cooked.. but others were crispy n tasty. tis time luck was nt bad..but nt good either..

10:45 PM  
Blogger Ramya harish said...

hey ash.. i read a lot of oven french fries recipe.. again preheating temp was 350-400F which is arnd 200 n my ovem..but how long shud i preheat for french fries..

9:34 AM  
Blogger Madhuram said...

I'm into eggless baking, so these are my kind of cookies.

8:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ashwini,
I tried this recipe. and it came out very well. Thanks for sharing this...

Ravikalaa

7:38 AM  
Blogger Manasi said...

Hi Ashwini, Iam trying this recipe today, had one question, is there no need for baking powder/ soda??

3:23 PM  
Blogger Madhu said...

Hi Ashwini,

i just came through your blog and it is very nice. especially i love this vanilla cookies i just tried cookies and they really turned out well. with your permission can i take u r reciepe and put in my blog.waiting for u r response.

madhavi

10:50 PM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Madhuram - let me know if you try them

Ravikalaa - glad you enjoyed

Manasi - no need..the recipe is simple; why do you want to mess with it? :D

Madhavi - welcome to FFT. Sure go ahead and link to my blog.

2:33 PM  

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