Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Hot Chocolate Hearts

Yesterday I turned a year older. Yep...it was my birthday. However, I find it strange that as my age gets older I feel younger. Is that possible? Last year when I turned 26, I thought I still felt 21. And now this year as I turn 27, I could swear that I'm really only 19. Something funny is going on here...

Nevertheless, a birthday in my name calls for some major chocolate! Chocolate in the shape of hearts because that's how much I love the stuff! I even cared enough to spice them up with a touch of red cayenne and sparkly sugar crystals.

I'm also going to indulge in some gelato with flavours in the name of Salted Butter Caramel, Valhrona Chocolate and Indonesian Vanilla. Yes, I will definitely be doing that!

Fruity desserts are great, but on my birthday, please just bring me chocolate and cream.

I remember on one of our first dates, my husband (boyfriend at the time) ordered some strawberry sorbet at the Cone Shoppe. 

I mean...he ordered sorbet when he had the option of Peanut Butter & Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, MOOSETRACKS (my favourite), Cookies & Cream, Rocky Road...

I seriously called him out right then and there.

"Sorbet!? Are you kidding me!?" 

It just splurted right out of my mouth and I had no control of it.

I was shocked I guess, and kind of disappointed frankly. Especially since he did his Master's degree in the stabilization of ice crystals in ICE CREAM.

There's probably a 6% chance that I would order sorbet in an ice cream shop.

I have nothing against it (well, obviously I do a little bit). I like it. It's refreshing and tangy and sweet. Great. BUT, it has it's place and when I'm going out to order a $4 cone, it's going to be something incredible. I almost always order Moosetracks. Salty fudge, french vanilla and peanut butter cups? 
Come ON!

Anyway...I remember the look on his face when I responded like that, and I think he was a little scared of me. He just said "Sometimes I feel like fruit".

Fair enough.

To this day I think he is still scared to order sorbet and probably does it when I'm not around.

So next year when I turn 28 (but still feel 18), please bring me chocolate and skip the oranges.

From my (chocolate) heart to yours,


Hot Chocolate Hearts
Makes about 40 cookies

175 g (1 ¼ cups) all-purpose flour
42 g/1.5 oz (½ cup) unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
113 g/4 oz (½ cup) salted butter, at room temperature
100 g/3.5 oz (½ cup) granulated sugar
55 g/2 oz (¼ cup) packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the topping:
granulated sugar
cayenne pepper

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt until evenly blended and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater/paddle attachment, beat butter with both sugars using on medium to medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 1 ½-2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add egg and vanilla extract and beat on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 30 seconds. Add flour mixture and mix on low speed until mostly blended. Do not over-mix. Use a spatula to finish incorporating the rest of the flour.

Divide dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.

Preheat your oven to 325°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Roll dough out to 1/8-inch thickness and cut out as many 2-inch hearts as you can. Re-roll the scraps and cut out more hearts. Transfer them to the prepared baking sheets and bake until dry to the touch, about 10 minutes. 

Transfer tray to a wire rack and let cookies cool on tray for 2 minutes before transferring individually to the rack to cool completely. 

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  1. Happy belated! I hope many dreams (including the chocolatey ones) come true for you in the year to come...

  2. Happy birthday!

    I'm a 'gold medal ribbon' kind of girl but if that's not available chocolate chip cookie dough or pralines and cream will do.

    When it comes to gelato though its always pistachio.

  3. Happy Birthday! Best wishes for your new year, too.

    I always go for the Mexican chocolate gelato, when it's available. Ice cream? Um, triple dark chocolate ecstasy is my first choice :D

    One question on this recipe - can I put the pepper into the dough rather than add it to the sugar on top?

    1. Yes, you can go ahead and add the pepper straight to the dough if you like!

  4. Happy Day After your birthday! My brother claims that every birthday after 21 is the ( fill in the number) anniversary of his 21st birthday because he still feels in his mind like he's 21!! I hope you have a wonderful year <3
    Andi C.

  5. Happy belated Bday! Your photography is stunning :)