The Great Cookie Experiment – Raspberry Shortbread Hearts

I am so glad to report that I have a good recipe for this week! Do not despair; there WILL be fabulous Valentine cookies for your table this year!

We have a Valentine’s Day tradition in my family where we have a formal dinner, the whole family. We break out the china, the crystal, cloth napkins, candles, the works. I make Fettuccine Alfredo, shrimp, warm crusty bread, salad greens and for dessert, I dip chocolate strawberries. Everyone has to dress up fancy, and we put on classical music to dine in style. This has been going on since my oldest was six years old and wanted to talk about jewels because regular conversation wasn’t fancy enough. She’s seventeen now, and it’s still a treasured event here.

I would absolutely make these shortbread cookies to go with those chocolate dipped strawberries. These are rich buttery cookies spread with raspberry jam, and drizzled with semisweet chocolate. The flavor combination is wonderful, and they look beautiful-perfect for a fancy dining event.

We need to talk about the “raspberry spread” here in the recipe. It calls for taking raspberry jam and thickening it with cornstarch, then spreading it on the cookie. I wouldn’t do that. Adding cornstarch will change the flavor of your jam. Instead, thicken it with Ultra Gel. You don’t have to cook it, just stir the Ultra Gel in, so it’s much easier, and doesn’t affect the flavor. I used a raspberry huckleberry jam that I made with Cornab’ys Jam in a Jiffy. It was a beautiful dark red, and the huckleberries added a nice flavor twist. You could also use any of the Cornaby’s jam flavors- especially seedless for a smoother texture. They also have brand new Fruitivia with flavors that are to DIE for. The Triple Berry Fusion would add a great burst of fruit flavor in your cookies. All of these options are lower in sugar as an added bonus!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I hope your traditions are just as special, and that these cookies can somehow be a part of it! They’re worth it!

Raspberry Shortbread Hearts

2 cups flour

6 Tbl sugar

2 Tbl cornstarch (Substitute 3 Tbl of Ultra Gel instead of the cornstarch. You’ll get a better taste, and a softer cookie)

1 cup butter

Raspberry Topping:

½ cup raspberry jam (see above options!)

2 ½ tsp cornstarch (3 ¼ tsp Ultra Gel)

Cornstarch method- Put ingredients in a saucepan. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let cool.

Ultra Gel Method- Stir Ultra Gel into jam.

Combine flour, sugar, and cornstarch. Mix well. Cut in butter until crumbly. Form into a ball and chill for one hour. Roll out dough to ¼ inch thickness. Using a 3 or 4 inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut heart shapes from the dough. Top with raspberry topping and bake at 375 for 8 minutes. Cool and drizzle with melted semi-sweet chocolate chips.

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