I’m a sucker for love in all its forms, from Reese Witherspoon and her childhood sweetheart in Sweet Home Alabama to the ‘Be Mine’ on a love heart.
You know what they say though, you have to love yourself before you can really love someone else*, so I decided to create a twist on the classic love heart – the self-love heart. The self-love heart is basically a positive affirmation, but in treat form. Edible Pinterest if you will. I thought the benefits of this could actually be multiple, as it would also serve to specifically counteract any guilt you might feel about eating the treat the first place.
Newsflash guys: life’s too short. Eat the treats.
Anyway, I had no idea how to make real homemade love heart sweets, and I’m not sure I really like them aside from the sentiment, so I decided to make self-love hearts in biscuit form instead, inspired by a set of tiny letter stamps that I found in Taunton’s new Hobbycraft.
To make my self-love heart cookies I also used a baking sheet and some heart shape cutters that I was sent as a gift from Judge. Judge has a really amazing bakeware range, and they sent me a view bits recently to try out because they know I like a little potter about in the kitchen. The quality of everything I’ve used so far is top notch, and it’s not expensive, so do check them out. I’m particularly excited about using my new mini loaf tin soon to make some teeny tiny banana loaves.
As my biscuit base I used the same recipe as for my homemade party rings – it’s a sort of light, soft shortbread texture. Very tasty and easy to make. I already had some ready to roll fondant icing, which I coloured with tiny bits of pink and yellow food colouring, but you can make your own fondant icing very easily – just mix tiny quantities of water with icing sugar until you have a dough like consistency that you can knead and roll, a bit like playdoh.
Homemade self-love heart cookies – ingredients
To make your cookies, you will need:
- 100g plain flour
- 15g cornflour
- 50g caster sugar
- One medium egg yoke
- 75g unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
You’ll also then need fondant icing for decoration, and a little warm water to brush on the back of your icing hearts to stick them to the cookies.
Homemade self-love heart cookies – method
Start by working the flour, cornflour and butter into a breadcrumb like texture with your fingertips, and then add in the sugar, vanilla and egg to bind the mixture together into a dough. I also added a splash of pink food colouring, just for fun. Give your cookie dough a knead on a lightly floured surface, just for a minute or so, until it’s nice and smooth.
Roll out your dough to about the thickness of a pound coin and using a round cookie cutter that’s just a bit bigger than the size of the heart you plan to use for your icing, cut your dough into biscuit shapes.
Transfer these to your baking sheet and cook at 180°C/160°C/Gas 4 for about 10 minutes. Take them out BEFORE they start to turn brown. You want them slightly firm to the touch but pale. Leave to cool slightly on the tray and then transfer to a cooling rack.
Meanwhile, sprinkle a tiny bit of icing sugar on your worktop and roll out your fondant icing. Cut out heart shapes, brush the backs with a little warm water, and stick them on top of your biscuits.
Now it’s the fun bit, getting to stamp your messages of self-love onto your cookies!
I had quite a few ideas for positive things to say about myself, things like ‘you’re not afraid to fall in love even though you’ve done it so many times already’ and ‘you make a really excellent lasagne’ but there isn’t a great deal of space on the cookies and so I was forced to come up with more succinct messaging.
The fun thing about these homemade love heart cookies is that they don’t have to just be self-love. You could make a batch for your partner to show them what a catch you are, for a friend who needs a bit of cheering up, or even for your kids if you want to be the kind of parent who makes personalised cookies.
It’s a slippery slope from there to bento boxes and having to cut sandwiches into the shape of a T-rex before your kids will eat them, just to warn you, but then we have to get our fun wherever we can nowadays don’t we?
What message would you put for yourself on a self-love heart cookie?
*I’m not actually convinced of this to be honest. If we all waited until we were completely self-assured and confident in our own awesomeness then would anybody ever be in a relationship? Perhaps that’s a subject for another blog post.