dinsdag 20 november 2007

Thank you hearts

So tomorrow is the day when two collegues and I say 'goodbye' to our current department at work. We'll still be working for the same institution, but it's a big change nonetheless. One that needs to be marked with a small gathering and a small token of our thanks to the people we've worked with in the past 4 years. I thought cookies would be appropriate, and hearts the perfect shape, to say 'thanks'. So here is the result after three nights of baking: almond filled cookies:

And brownie hearts:

Filled speculaas hearts:

And shortbread/sugar cookies dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with hazelnuts:

I'm hoping the people at work will enjoy them and have a sweet little moment with the cookies :o).

For good measure, I'm adding the recipe for the brownie hearts, which came from the Martha Stewart site:

Brownie hearts and brownie bits
Makes 12 hearts
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 1 hour

After you cut out the hearts, roll the brownie leftovers into bite-size morsels. Once coated with cocoa or sugar, they resemble truffles. You'll get about forty-four bites.

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Confectioners' sugar, colored sugar, cocoa, or crushed toffee bits, for decoration

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan; cut a piece of waxed paper to fit the bottom, and press it onto the buttered surface. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, and chocolate. Microwave on high for 1 minute; stir. If the chocolate is not softened, continue to microwave at 10-second intervals, removing before it's completely melted.

2. Beat eggs and vanilla into the melted chocolate with a wooden spoon. Beat in flour and salt. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool.

3. Run a knife around the edge of the pan. Turn the brownie cake out onto a baking sheet, and flip over onto a work surface. Cut out the brownies with a 2 1/2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter. Dust with cocoa if you like. Form the scraps into 1-inch balls, and roll them in the coating of your choice.

Variations: If you don't have a heart-shaped cutter, you can cut the brownies into squares or other shapes. If you like, add one cup chopped nuts to the batter, or decorate the top of each brownie with a whole pecan or walnut.