heart cookies, kim hendrickson, tastefully small
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The Tea House Times Guest Blog featuring KIM HENDRICKSON, Salvia Press

February 2016 Posts


  The Tea House Times Guest Blog - Kim Hendrickson
Blog Entry

THE PUZZLE HEART by Kim Hendrickson

Wednesday, February 10th 2016 @ 9:13 PM

My favorite Valentine’s Day wasn’t romantic in the least.   My oldest and dearest friend, Sam and I worked for the same publisher many years ago.  We decided, along with two other people we shared an office with, to pull names out of a hat. The rules were simple; to make, create, assemble a Valentine’s gift. If we had to buy something for the person whose name we got, it would be as a last resort.

I got Sam’s name, so I went to work right away trying to come up with a unique and creative valentine that would let him know how much I valued our friendship, but entertain him as well. I decided to bake a large heart shaped cookie, frost it and decorate it with letters and designs, then cut it into puzzle pieces as it was cooling. After the frosting set, I broke it apart and placed it in a decorative a bag to give to him on the big day.

Sam was delighted and so were our co-workers.  In the end I felt that I had been the most fortunate of all because it turns out that Sam pulled my name and did a valentine watercolor just for me.   I still have that watercolor and the wonderful memories of that special Valentine's Day.

Below is a basic cookie recipe that works for this Valentine. Once the dough is baked, the batter doesn’t spread a lot and if you cut the heart into pieces when slightly warm, the edges will be very distinct and easy to break apart.

Remember to bake your heart, whatever size you choose, separately from the other cookies as it will require extra baking time. Look for firm edges and the dough has puffed and flattened again. The dough will be firm when gently touched. You may want to make two hearts, just in case you mess one up!



Makes about 20 cut out cookies


1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

1 1/4 cup light or brown sugar, packed

1 tablespoon molasses

1 egg

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Extra flour for rolling out


Preheat oven to 375F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cream the butter, brown sugar and molasses in a medium bowl with a hand mixer. Add the egg and mix to combine.

In a separate bowl combine the remaining dry ingredients together. Add them to the butter mixture and with a spoon or slow speed with the hand mixer combine. Chill dough until it is firm. 

Roll a portion of the dough on a floured surface until it is 1/4-inch thick. Cut out shapes and place them 1-inch apart on the prepared  baking sheets. Bake for 8-12 minutes until the edges are lightly browned and the center firm. Cookies will firm up as they cool.


~ Kim Hendrickson, Salvia Press


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KIM HENDRICKSON, author of the Tastefully Small cookbook series, has been teaching for nearly twenty years. A regular instructor at the John C. Campbell Folk School, she is a frequent speaker at culinary events throughout the U.S.  She has catered for The Travel Channel’s Bizarre Food Show, the New York Metropolitan Opera, the Penguin Repertory Theater. And TV’s “Slangman”, David Burke. Kim's book, "Finger Sandwiches", is the only one of its kind, dedicated exclusively to a celebration of unique and flavorful tea sandwiches, and her "Savory Bites" and "Dessert Canapes" books help round out the Tastefully Small series to make any gathering both fun and delicious. If Kim has one abiding passion, it’s helping people find their inner chef.  From the importance of selecting the proper ingredients, to garnish and plating ideas, to shortcuts that can help reduce the stress of planning an event, the sole aim of Kim’s passion for food and teaching is to make sure it’s as much about the joy of creating something beautiful as it is sharing that food with others. See http://www.SalviaPress.com


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