We can’t imagine anyone who wouldn’t be overjoyed to open a box of these Valentine brownie cookies as a gift – but we also highly advocate making a batch for yourself. For an extra special touch, decorate them with a dusting of crushed crystallised rose petals and violets over a stripe of melted chocolate.
150g unsalted butter softened
75g light muscovado sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
120g plain flour
75g ground almonds
1 medium egg yolk
1. Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 3½. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl using an electric whisk until fluffy. Sift over the flour and cocoa, add the ground almonds and whisk until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add the egg yolk, briefly whisk to blend and then bring together into a dough. Lightly roll out the dough to roughly a 23cm square.
2. Place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Bake for 20 minutes until just set (it will soften once cool). Leave to cool completely and then chill for an hour. Carefully cut out hearts using a 5cm heart cutter (or you can make a variety of sizes) and arrange on a wire rack. Leave to set for about an hour.
SWEETHEART TOUCH To finish, dust the cookies with icing sugar if wished. Or make an icing by combining 2 tablespoons icing sugar with 1 tablespoon cocoa powder and enough water to give the consistency of double cream. Paint a strip on each cookie and add a sprinkling of crushed crystallised rose petals and violets.
Recipe by Annie Bell. Food styling by Clare Lewis. Styling by Sue Radcliffe.