- Food and Cooking
Bee My Valentine cookies
Made with honey, and naturally low fat Valentines Day Cookies
These cookies look like Valentine cookies. But they are so fragrant and tasty they get raves from everyone, and it's a favorite with people who don't like greasy or overly-sweet recipes.. It is almost no-fat (4 tablespoons butter for 4 and 1/2 cups of flour) compared to other cookies, and it is incredibly tasty.
Why are these Valentine Cookies so delicious? For one thing, much of the sweetness comes from honey, which has a fragrant taste. For another thing, it has tiny pieces of citron in it which not only add depth to the flavor of the cookie but are also chewy and fun to find. And last but not least, it has ground almonds in it, so it is healthier and has some protein so it will be nourishing to your cells.
The dough cuts into shapes very well, and lasts in a container for weeks. (But that never happens because everyone loves them so much.)
This recipe is not just for Valentines Day. We also use it for Christmas , and any other time we need an elegant cookie. You can glaze them for a holiday, or leave them plain to make them a little less sweet. And my husband likes them burnt best. You will have to try it to see if you agree...
Our Chinese friends beg us for these cookies. So do our American friends. I have one friend who will not share them with anyone else if she has a stash, and another who hides them from visitors so her family can enjoy as many as possible. These are truly great cookies. You can put a glaze on them to make them beautiful, or you can leave them plain to avoid the extra sugar. They cut and decorate beautifully for any holiday.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: The photo is of the liquid part of the batter.
- 4 Tablespoons butter -melted and mixed with
- 3/4 cup of honey
- Cool and set aside
- Mix 4 and 1/2 cups flour
- in a bowl with the following dry ingredients:
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Then take 2 eggs - beat with
- 3/4 cup sugar until it is very pale yellow
- 1/2 cup ground almonds
- 1/3 cup minced candied citron
- 1 Tablespoon grated lemon peel
- potentially add 1/2 cup flour more
- I don't know about you, but I like my directions mixed in with the instructions. So that is the way I did it above!
- Here are the full instructions:
- 1. Heat the butter until melted, and then add in the honey and let it cool.
- 2. Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
- 3. Put the eggs and sugar in a mixer and beat until it is a pale yellow color.
- 4. Add the rest of the ingredients, ground almonds, citron, and lemon peel, to the egg/sugar mixture and blend in. The liquid part will look like the picture.
- 5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet. It will be a stiff dough in the end, so you will want to do the last part by hand or your mixer might break! The dough should be stiff, but still hold together nicely. If it seems too soft, you can add more flour, around 1/2 cup or so. Put in fridge overnight.
- Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thick, or thinner if you prefer. My husband likes it very thin - and begs me to "almost burn" them. This also enhances the flavor for people who like that browned flavor in cookies. Cut into shapes. Put on a greased cookie pan and bake.
- Bake at 350 F / 180 C for 10 minutes. Thinner cookies take less time.
Milk and icing sugar glaze - Gilding the Lily
The cookies have a different flavor depending on how brown you make them. You can see the variation in browned-ness here. If they are too pale, the flavor is not as good as ones that have been browned. But burnt cookies are only loved by a few. I know a few! My fans tell me that they like them iced best. You could say that they are more healthy for you if you don't ice them.
But they are so lovely iced... and if you make them for Christmas or Valentine's Day, it looks so cheerful and festive.
I make this icing in a big bowl, and then pour off some into smaller bowls to get variety in the color. If you are using pink and red in your color scheme, you can begin with some white ones, and then add a tiny bit of red to color the icing to a pale pink and ice a few, then add a little more red coloring to get a slightly deeper shade, and later add more red, so that your cookies are not all the same color of pink. It makes them look more interesting.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: Depends on how creative you want to be
- 2 cups 10x powdered icing sugar
- 4 tablespoons of milk
- 1 teaspoon oil
- without strong flavor. Canola or grapeseed is good.
- Add the ingredients to a bowl and mix. You can pour this into a few bowls to have different colors to use. Keep the bowls covered with a wet paper towel to keep the icing from drying when you aren't using it.
- Dip the cookies face down into the icing and let the extra drip off. If you like less icing, you can use your finger to wipe away the excess. Put on a plate or let them drip on a wire drying rack with waxed paper below to catch the drips.
- When they are dry, you can put them in containers and keep for several weeks. That is, if your family hasn't eaten them by the next day!
Candied Citron - The ingredient that can be hard to find except during the Christmas holiday season
Before Christmas we buy enough citron at the supermarket to last for the year. Citron keeps well. I have had the luxury of buying candied citron in the Italian markets in Federal Hill in Providence, RI, where one of the stores had hand-made candied citron peels that were very unusual and lovely, with no special preservatives added. They had to be cut, but that isn't really a problem since all this recipe calls for is 1/3 cup. We use citron at Easter too, and the stores sometimes have some saved over from Christmas, but it is safer to get your citron when it is in the shops at Christmastime. If you missed it, you can find it online and at Amazon.com. The link is below.
A romantic story... - Hearts and bones...
The first time I made these was in the early 1970s as a Valentine's Day present for my fiancee. We got tired of making hearts, so we started making dog bone shaped ones. Then with the scraps we pieced together funny shapes, which we call "monster cookies." They are very versatile! We got married, and then we made them every year after that, for all these years. One of the best parts of making these for Valentine's Day is being able to add all the beautiful Valentine's Day candies like Conversation Hearts, Red Hots - my favorite addition, sprinkles, hundreds and thousands dots, and even chocolate chips. Whatever you like. See the photo for ideas.