Is there anything more romantic than food? I mean, apart from diamonds, because they are pretty romantic. I’m going to go all gushy now and tell you that James bought me my first diamond last Valentines Day. We exchanged gifts in the morning before work and I was on Cloud Nine all day, looking at my beautiful ring.
Amazingly, this is the only picture I can find of me with my ring. Luckily, they still sell it so you can take a closer look here if you’re so inclined!
But other than diamonds, food is pretty much it for me. And while having something bought is great, I think the extra love that goes into home-baked goodies makes them taste even sweeter.
I love the idea of shortbread for Valentines Day for a number of reasons. Firstly, you can decorate them any way you like – sprinkles, chocolate, dried fruits or by writing adorable messages if you’re a dab hand with icing.
The other great thing about shortbread is that it lasts for a few days, so
you your Valentine can enjoy them all week – meaning the magic of February 14 lasts a little longer.
The fact that they last for a few days (when stored in an airtight container) means that they are perfect to make for yourself. And why not?! Self-love is just as important as adoration from a partner in my opinion.
These biscuits are very easy to make, contain just three ingredients and you can pretty much start decorating as soon as they come out of the oven.
They are dairy-free and each undecorated shortbread contains just 48 calories and 1g of sugar, so you can munch away to your heart’s content (see what I did there.. sorry!).
Now this shortbread is not overly sweet. It is not your typical, crumbly shortbread, more a biscuit. But I’m not apologising – the texture means it can take weighty decorations and the lack of sugar means it doesn’t taste too sickly with lots of toppings on!
Three ingredient shortbread
Makes 26 hearts (depending on cutter)
1 1/4 cups of self-raising flour
4 table spoons sugar
1/2 cup margarine (I used Stork)
* Preheat oven to Gas Mark 3/ 325 degrees
*Combine flour and sugar and cut margarine into mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs
* Form into a ball and knead until smooth
* Roll onto board and cut into hearts
*Lay out onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper
* Bake for 20-25 minutes until the bottoms have slightly browned
Here’s what I did for some inspiration:
Chocolate coated shortbread
* Melt dark chocolate by your preferred method (I put a mug in a bowl of hot water to make a bain-marie but I know others who have perfected the art of melting with a microwave)
* Spoon melted chocolate over the biscuit and leave to set. I found a tea-spoon was plenty to give the top a thick coating
* Repeat with white chocolate
* Chop dates (I used half a date per biscuit) into medium chunks and fold into mixture before baking
* You could try this with other dried fruits, maybe cranberries for a red tinge?
Chocolate chip heart shortbread
* After taking the shortbread out the oven, wait a few minutes before drawing a heart outline with white icing (I used writing icing)
* Place chocolate chips around the outline and leave to set
* I found this worked best when the chocolate chips were placed on slightly warm shortbread because they melted a little and ‘glued’ onto the biscuit.
Chocolate orange cranberry biscuits
* Using your preferred method, melt chocolate orange chocolate then spread over the biscuits. Again, a teaspoon or two gets a lovely layer
* Chop cranberries into thirds and place around the outside of the biscuit
Per shortbread (undecorated): Calories – 48, Fat – 2.6g, Sat Fat – 0.06g, Carbs – 5.6g, Sugars – 1g