Well January has nearly passed us by in 2017. Where has the month gone. The main baking treats to look forward to this next month are Valentines Day. However, before we get there, on the food calendar, we have World Nutella Day, Yorkshire Pudding Day and Bramley Apple Week. What a deliciously yummy time ahead. Today, I am thinking Valentines treats as I love trying to think of something different to bake for my family to enjoy. This week I will be making my traditional Jammy Dodgers for them to take in their packed lunches. These are shortbread cookies which are cut in the shape of hearts and sandwiched together with strawberry jam, then dusted with icing sugar. I have added the recipe for these cookies below and will be adding it to my website www.love-to-bake.uk too.

[lt_recipe name=”Jammy Dodgers” servings=”12″ prep_time=”10M” cook_time=”15M” total_time=”25M” difficulty=”Easy” print=”yes” summary=”Nutritionally, one cookie contains 311 calories, 17.2g total fat (22% daily total fat), 36.8g total carbohydrate (13% daily total carbohydrate), 0.9g fibre (3% daily fibre) (based on a 2000 calorie diet).” image=”https://www.love-to-bake.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/JamDodgers.jpeg” ingredients=”12oz plain flour;4oz caster sugar;250g butter;jam for filling;icing sugar for dusting” ]Preheat the oven to gas 3.;Line a baking tray.;Mix the flour and sugar in a bowl.;Add the butter and rub it in.;The dough will form the more that the mixture is kneaded.;Once formed roll out and cut out the cookies before placing on the tray.;Bake for about 15 minutes till starting to colour.;Leave to cool on a wire rack.;Sandwich together with the jam and dust with the icing sugar before serving.[/lt_recipe]

These cookies keep fresh for several days in an airtight tin and are perfect for a Valentine present to the one you love. This year I might let the children make some for their Grandma as a little surprise. There will definitely be a heart shaped theme in my kitchen for the next fortnight, at least, but really you don’t need an excuse to bake anything in the shape of a heart. I have heart shaped cake tins in my kitchen cupboard which I use often when making ” Tarte Tatin” as a quick teatime treat.

I think the cookies that I will be making over the next couple of weeks will all be heart shaped, in which case I need to try lots of different recipes and keep the children well stocked up. You don’t need to have a cookie cutter in the shape of a heart to join in the fun. Heart shapes are quite easy to make, for example with a round sponge cake and a square sponge cake of the same dimensions, eg, 8 inch,  you just cut the cake in half to form two semi circles and then turn them so the flat edges lie flat against two sides of the square sponge. I have made up a diagram to help explain. Hope it helps.

Hearts Diagram
Hearts Diagram

Also for cookies the heart shape effect can be made simply by flattening the cookie dough down with a fork in the ten to two position. If you know what I mean. (I may have to draw up a diagram for this too).

Of course having the cookie cutters does mean that I can have some fun and the children and husband will be getting heart shaped toast with a fried egg in the centre, heart shaped sandwiches, pancakes and waffles, jam tarts decorated in pastry hearts, brownies with heart shaped chocolates baked on the top of them, to name but a few of the ideas in my head and from other food websites, blogs and magazines. I do take inspiration from other bakers but I like to use my own recipes and put my own twist to ideas as I work – so watch this space!!

If I am going to be baking all these yummy treats I need to stock up on some serious chocolate and then hide it from my children. They seem to have noses which can sniff out chocolate from one hundred yards. 🙂

I have been looking at the different Valentine offers which are available at the moment to see if there is anything out there that catches my eye which I would like to share with my husband. My children like to serve us a romantic meal on Valentines Day as a treat but to make it more of a treat I tend to buy something that doesn’t require much cooking (I don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen). I think this year I will buy our treat from Marks and Spencers. They have an excellent offer on at the moment – “a free be mine gift bag of 12 red roses with a box of chocolates for £25.00” but this is available by pre order only for a limited time. I may leave a few hints to my husband. 😉 Just take a look at the link above for Marks and Spencers and head to the Valentines section in the flowers and gifts.

That is all for today I have enjoyed working on this article today and have even learnt a few new computer tips from my husband. If you have any questions please feel free to comment below. Thankyou.