What's Baking: Valentine's Day Spritz Cookies

Valentine's Day Spritz Cookies || A Less Processed Life

I typically break out my cookie gun over the winter holidays and then promptly forget about it until I pull the box out of my pantry and blow the dust off the top the next time December rolls around.

Valentine's Day Spritz Cookies || A Less Processed Life

But, given that one of the cookie shapes is a heart, that seems awful silly, doesn't it?

Valentine's Day Spritz Cookies || A Less Processed Life

So, I reached back into the depths of my pantry (don't get D started on my interesting organizational scheme...) and pulled the box out from the back corner to make these (easy! simple!) Valentine's Day spritz cookies.

The secret to cookie gunning (is that a term?) is to go slow and don't get too trigger happy. And, if the dough comes out in a weird clump, just toss the dough back in the bowl and keep going. I usually press out three or four misshapen cookie blobs before I get in the groove.

While you can always decorate these cookies with sprinkles before popping them in the oven, this time I chose to get a little fancy by dipping the cookies in a little melted semi-sweet chocolate. Because just about anything is made better with a little chocolate, right? Right after dipping each cookie, I sprinkled on little decorative hearts or red, white, and pink nonpareils. Or you could just dip 'em in the chocolate and call it a day. (And thus avoid covering your kitchen floor in bouncing nonpareils. Not that I have any experience in that or anything.)

So, whether you celebrate Valentine's Day or the following day's 75-percent-off-Valentine's-candy Day, I hope it's a good one!

Valentine's Day Spritz Cookies (printer-friendly version)
makes 50+ cookies

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
16 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
sprinkles for decorating

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
3. Add the butter and sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat at high speed until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Beat in the vanilla, then beat in the egg. In several batches, stir in the flour mixture at low speed, until just combined.
4. Fill a cookie gun with the dough, choosing the heart-shaped disk to make heart-shaped cookies. (Or choose whatever shape your heart desires.)
5. Press the cookies out onto the prepped baking sheet. You can place them pretty close to each other; they won't spread much at all. Bake for 9-12 minutes. or until just set and slightly golden on the bottom. Set on a wire rack to cool completely.
6. Melt the chocolate in the microwave. Line your work surface with parchment paper. Dip each cookie into the chocolate and set on the parchment paper. Decorate with sprinkles before the chocolate sets and then let cool until the chocolate has set. Store any leftover cookies in an airtight container for up to three days.

(adapted from this Giada De Laurentiis recipe)

Valentine's Day Spritz Cookies || A Less Processed Life