Chefs-Corner-Final

This Valentine’s Day, writer and home-baker, Rekha Shetty, helps Navya D’Souza in her quest to dig up delicious recipes for the children who would like to try their hand at baking this Valentine's Day.

Valentine Cookies
Rekha-ShettyLove knows no age and neither does the love of chocolate! A simple question - “How do I make this at home?”, led Mumbai-based home baker Rekha Shetty (@trippinoverlife) to translate her love for eating desserts into a passion for baking. After much trial and error and a numerous tutorials by her sister, who also shares this passion, Shetty extends this to the world via her blog Tripping Over Life.

For Valentine’s Day, Rekha Shetty, shares a special, no-stress treat – Star Anise and Cinnamon Chocolate Cookies sprinkled with a couple of expert tips and a whole lot of love.

Ingredients:

For the cookies

Soft Butter                    225 grams

Caster sugar                280 grams

Egg yolk                       1 (lightly beaten)

Vanilla extract             2 tsps

Plain flour                    250 grams

Cocoa powder             25 grams

Star anise                    2 tsps (ground)

Cinnamon                   1 tsp (ground)

Salt                                 a pinch

Food colours              3 – 4 of your choice

For the topping:

White/ Dark chocolate     100 gms (broken into pieces)

Colourful sprinkles

Colourful candy like Gems

Method:




  1. In a large bowl, add the butter and half of the sugar and beat together until it is light and fluffy.

  2. Then, beat in the egg yolk and the vanilla extract. Expert Tip 1: Always use softened butter, it helps in mixing with the sugar better.

  3. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder and powdered spices into the butter mixture.

  4. Add salt and stir to combine.

  5. Divide the dough and shape into balls before wrapping them in cling film.

  6. Chill these for 30 – 60 minutes.

  7. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C and line two large baking sheets with baking paper.

  8. Unwrap the chilled dough and roll it out. Cut out cookies with a heart-shaped cutter. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets. Expert Tip 2: While rolling out the dough, do it in between 2 sheets of baking paper or cling film. This prevents the dough from sticking to the rolling pin and you can easily roll out your dough.

  9. Bake the cut out cookies in the preheated oven for 10 – 15 minutes or until firm. Leave the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5 – 10 minutes before transferring them onto wire racks for them to cool completely.


While the cookies are cooling, you can work on fun things to top them.

  1. Divide the remaining sugar in four small plastic bags or bowls. Add small quantities of different food colours to each bowl.

  2. Knead in until mixed well and the colour is evenly distributed.

  3. Put chocolate in a heat-resistant bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water.

  4. Once the chocolate has melted, set it aside for it to cool slightly.

  5. Spread the melted chocolate over the cookies. Sprinkle the coloured sugar/candies/ sprinkles over the chocolate while still warm.

  6. Leave to set and, then, serve.


If you’d like to make the recipe a bit more fun, Shetty says that you could infuse flavours like peppermint, coffee, and fruit flavours by heating cream and any of the flavours you want and then adding it to the melted chocolate.

One of the best things about baking, Rekha says, is the “beautiful aromas of freshly baked treats from the oven, which waft through and linger around your house.” We don’t need a better reason really, we’re sold.