While all the kids were handing out bags full of candy and other treats I wanted to do something else for the teachers and aides. I decided to make some heart-shaped shortbread and turn them into sandwiches with strawberry buttercream. I then packaged them up in lovely little cellophane bags with decorative Valentine’s Day cardboard seals. I thought they came out adorable.
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3-4 tbsp. heavy whipping cream
Pre-heat oven to 325° and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Whisk the flour in a bowl and set to the side.
Cream butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed for 3 minutes. Add the sugar and continue to beat at same speed for a few more minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla and 2 tbsps. of the cream. Once combined add in the flour in four small batches. Mix just until combined each time and scrape down the bowl after each addition. The dough should pull away from the bowl nicely and ball up. If it does not add the additional cream 1 tbsp. at a time.
Form the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes. When ready, roll the dough out on a floured surface to 1/8″ thickness and cut out with cookie cutters.
Bake for 15-18 minutes. The bottoms should just be starting to brown. Cool the cookies completely on a wire rack.
1/2 c. hulled and cut up strawberries
4 c. confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1-2 tbsp. heavy whipping cream
Place the strawberries in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. You may need to add a tsp. or two of water is using a blender.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the butter on medium-high for 2-3 minutes. In small batches add in the sugar on low just until combined. Stir in the vanilla and strawberry puree until completely mixed. Add in 1 tbsp of whipping cream and beat on medium-high for one minute. Check the consistency and if desired add the other tbsp. Next beat on high for 3-5 minutes or until fluffy.
Fill a pastry bag and pipe onto the bottom of a cookie once cooled and then top with another cookie.
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