Looking for a unique Valentine’s day cookie recipe? These sugar cookies have an aromatic Persian twist. Last year I created a Persian love cake recipe on valentine’s day and it proved to be a big hit, so I used the same flavours that I’d used in the love cake as inspiration to create these Persian love cookies.
WHY YOU'LL LOVE THEM
These cookies are perfectly soft and chewy inside with a bit of crunch around the edges. They’re flavoured with aromatic rose water, dried rose petals, nutmeg, ground cardamom and a hint of citrus. I’ve decorated them with red royal icing, but if you prefer your cookies to be less sweet, then they’re just as delicious without the icing. I know not everyone is a fan of rose water, but let me tell you, the amount in this recipe is the perfect balance and it works beautifully with the rest of the spicy flavours so you don’t get an intense floral taste. These cookies are easy to prepare and would make lovely edible gifts!
TIPS FOR MAKING PERSIAN LOVE COOKIES
Be sparing with the rose water – if you’re a lover or rose water you might feel tempted to add a few extra drops, but don’t! Rose water, especially if it’s a good quality brand, can get overpowering really fast, so unless you want to feel like you’re chewing on a rosebud, then I would strongly recommend you use the amount that’s listed in the ingredients.
Save yourself time and effort by getting the perfect consistency for the royal icing –if like me, you want to achieve maximum results with minimal effort, then it’s crucial that you create the right consistency for the icing. The traditional method for adding icing to sugar cookies requires a stiff icing to create and outline, and also a fluid icing to flood the cookies. You want the icing to be soft enough to pipe through the icing nozzle, yet stiff enough to hold its shape on the cookie without it running down the edges. With the right icing consistency, you should be able to outline and flood your cookies at the same time.
Act fast- if you want to add additional colours of icing or sprinkles to the cookies, add them as soon as possible because the icing with dry out within a few minutes.
Don’t lift the cookies off the baking tray when you take them out of the oven – these cookies will feel very soft even after baking, so don’t let that fool you into thinking they’re undercooked. They’ll harden as they cool down, but if you try to move them when they’re fresh out then oven, I can guarantee they’ll break, so make sure you let them cool down on the baking tray for 5 minutes or so before transferring them to a wire rack.
Don’t add icing to hot cookies – if you add icing onto hot cookies the icing will melt and run everywhere, so unless you want a hot mess, have patience and wait for them to cool completely.
GET YOUR CREATIVE JUICES FLOWING
I’ve kept my design rather simple, but there are no rules when it comes to decorating cookies, so go wild! You can add text, use different colours of icing or you can use additional ingredients to add texture and colour to these cookies; sliced pistachios and dried rose petals would look lovely!
WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
Heart-shaped cookie cutter (about 7-9cm wide – 3- 3 1/2 inches)
1 small piping tip
couplers and piping bag
HOW TO MAKE THESE COOKIES
STEP 1: Preparing the dough
Line two large baking trays with baking paper. Add all of the ingredients for the cookies into a large bowl and knead everything until a smooth dough as formed. It will look crumbly at first, but have patience and keep kneading and it'll turn into a smooth dough. Alternatively, you could put the dough ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer with a kneading attachment fitted. Beat the butter on medium speed until it’s smooth, for about 2 minutes. Then add the rest of the cookie dough ingredients and knead on a medium speed until combined. Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Roll each portion out onto a piece of baking paper to about 1/4″ thickness. The rolled-out dough can be any shape, as long as it is evenly ¼-inch thick. Transfer the rolled dough onto a tray and place in the fridge for 30 minutes..
STEP 2: Cutting the cookies
Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F, gas mark 3). Line two large baking trays with baking paper. Remove one of the dough pieces from the refrigerator and using a heart cookie cutter, cut into heart shapes. Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all is used. Repeat with second piece of dough.
STEP 3: Baking
Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the edges start to brown slightly. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer then to a wire rack to cool down completely before adding the icing.
STEP 4: Making the icing
To make the icing, add all of the ingredients to a large bowl and stir. It'll look dry at first so don't be tempted to add more liquid. Only add more milk if it's still too thick after you've thoroughly combined all of the ingredients. You want the icing to be soft enough to pipe through the icing nozzle, yet stiff enough to hold its shape on the cookie without it running down the edges. With the right icing consistency, you should be able to outline and flood your cookies at the same time.
STEP 5: Decorating
Don’t lift the cookies when you take them out the oven – these cookies will feel very soft even after baking, so don’t let that fool you into thinking they’re undercooked. They’ll harden as they cool down. Once the cookies have cooled down completely, you can start icing and decorating them. Add the icing to a piping bag fitted with small, round nozzle and create a heart shaped outline with the royal icing around the outside of the cookies. Next fill the centre of the cookies with royal icing. Make sure to work fast with the icing as it can dry very quickly. Add any additional decorations of your choice and allow the icing to set for a minimum of 2 hours. Make sure not to directly cover the cookies as this can ruin the icing.
These cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
The cookie dough can be made in advance and stored in the freezer for up to a month.