I made treats for Valentine's Day! Long-time readers who remember my Valentine's post last year may be surprised by this. But, if you remember, I am not at all opposed to the tradition of Valentine's Day, but rather the commercial and predictable event it has become. I'm a total Romantic, and I love the idea of taking someone by surprise and professing your undying affection. I love the idea of people selecting or making special, personal gifts and sharing their true feelings. But the disheartening sight of desperate, sweating men crammed into shops buying tacky cards and regulation roses does not speak to my Romantic heart.
I also dislike that Valentine's Day seems to stop at people in established couples these days. Love is so much more than that. What about love between friends and family - the relationships that often last longer than romantic ones? What about sharing joy with acquaintances that are neglected in love and friendship? What about smiling at and conversing with strangers? What about finding the beauty in unexpected places and falling back in love with the world?
So, this year, I opted to share the love far and wide. Well, within the walls of my office, anyway... So I baked lots of biscuits for everyone! I adore cherries - they're the fruity love of my life - so they were a natural choice for my sweet treats. Cherry pie is my favourite, and I was considering making more cup pies, as I did for Halloween, but wanted something a little less fiddly and which could go further. So biscuits it was.
Cherry and chocolate biscuits
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 250g butter
- 2 teaspoon maraschino cherry juice
- 1/2 teaspoon almond essence
- 2 1/4 cups plain flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup maraschino cherries, drained and chopped (I used black cherries in syrup, as I couldn't find maraschino ones)
- large chocolate chips
- Combine sugar, butter, cherry juice and almond essence. Blend well.
- Add flour and salt. Mix well.
- Add cherries. Mix well.
- Shape into 1" balls. Place 2" apart on a biscuit tray covered with greaseproof paper.
- Bake at 180C for 8-10 minutes.
- Immediately after baking, top each biscuit with a chocolate chip, pressing down firmly. Remove from tray and cool on wire rack.
|Yes, I am dressed in a Valentine-cooking-appropriate red dress with a little heart pattern...|
I failed to get a picture of the finished product (apart from the one at the top of this post). They took much longer than the stated time to cook... I think that maybe my oven isn't the greatest though. I bake so infrequently that I'm not aware of its quirks and how I might need to compensate for them.
In the end, the biscuits didn't come out looking quite as appetising as I had hoped and I wasn't overly delighted by the overall result - I feel I would have preferred just munching on cherries! I think dark chocolate would have been a better option than milk chocolate but I couldn't find dark buttons, sadly. But the biscuits went down well at work, and that's the important thing. I =got to share the love and subtly make my point that Valentine's Day shouldn't just be for couples.