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Prep 1 hr
Cook 10 mins
These heart-shaped German cookies are so delicate and delicious. I got this recipe over 25 years ago and have been making them for holiday gifts every since. They also are a lovely treat on Valentine's Day. I usually make them with the liqueur, which makes them extra-special. The cookie dough does need to be refrigerated for several hours, which is not included in the preparation time, so plan accordingly. Because these cookies are quite fragile and no one wants a broken heart, package them in metal cookie tins lined with large paper doilies. Decorate the tops of the tins with familiar small candy hearts inscribed with romantic messages for a unique Valentine's Day gift.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Press the egg yolks through a wire tea strainer or egg ricer into the butter-sugar mixture. Add the liqueur and mix well. Gradually add the flour and salt, mixing as you go, to form a dough.
- Divide the dough into three balls, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove the chilled balls of dough, one at a time, from the refrigerator and roll between two sheets of wax paper to a thickness of about 1/4-inch. Gently remove the top layer of wax paper.
- Using one large and one medium-size heart-shaped cutter, cut the cookies according to these directions: Cut pairs of large hearts from the dough, then, using the medium heart cutter, cut out a heart shape from the center of half the cookies to form heart-shaped rings; be careful to stay away from the edges so the cookies remain strong.
- Save the smaller hearts cut from the rings and bake with the larger hearts and heart rings. Gather up dough scraps into a ball and refrigerate. Bake the hearts and heart rings on an ungreased baking sheet for 8-10 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Cool on a rack. Repeat the entire process with each chilled ball of dough.
- To assemble the cookies, spread the flat side of each large heart-shaped cookie with ham and top the jam with a heart ring, flat side down. Dust the top with sifted confectioners' sugar and fill the center with additional jam. Sandwich the smaller hearts cut from the heart rings, together with jam and dust the tops with confectioners' sugar.