Chocolate Chocolate Heart Cookies for Valentines

Chocolate Heart Cookie Dipped in Melted Semi-Sweet Chocolate and Sprinkled with Pink Peppermint Chips.
I always bake cookies for holidays and judging from the number of heart cookie cutters I have collected over the years Valentine's Day has never been taken lightly!  The chocolate batter comes from an episode of Ree Drummond's Pioneer Woman.  I love sprinkling in new recipes with my old tried and trues.  Last Sunday I mixed the cookie dough up as I made the pastry for a blueberry pie with intentions of getting them together way before now.  It has chilled in my refrigerator in a zipper bag for days now but rolled out just fine after letting it warm a bit.

Ingredients for Chocolate Message Cookies or as I call them Chocolate Chocolate Hearts:

2 1/4 C. flour
1/4 C. unsweetened cocoa powder + more for dusting and rolling
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
1 C. (2 sticks) room temperature butter
1 C. brown sugar packed firmly
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1 lg. egg
chocolate chips (any color or flavor desired)  to melt for drizzling and heavy cream to dilute if needed (just a droplet or so), optional
powdered sugar and stencils, optional
buttercream frosting for frosting or pipping, optional
Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl and whisk.  Set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of the electric mixer.  Add vanilla and egg beating well.  Add the flour mixture a third at a time blending after each addition.

Place the dough in a plastic bag or wrap well forming into a disk.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours.

When you are ready to bake off the cookies pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare the baking sheets with parchment paper or sil-pat baking mats and set aside.  Dust your work surface and rolling pin with unsweetened cocoa powder.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to sit on the cocoa powder for 10-15 minutes or so until it softens enough to roll 1/4" think.  Dust the heat shaped cutters with cocoa powder before cutting into shapes.  Place on baking sheets.  Consolidate the dough left and re roll until all of the dough is used.

Bake cookies for 11-12 minutes until set but not browned.  Allow to cook in pans before removing then cool completely before decorations begin!

To decorate with stencils place them on cookie and cover the rest of the cookie with bits of wax paper and sift powdered sugar onto the decoration.  Carefully remove stencil and wax paper and dust any stray bits of sugar off with a small brush.

To drizzle melt chocolate chips a few seconds at a time in the microwave stirring until smooth.  If needed thin slightly with a drop or two of cream.  Drizzle as desired!  Mine are dunked!  While the chocolate was warm I sprinkled pink peppermint chips on some of the cookies.

To frost with buttercream for each cup of powdered sugar use 1 T. room temperature butter and 1/2 t. vanilla.  Add heavy cream stirring until you reach the desired consistency.  Tint as desired using food colors.

Do NOT stack these cookies!  Instead display on a large platter or under domes.  Present to your Valentine with a smile!

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