Serves: Yields 30 cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ teaspoon salt
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 30 Cherry flavored hard candies such as Jolly Ranchers
Procedures:To make the dough: Using an electric mixer at medium-high speed, cream the butter, gradually adding the sugar. Beat in the egg until evenly mixed, then blend in the vanilla extract and salt.
With a wooden spoon, stir the flour into the creamed ingredients, about one third at a time, until evenly blended. The dough may seem soft, but it will firm up when refrigerated.
Divide the dough in half. Flatten each portion into a disk and seal in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes.
To create the cookies: Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Cover a sturdy baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly coat the foil with cooking spray.
Place a disc of dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper lightly dusted with flour, roll the dough to a ¼-inch thickness. Remove the top sheet.
Cut out the cookies with a large heart-shaped cookie cutter. Use a spatula to transfer the shapes to the baking sheet, leaving about an inch between cookies. Remove the centers of the cookies with a smaller heart-shaped cookie cutter. (Save the centers to bake later.)
Place a hard candy in the center of each heart and bake until the cookies start to brown lightly around the edges and the candy is melted, about 8 to 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely. To prevent sticking, line serving plate or tin with waxed paper and place additional waxed paper between layers. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired and serve.