These biscuits are made of shortbread dough tinted with food colouring, and flavoured with vanilla, ginger and lemon zest. You can omit or change the flavourings if you prefer; just be careful not to use ingredients that alter the consistency of the dough too much.
Multicolour heart biscuits for Valentine’s Day
200g plain flour
100g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla sugar/1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground ginger
Zest of 1 lemon
Blue and red food colouring
1. Mix all the ingredients except the food colouring in a bowl and knead together to form a firm dough. Divide the dough into three portions. I recommend making one larger portion, which you leave plain, and two smaller portions.
2. Add a few drops of red food colouring to one of the smaller portions of dough, blue food colouring to the other and thoroughly knead it in. If you want stronger colours, make sure you use concentrated food colouring so the consistency of the dough isn’t altered by adding too much liquid. I use just a small amount of food colouring to get a more pastel look.
3. Take a piece from the portion of plain dough. Take a piece of blue dough and lay it on top, then place a piece of the red dough on top of the blue. Keep layering the pieces of dough together in any order you like until you have used it all and you have a loose stack. Press the stack together at both ends to form one lump.
4. Place the dough on some cling film and press it out a little. Fold it in half once and then in half again and press it out so the colours run into each other, but not so much that they blend completely.
5. Wrap the dough in cling film and allow it to rest in the fridge for 30-60 minutes.
6. Remove from fridge, roll out the dough to a thickness of about 5 mm and cut out the biscuits using a heart-shaped cutter. Check which side of the biscuit has the nicest colour and place that side facing up on a baking tray covered with baking paper.
7. Bake the biscuits on the middle shelf of the oven at 225 C/350 F/Gas Mark 4 for 5–10 minutes. Pay attention so they don’t burn.
8. Remove from oven and allow to cool. If the biscuits lose their shape during baking, you can press the heart-shaped cutter through them again while they are still soft.
9. Share the love with everyone you know – these biscuits and a cup of coffee are a match made in heaven!