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Heart-in-Hand Cookies

The Heart-in-Hand is an Amish symbol meaning give your hand to hard work and your heart to God. A Heart-in-Hand can also mean that you give your heart to the one, or the ones, you love. Here's a special cookie to share with a special someone or with your whole family - because love is the only thing that really matters in life.

In the video, we have already prepared and chilled our cookie dough.

You'll need:

  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter - softened
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups of flour and a little extra for rolling the cookies out
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 12-15 clear, red hard candies - we used red Lifesavers® out of a variety bag because they come in individual little bags that kept the candy from flying when we hit it with the mallet.

Equipment:

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • A butter knife
  • A mixer
  • A rubber spatula
  • A flexible metal spatula - the kind you turn pancakes with
  • A Heart-in-Hand cookie cutter set (You can also use a large heart-shaped cookie cutter and a smaller heart-shaped cookie cutter that will fit inside it)
  • A rolling pin
  • A kitchen mallet
  • 2-3 cookie sheets
  • Plastic wrap
  • Aluminum foil
  • A little help from an adult or older sibling
  1. Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and "cream" them together. Creaming butter and sugar means to beat them together until they are light lemon- colored and very smooth.
  2. Next add the eggs and vanilla then beat again.
  3. Now add the 2 1/2 cups of flour, the baking powder and the salt. Mix it all together. As you mix, the cookie dough will start to get stiff. Make sure you scrape all the flour from the sides of the bowl and mix it in well.
  4. Using your hands, form one or two balls of cookie dough.
  5. Wrap the cookie dough balls in plastic wrap and put them into the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  6. When the cookie dough has chilled, take it out of the refrigerator.
  7. Turn the oven to 375 degrees.
  8. Prepare a cookie sheet by placing a sheet of aluminum foil on it. This will keep the candy from sticking to the sheet.
  9. Sprinkle a little flour on your rolling pin and on the counter or on a large glass cutting board. Using a cutting board will make clean-up easier.
  10. Roll the cookie dough out until it is 1/8 of an inch thick.
  11. Dip your cookie cutters into flour and gently shake most of it off.
  12. Place the hand cookie cutter on the dough and press down firmly. If you are using a large cookie cutter make sure that all the sides are pressed down evenly.
  13. Gently lift the cookie cutter and transfer the cookie to the cookie sheet. If the cookie gets stuck on the counter, use the flexible metal spatula to get the cookie up. Slide the tip of the spatula under the cookie dough and gently work your way under the cookie.
  14. When the hand-shaped cookie is safely on the sheet, place the heart- shaped cookie cutter in the middle, where the palm of the hand would be. Cut out the heart shape.
  15. Use the kitchen mallet to crush the hard candy. Don't crush it too much, you want it to stay in chunks.
  16. Place the red candy chunks in the heart-shaped cut-out in the cookie. Fill the hole until the candy is level with the dough surrounding it.
  17. Bake at 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes or until the cookies are slightly brown.
  18. Take them out of the oven and cool them on the cookie sheet. Be patient! The cookies and their candy centers must be completely cool before you try to lift them off the foil or else the heart will be left behind.
  19. When the cookies are cool, lift them gently off the foil or peel the foil away from the candy heart. You will see the light shine through the ruby red heart in the middle of the cookie.
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