Love Cookies (Herbs de Provence and Orange)

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Yet every year I wrack my brain for weeks preceding Valentine’s Day. What am I going to do to make it special? What kind of dessert can I make that isn’t sickeningly sweet (in both taste and, you know, that lovey-gunky stuff)?

I nailed it on the not-so-sweet-tasting point but the lovey-gunky stuff… I AM part of the problem. Ugh. Sorry.

I used rubber letter stamps (originally bought for card-making and scrapbooking) to imprint the cookies. I also used mason jar lids to cut circle shapes and then hand-cut the heart shape from there because, duh, where did I put that cookie-cutter?!?! It took a bit of time but you will be much smarter than I was and have everything you need on hand, I know you will.

1 teaspoon dried herbs de provence
3 cups (325 grams) all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 cup sugar
2 sticks (8 oz or 226 grams) butter (I let mine sit out for about 20 minutes to soften slightly, but it should still be cool)
1 egg
1/2 tsp orange oil or 1 tsp orange extract

Grind the herbs de Provence with a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder. You don’t want a powder, just enough to break up the bigger pieces of herb. Combine with the flour and baking powder and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer until it is fully mixed and somewhat fluffy, a couple minutes. Add the egg and orange oil or extract and cream until combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix on the lowest setting until just combined. Using your hands, form the dough into two or three balls and cover and put in fridge until ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Using a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface, roll one ball at a time (leaving the remaining dough in the fridge to stay cold) to about 1/4 inch thickness and use a cookie cutter to cut shapes. Place on baking pad or parchment paper on cookie sheet and freeze for about 5 minutes before baking.

Once the cookies are good and cold, place the cold baking sheet into the preheated oven for 8-12 minutes (depending on how thick your cookies are). Remove to cooling rack when you can see the bottom edges starting to brown (some of mine stayed in a bit too long but they were still delicious).

I had planned to pipe some white chocolate (dyed pink) hearts onto the cookies as well but in the end I thought it would be too much. I liked the simplicity of just the lettering. If you make these cookies without imprinting them, I think some piping of chocolate would be lovely.

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