Happy Valentine's Day!
Heart-shaped cookies are a tradition in my family for Valentine's Day. Instead of my mom's usual sugar cookie recipe, this year I used a recipe from my husband's family - Morkakor. His grandfather was Swedish and these were his favourite cookies.
A buttery, crisp, almond-flavoured foundation is spread with meringue that bakes up crisp and can turn chewy if the humidity is high. They are delicious either way. The original recipe calls for the meringue to be sprinkled with chopped almonds. I used sprinkles in honour of Valentine's Day, to provide a little colour.
Morkakor (makes about 4 dozen cookies)
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups flour
Cream butter, add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, and then the almond extract. Add the flour. Form dough into a ball, chill if too soft to handle. Roll to 1/8" thickness between two sheets of parchment paper, lightly floured. Cut with a floured cutter. Place on baking sheets. Spread each cookie with meringue (recipe follows) and sprinkle with nuts or candy sprinkles. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes. The cookies should be firm and the meringue a light brown. Cool on wire racks. Store tightly covered.
2 egg whites
12 Tablespoons sugar
4 Tablespoons chopped almonds, or candy sprinkles
Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, and beat until the meringue is stiff but not dry. Spread on cookie bases.