Valentine’s Day Chocolate Cookie Stacks
Recipe by Sarah Phillips; Food styling and photos by Kelly Hong © 1-23-2015 Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com
This lovely dessert features rich chocolaty cookies, filled with an ethereal mousse, flavored with fresh strawberries.
Each one is perfectly sized for two, it would make a romantic dessert to share with your valentine.
The finished product is SO impressive, yet is quite easy to assemble.
COOKIE RECIPE HELP
KELLY SAYS: "The chocolate version of the Creative Cut Out Sugar Cookies work FABULOUSLY for this dessert.
It rolled out thinly, like a dream, and tastes GREAT with the strawberry mousse. After a bit, they start to absorb moisture from the mousse, so they aren’t too hard.
Such a pretty dessert for two."
1 recipe Creative Cut Out Chocolate Cookie Dough; chill for at least 2 hours before baking
1 recipe Strawberry Mousse; can be made up to 2 days ahead
2 - 3 pounds fresh strawberries
NOTE: Look for strawberries that are uniform in size, and fairly small.
You do not want HUGE strawberries for this project
One 4-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter; We used the Wilton Comfort Grip Heart cutter
Open star piping tip, Ateco 824 or Wilton 1M
1 Disposable piping bag
STEP I: BAKE THE CREATIVE CUT OUT CHOCOLATE COOKIES. PREPARE THE STRAWBERRIES.
Bake the Creative Cut Out Chocolate Cookies:
1. Position two oven racks: one of them 1/3 of the way from the bottom and the top rack 1/3 of the way from the top of the oven.
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Remove the chilled cookie dough from the refrigerator and cut the dough in half. Rewrap one half and put it back into the refrigerator.
3. Roll dough out to about 1/8-inch thick, on a VERY lightly floured surface.
Cut out six hearts with the 4-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, and place them 2-inches apart on a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet.
Stack up any scraps and press them together. Wrap scraps in plastic wrap and chill.
Repeat steps with the other half of the dough, and the scraps. You should have 12 cookies.
2. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges just start to color.
Cool cookies on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then remove and let cool completely on a rack.
Prepare the strawberries:
1. Go through the strawberries and choose the ones that are the most uniform in size.
2. Tear off the leaves on the top, then slice off the top of the strawberry.
You will need 8 whole strawberries for each stack, so you will need to cut 32 strawberries in half, if you are making 4 stacks.
3. Set the halved strawberries aside. Cover loosely with plastic wrap.
4. You will also need to set aside four perfect whole strawberries, or make four strawberry heart fans to garnish the cookie stacks with. Cover the strawberry heart fans, if using, loosely with plastic wrap.
STEP II: ASSEMBLE THE COOKIE STACKS
1. Remove the mousse from the refrigerator.
Give the mousse a few turns with a large rubber spatula, then put it in a piping bag, fitted with a large open star tip. I used an Ateco 824. You may also use a Wilton 1M.
2. Place one cookie on your work surface and, leaving a border of just over 1/4-inch, pipe a generous swirl of mousse on the cookie.
3. Starting at the point of the chocolate cookie, position two of the strawberry halves in place, then continue around the rest of the heart, spacing evenly.
When all the halves are in place, pipe on another swirl of mousse.
4. Set another chocolate cookie in place, pressing down gently, then pipe on the mousse, just as you did before.
Repeat the same steps as you did with the first layer, then place the third cookie in place.
Move the finished stack to a serving plate, using a metal spatula.
5. Sprinkle the top of the stack with powdered sugar.
Remove and excess sugar off the plate with a soft brush.
Top each stack with a perfect whole strawberry or a strawberry heart fan.
Stacks may be made up to three hours ahead of time.
Refrigerate, then remove from the refrigerator 1/2 hour before service.
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