Give Your Valentine a Special Treat!

"Love doesn't just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time,
made new"
  - Ursula K. Le Guin, in the Lathe of Heaven

What could be more romantic than a pastry shaped like a heart for you love on Valentine's
Day?  Well, I guess I can think of a few things that are more romantic, but this is a baking
site after all, so I'll proceed with the recipe.

As with most of my recipes, I mix up the dough at least several hours before it is needed
and refrigerate the dough until ready to use.  Especially when rolling and cutting dough into
small shapes, using chilled dough tends help avoid sticking.

Heart Shaped Pastries

I've made these with a few different doughs, and as you can imagine, the richer the dough,
the richer the pastry.  This recipe starts with a jelly roll-up from each end and leaves the
middle for the point of the heart.  Since the body of the heart expands more than the point
during baking, make sure you make the point of the heart as large and prominent as possible
when shaping.

Single batch of buttermilk pastry, croissant or easy Danish dough
Semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips, 1 cup
Butter, 3 Tbsp

Begin by rolling your dough out on a floured surface into a large rectangle, about 15 by 22
inches.  Place the chocolate chips and butter in a glass measure and microwave on high for
about a minute to melt the chocolate and butter.  Stir until smooth.

Mentally divide the dough into thirds along its length, making three 5 by 22 inch rectangles.  
Spread the melted chocolate-butter mixture over the outer two thirds of the pastry and leave
the middle third uncovered.  Now allow the dough and chocolate to rest for 4-5 minutes so
the chocolate becomes firm but not totally stiff.

Next, roll up the dough from each long side, stopping at the chocolate-free middle third.  
Cut the dough crosswise into 1 1/2 to 2 inch pieces and shape into a heart, pulling the
middle of the pastry down to form a prominent point.

Lay the pastries on baking sheets covered with parchment and cover loosely with plastic
wrap.  Allow to rise at room temperature for one hour or in the refrigerator overnight prior
to baking.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and remove the pastries from the refrigerator while the
oven warms up if the pastries have been refrigerated.  Place the baking sheets with pastries
in the oven and turn down to 375 degrees.  Bake 22-24 minutes until the tops start to
brown.  Remove to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm.

Made with buttermilk Sweet dough                Made with easy multigrain Danish dough
Artisan Breads 1..2..3..      
                Techniques and Tips for your Easy Artisan Loaves
1 Mix
2 Proof
3 Bake