Today is Valentine’s Day, and we celebrate with a Swedish pastry : a beautiful heart shaped vanilla cookie, named “Vaniljhärtan” in Swedish (literally “vanilla heart”).
This little pastry is one of my favorites in Sweden but I never dared baking them myself since it looked a little bit technical. In between two fragile heart-shaped layers of shortcut pastry, you’ve got a fantastic creamy vanilla filling in the middle. The combination of the two textures together is just divine. Plus you don’t find cookies filled with vanilla cream often in bakeries, so it’s a good excuse to bake them by yourself!
I bought the special heart tins for this pastry over a year ago in this fantastic little shop attached to the café in Trädgården, in the middle of Djurgarden in Stockholm (if you are heading to Stockholm one day, you’ve got to try this address, it’s just lovely!). Since then, these lovely heart tins were still in their wrapping paper and I even managed to loose them. So really it seems I was not decided to try the recipe!
But suddenly this year, I thought I should try, because you, my readers, deserve to know this fantastic Swedish pastry which is much less known as the popular cinnamon rolls “Kanelbullar” for instance, but still an amazing baking to discover.
So I bought the heart metal tins again (I guess that now I will find the other ones again… that’s how it works usually, but anyway). These special heart tins are really special and I would say it’s hard to find them outside Sweden. However, you can use some heart shaped cupcakes and muffin pan instead, it will work very well as well. Or use any other shape of your choice if you want!
Then I tried the recipe and guess what? These lovely vanilla hearts are actually a very EASY recipe! The dough is perfect and you just need to press it into the form, fill with the vanilla cream (the vanilla cream is ready in 2 minutes, the perfect recipe!) and cover with another layer of dough. Bake for 15 minutes, let them cool, cover with icing sugar, and it’s done!
These lovely Swedish vanilla heart shaped cookies are perfect for a Valentine’s Day fika (Swedish word for coffee break) to enjoy with your other half. Or do like me, enjoy them anytime of the year, just when you fancy!
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!
- 1 cup (120g) all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup (40g) potato starch or cornstarch
- ¼ cup (45g) caster sugar
- 1 stick (110g) cold butter
- ⅔ cup cream
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp potato starch or cornstarch
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp powered sugar
- Grease 8 individual heart tins (or any other shape of your choice).
- Combine the dry ingredients: flour, potato starch (or cornstarch), sugar.
- Dice the butter and cut it into the flour mixture, tossing quickly together. Cover with plastic cling film and refrigerate for at least two hours.
- Combine all the dry ingredients except vanilla in a saucepan. Simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened. Let cool, then stir in the vanilla.
- Roll the dough into a rather thick sheet.
- Press into the heart tins, fill with vanilla cream and cover with another layer of dough.
- Place the tins on a baking sheet and bake on low oven rack for about 15 minutes.
- Carefully remove the tins. When completely cooled, sift powered sugar over.