Oops! There were a few broken hearts in the test kitchen today (see right photo)...I can't blame anyone but myself-didn't follow directions (I think that comment was on my kindergarten report card). It is very important to line your baking sheets with foil before placing cookies on them to bake (it says so right in the instructions!).
Ingredients: 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 3/4 cup butter, softened, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/3 cup honey, 1 egg, 2 teaspoons lemon zest, 24 cherry-flavored red hard candies, such as Jolly ranchers (I used lifesavers), crushed, 2 2/3 cups confectioners' sugar, 2 tablespoons meringue powder, 5-6 tablespoons warm water, red food coloring, assorted sprinkles.
Instructions: Combine flour and salt; reserve. On medium speed, beat butter, sugar and honey until creamy. Beat in egg and zest. Gradually mix in flour mixture until dough just forms; cover and refrigerate until firm, 1-2 hours. (I found an hour was sufficient).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. LINE BAKING SHEETS WITH FOIL!! On lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Using a large heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out cookies, rerolling scraps. Place 2 inches apart on FOIL-LINED baking sheets. Using a smaller heart cookie cutter, cut out the center of each cookie. Bake about 4-5 minutes or until cookie are starting to set. Remove from oven to heat-proof surface and fill cutouts with crushed candies; return to oven and bake about 5 minutes longer. Cool on pans about 20 minutes before carefully peeling from foil to cooling racks to cool completely.
To make icing, beat confectioners' sugar, meringue powder and 5 tablespoons water until glossy. (Add more water, if needed). Transfer 1/3 cup to plastic food storage bag; reserve. Tint remaining icing with food coloring and spread over cookies around cutouts. Decorate with sprinkles; let dry one hour. Snip off corner of bag with icing and pipe around outsides of cookies. (Or you can use your own favorite icing recipe-I used a powdered sugar, vanilla, butter and water combination).
Makes about 16 cookies to share with your Valentine!
This recipe was in the Feb. 8 2010 Woman's World magazine.
Happy Valentine's Day to All!!!