A I did not remember that it was Valentine’s Day till my husband called early this morning. The excitement of my morning chores and making sure the daughter had her breakfast and reached her classes on time tends to drive things like this out of my mind till later in the day.
But there’s no escaping Valentine’s Day with gaudy pink and red hearts and oversized cuddly teddy bears in shop windows, ads and articles in the papers and the February issues of a lot of glossies. There’s even a Valentine’s Special movie line-up on various television channels and there a couple of movies there that I’m going to watch. And of course, the food world and all food blogdom has been taken over by heart or non-heart shaped chocolate confections and lots more Valentine’s Day fare.
We don’t do Valentine’s Day like a whole lot of people around the world. For one thing, it’s not something we grew up with, and for another thing what probably started out as a good thing has become a bit of a commercial circus.
I like the idea of a celebration and have nothing against anyone who celebrates Valentine’s Day, but I find it difficult to come to terms with celebrations being less about the spirit of celebrating and more about how much is spent on it.
Still, I thought it would be nice and a bit of fun to give in gracefully to the spirit of celebrating and enjoy the moment in my own way with some shortbread cookies.
Cookies for Valentine’s Day? Well, why not? Today is just like any other day, cookies are nice with tea/ coffee, I had a little time to spare and shortbread cookies are easy enough to make. My husband has a sweet tooth and our daughter is a fan of all things shortbread. Add a hint of chocolate and a tinge of red, and my cookies are good to grace a celebration. To be honest though, I was just looking for an excuse to make some cookies, inaugurate some cookie cutters afriend gave me and try out something different!
I got the idea of shortbread hearts from this month’s BBC Good Food magazine (the Indian edition). The magazine had featured shortbread hearts with cherries. Cherries haven’t yet put in an appearance here and we don’t particularly like glace cherries but strawberries are aplenty right now, so I’ve got a lot of freshly made strawberry preserves. I also have a small cache of dried and candied strawberries carefully stashed away and this seemed a good time to bring them out.
I have adapted the recipe a bit and my version follows.
Strawberry Chocolate Shortbread Sandwich Cookies.
(Adapted from BBC Good Food Magazine, February 2012))