In the Victorian era, when the act of giving Valentines began to flourish, plants and flowers were not merely pretty things to look at; they were a language all their own. When sent to a loved one — or, tragically, to instigate a break up — flowers were carefully chosen for what they meant, rather than for their looks or scents. Tucked into a bouquet or posy, each represented a specific feeling or notion. For example, stems of bluebells stood for kindness, tulips were for passion, and white violets meant innocence, but the negative leaning aloe was code for bitterness (gasp!).
Perhaps due to its comforting scent, rosemary was equated with remembrance. What a delicious idea then to bake a stack of these buttery, crisp cookies for your Valentine. Bursting with meaning and flavor, they’re the perfect way to express your love, loyalty, and charm.
Rosemary Heart Cookies
makes 3 dozen 2-inch cookies, or 2 dozen cookie stacks
1 1/2 cups butter, softened to room temperature
2/3 cup of sugar
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups flour, plus more for dusting
Cream the butter and sugar with a mixer until it is smooth and fluffy. Add in the flour, salt, and rosemary. Mix until all ingredients are blended. Form the dough into a disc and wrap it in parchment paper. Chill in the refrigerator for one hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
On a well floured surface, roll out a piece of dough to about a 1/4-inch thickness. Using nesting cookie cutters cut out the hearts and place on lined cookie sheets. (Alternatively, you can cut out cookies that are all the same size.) Space cookies an inch apart and bake for 8–10 minutes or until golden at the edges. Cool on wire racks.
All photos by Kate Filloramo