Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy Valentine's from The Weekend Gourmet...Featuring a Tates Bake Shop Giveaway!

Happy Valentine's, friends! No matter what you have planned to celebrate tomorrow, I hope it's a wonderful day for you. After a jam-packed, fun weekend in Austin doing the legwork for our upcoming A Food Lover's Weekend in Austin travelogue? Michael and I are planning a low-key celebration at home. I'm going to whip up some of Michael's favorite dishes for dinner. We'll chill out and maybe watch a silly "date night" movie on TV. That sounds just about perfect to me! What's also perfect to me are chocolate chip cookies from Tate's Bake Shop. I am lucky enough to be able to purchase them locally at Central Market, so I know how fabulous they are. I recently had a chance to receive a fabulous Valentine-themed gift from Tate's Bake Shop. Even better? One of YOU is going to win one of these gift sets too!

Their Cookie Cube Tower and Baking for Friends Cookbook combo arrived on my doorstep on Monday afternoon. Of course, I had to open one of the three mini boxes of their signature chocolate chip cookies right away and sneak a taste! If you love crispy chocolate cookies, these are the gold standard: these cookies are crisp without being hard, and they are perfectly buttery! The three mini cubes of chocolate chip cookies are perfect with sharing for Valentines...or anytime for that matter. As you can see, Tate's is currently offering this gift set for 50% off. To purchase, just click on the link above. In addition, they're offering 20% off on any online order; the code to enter at checkout is BLOG213. You have to act fast, though! Both discounts apply to purchases made before 1159 p.m. on February 14th. 

The Baking for Friends cookbook in the gift set is full of amazing baked goods. I'll be featuring my favorite recipe from the cookbook in here before the end of February. In the meantime, Tate's is sharing a great Valentine's cookie recipe in here today. These cookies look fabulous! Check them out, then read for all the details of the giveaway.

from Baking for Friends

These decorative cookies make beautiful and tasty gifts. An important tip: be sure to chop the nuts and chocolate very fine in a food processor (pulse to chop so the friction doesn’t warm them), or the dough will be too rough-textured to roll out smoothly. You need a graduated set of heart-shaped cookie cutters to make these. 

Yield: 20 sandwich cookies

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 
  • 1 cup cornstarch 
  • ¼ teaspoon salt 
  • ¾ pound (3 sticks) salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
  • 2 cups toasted, skinned and very finely chopped hazelnuts
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, very finely chopped 
  • -plus-
  • ½ cup seedless raspberry jam 
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar for sifting 

1. Sift the flour, cornstarch, and salt into a medium bowl. In a large bowl, beat the butter and confectioners’ sugar with an electric mixer set on high speed until combined, about 1 minute. Beat in the egg and vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the flour mixture, just until combined. Mix in the hazelnuts and chocolate.

2. Gather up the dough and shape it into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours. (The dough can be refrigerated for up to 1 day. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes to soften slightly before rolling.) 

3. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a round about ¼-inch thick. Use a 3 ½-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out the cookies as close as possible to avoid excess scraps. Arrange the hearts about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Gather up the dough scraps and gently knead together, and cut out more cookies. If the dough becomes too soft to roll out, refrigerate until chilled. You should have 40 cookies. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. 

4. Position the oven racks in the top third and center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. 

5. Use a 1-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out the centers of 20 cookies. These will be the cookie tops. (You can bake the mini hearts to nibble on later! Don’t throw away or re-roll.) Bake, switching the position of the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking, until the cookies begin to brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Sift some of the ½ cup of confectioners’ sugar over the hot cut-out cookies Let cool completely on the baking sheets. 

6. Spread the jam on the cookie bottoms, leaving an 1/8-inch border around the edges. Add the tops, sugared sides up, and press together gently. Just before serving, sift the remaining confectioners’ sugar over the cookies.
Tate's has generously offered to give one of my readers this fabulous Valentine's gift set! To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment below...tell me how you're going to celebrate Valentine's. That's simple is that?!?!? Entries will be accepted until 1159 on February 14th, and the winner will be notified via e-mail the morning of February 15th. Make sure to include your e-mail address so I can find you if you're the winner. Good luck...may the luck of Cupid be with you!!!


  1. We already celebrated Valentine's Day last weekend...we took the day to tour the Farmer's Market, we went out to eat, and we shopped till we dropped! It was exactly what I wanted!

  2. I'm having a Mother & Daughter Lunch with my Mom! :)

  3. We are doing nothing fancy as A gas an eye exam and I have to meet Lil's teacher for conferences...maybe I'll put something in the crockpot and watch a romcom late tomorrow night. :)

  4. Have got to make these! Hope to have lunch w/sweetie of 47 years on Valentine's Day! :) Happy Thursday Wendy! :)
    Love ya, Kay <3

  5. Nothing special here, just dinner with hubby. I might bake a pie, though.

  6. I'm celebrating Valentine's Day with just a nice quiet dinner at home with my family.
    Thank you!

  7. Valentine's will be a gorging of chocolates, then forcing my boyfriend to watch a rom-com with me....Have a great one, Wendy & Michael...xo

  8. We will be attending our youth fundraiser at church. The youth will be serving us dinner and will have entertainment...can't wait!! Happy Valentines Day to you two as well!!

  9. A quiet night just lasagna, wine and choc cake filled with choc ganache.


I love hearing your feedback!!!