Recipes·Technical Bake

Gefüllte Herzen

Although traditionally a holiday treat, these ‘filled hearts’ would make a thoughtful gift any time of year.

Although traditionally a holiday treat, these ‘filled hearts’ would make a thoughtful gift any time of year

More than a dozen chocolate-covered, heart-shaped cookies with white chocolate drizzled on top, sitting on a wooden serving platter.
(Photo by: Darren Goldstein/DSG Photo)

This version of the German spiced cookie gefüllte herzen — or "filled hearts" — is soft, chewy and covered in both dark and white chocolate, and has a dollop of raspberry jam encased within. Although traditionally a holiday treat, they would make a thoughtful gift any time of year.

Gefüllte Herzen were the Technical Bake for this year’s Great Canadian Baking Show Holiday Special.

Gefüllte Herzen

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 4 tbsp (60 g) unsalted butter
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • ⅓ cup (75 g) dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon zest, finely grated
  • ¼ cup mixed citrus peel, finely diced (sold at bulk food stores and online)
  • 2 cups (270 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • ¼ cup (30 g) almond flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp fine kosher salt
  • 1 large egg, room temperature, beaten

Raspberry Jam:

  • 2¾ cups (400 g) fresh raspberries
  • 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ½ tsp fine kosher salt

Dark Chocolate Coating:

  • 3 cups (500 g) couverture semi-sweet chocolate callets, divided
  • 1 tbsp vegetable shortening

White Chocolate Coating:

  • ¾ cup (140 g) couverture white chocolate callets
  • 1 tsp vegetable shortening

Preparation

Place the butter, honey, brown sugar and lemon zest in a medium saucepan over medium heat and whisk until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth. (Make sure it doesn’t boil over.) Remove from the heat, stir in the mixed peel, and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Add the cooled honey mixture and the egg and mix until a rough dough forms.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly until it comes together and is smooth (it will feel sticky). Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, flatten it into a 1-inch-thick disc and freeze for 20 minutes. 

Raspberry Jam:

Fill a large bowl halfway with ice and water.

Combine all of the jam ingredients in a large saucepan over medium heat and use a potato masher to break down the raspberries. Bring the jam to a rolling boil (220 F) and let it bubble until it’s very thick, foamy and shiny, stirring occasionally while scraping the bottom and sides of the pot with a silicone spatula, 10 minutes. Pass the jam through a fine-mesh strainer set over a medium bowl, making sure to extract all of the pulp. Discard the seeds. Place the bowl in the ice bath and stir occasionally to cool (it should be very thick, but don’t let it set). Transfer the cooled jam to a piping bag.

Assembly:

Heat the oven to 350 F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Remove the dough from the plastic wrap. Knead it on a lightly floured surface to loosen it up. Roll it out to a 12-by-15-inch rectangle that is ¼ inch thick. Use a 2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out 40 hearts from the dough. Place 20 onto the prepared baking sheets. 

A template for a heart-shaped cookie cutter with a 2-inch diameter.
Image not to scale (CBC Life)

Cut a ½-inch hole at the tip of the piping bag filled with jam, and pipe 1 teaspoon of jam onto the centre of each heart on the sheet pans. (Dip your fingers in water and after each dollop, pinch the jam as it comes out of the piping bag to portion it out and so each cookie gets the right amount.). Lightly brush water around the jam on the edges of the cookies, and place another heart on top. Press the two hearts together to seal, squeezing out any air. Freeze until firm, 10 minutes. 

Bake until the cookies are lightly browned on the bottom, rotating the trays halfway through, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and chill in the fridge until ready to coat. 

Dark Chocolate Coating:

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Heat 2¼ cups (375 grams) of the chocolate and the shortening in a bain-marie or double boiler until it reaches 122 F, stirring often. Remove from the heat and add the reserved chocolate. Continue stirring until the temperature reaches 82 F. Chocolate should be thick and shiny. Return briefly to the bain-marie and heat gently to 88 F. Using two forks, dip a cookie in the chocolate, flipping it so it’s fully coated. Remove it from the chocolate, allowing the excess to drip off and place it on the prepared baking sheet to set. Repeat with the remaining cookies. Then chill them in the fridge until fully set, about 10 minutes.

White Chocolate Drizzle:

Once the cookies are set, transfer them to a large wire rack. Heat the white chocolate and shortening in a bain-marie, mixing gently, until smooth and fluid. Transfer it to a piping bag and cut a small hole at the tip to decorate the cookies, drizzling the chocolate back and forth over the tops. Let set before serving.

Makes 20 cookies

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