Contributed by Gabi Latka of Crofter's Food Ltd.
Here's a Valentine's Day cookie recipe with a little love mythology thrown in.
Be My Pomegranate –
In mythological matters of the heart, the pomegranate reigns supreme. These heavy red globes, each carrying hundreds of tart ruby jewels, have meant many things to many people over the millennia: To Iranians, the pomegranate not the apple seduced Eve in the Garden. Often associated with fertility on account of its bounty of seeds, the pomegranate has been woven into marriage ceremonies. Roman brides wore pomegranate twig wreaths to the altar. Greeks symbolically break the fruit open at the wedding. Chinese eat candied seeds to bless the new union.
Beautiful Persephone, daughter of Zeus and Demeter, goddess of the earth's bounty and harvests, was picking flowers when Hades, king of the dead and brother to Zeus, picked Persephone to be his bride, stealing her away to his dark underworld. Heartbroken by the separation from her daughter, Demeter refused to let crops grow. For the benefit of humankind, Zeus commanded Hades to release Persephone, which Hades did but not before compelling Persephone to eat a few pomegranate seeds. Having eaten the food of the underworld, Persephone was forever bound to Hades' dark realm. For half of each year, Hades' queen returns to him and the land above goes dormant. When Persephone returns to her mother, spring begins and Demeter share with us her flowers, fruits and grain.
Offer these slightly tart, but mostly sweet, pomegranate-filled shortbread hearts to the seeded-apple of your eye this Valentine's Day.
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup toasted and crushed pecans
2 tbsp confectioners sugar
pinch of ground cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 jar Crofter's Organic Pomegranate Jelly
Sift flour and baking powder into medium bowl and set aside.
Pulse pecans, confectioners sugar and cinnamon in a food processor until finely ground (but not wet and sticky). Transfer to mixer bowl.
Add butter and granulated sugar to pecan/sugar mixture, mix on medium speed until fluffy. Mix in vanilla and egg. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture and mix until combined.
Preheat oven to 375º. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface until its ¼” thick. Cut out hearts and place on parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until lightly golden brown, 10-16 minutes depending on thickness. Let cool.
When cool, spread pomegranate jelly on a cookie heart and top with another cookie (to make a cookie sandwich). Dust with confectioners sugar.