Cuori Spezzati: The Italian Tradition of Broken Heart Cookies
Cuori spezzati, or broken heart cookies, are a popular treat in Italy, especially around Valentine’s Day. These cookies are made with two layers of dough, one plain and one colored with cocoa or food coloring, that are cut into heart shapes and then swapped to create a contrast. The cookies are then filled with jam, Nutella, or cream and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
The origin of these cookies is not clear, but some say they date back to the Middle Ages, when lovers would exchange them as a symbol of their devotion. Others claim they were invented by a pastry chef in Naples in the 19th century, who wanted to create a dessert that expressed his unrequited love for a noblewoman. Whatever the story, these cookies are a delicious way to celebrate love, whether it is happy or sad.
If you want to make your own cuori spezzati, you will need the following ingredients:
- 250 g of all-purpose flour
- 125 g of butter
- 100 g of sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- A pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder or food coloring
- Your favorite jam, Nutella, or cream for filling
- Powdered sugar for dusting
To prepare the dough, follow these steps:
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, butter, sugar, egg, baking powder, and salt until you have a smooth and homogeneous dough.
- Divide the dough into two equal parts and add the cocoa powder or food coloring to one of them. Knead well until the color is evenly distributed.
- Wrap both parts of the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180Â°C (356Â°F) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out both parts of the dough to a thickness of about 3 mm (0.12 inches).
- Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out as many hearts as you can from both parts of the dough. Then swap the hearts from one part to the other, so that you have plain hearts with colored outlines and vice versa.
- Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes or until golden.
- Let the cookies cool completely on a wire rack.
To assemble the cookies, follow these steps:
- Spread some jam, Nutella, or cream on the bottom side of one cookie and sandwich it with another cookie of the same color.
- Repeat with the rest of the cookies until you have used them all.
- Dust the cookies with powdered sugar and enjoy!
Cuori spezzati are not only delicious, but also meaningful. According to some, the broken heart shape represents the fragility of love and the need to cherish it. Others say that the cookies symbolize the hope of mending a broken heart with sweetness and tenderness. Some even believe that eating these cookies can bring good luck in love.
Whatever the meaning, cuori spezzati are a great way to show your affection to someone special. You can make them yourself or buy them from a bakery or a pastry shop. You can also customize them with different colors and fillings, or write messages on them with icing or chocolate. You can even package them in a cute box or a bag and give them as a gift.
Whether you are celebrating Valentine’s Day, an anniversary, or just a regular day, cuori spezzati are a perfect treat to share with your loved one. They are easy to make, fun to decorate, and delicious to eat. Try them today and enjoy the taste of love!