I'm sure most of you are not familiar with Flarts, and well, I've kind of created them after seeing them on tv. There's this amazing cartoon called "Chowder" and it plays on Cartoon Network. It's about this little boy who's an apprentice to a chef named Mung Daal (all the characters have food names). It's a really funny cartoon and it has a cult following. There's lots of references to things older people would get (like songs or movies), the concept is ridiculously cute, and Chowder (along with Mung Daal and Schnitzel) are just plain loveable.
In the famous, "I'm Not Your Boyfriend" episode, Panini (a girl character) gives Chowder some Flarts, which are like a heart-shaped cookie. He munches on them throughout the episode. I love this cartoon so much I decided to pay homage to it and make this cookies. After all, they are famous for romance...
This show is pretty quirky, and some of the food items have funny names. There's a dish called "froggy apple crumple thumpkin" as well as "old thyme cow pie". Then there's "grabbles" (a fruit), "slomatoes" (a vegetable), "grubble gum" (a candy) and so on. I really love this cartoon! It's such a nice change from all the other cartoons you see on tv nowadays.
1 1/2 c. unbleached white flour
1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. nonhydrogenated vegan margarine
1/3 c. vanilla soymilk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1 small jar (10 oz.) organic raspberry preserves
1. Whisk together the white flour, wheat flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
2. In a large bowl, beat margarine and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Gradually beat soymik, vanilla extract, and almond extract into the margarine mixture until combined. Beat in flour mixture until a soft dough forms.
4. Pat the dough into a ball, cover it well with plastic wrap, and then place it in the refrigerator to chill for a least an hour. If you skip this step, the cookie down will be extremely hard to work with.
5. After removing the dough from the fridge, turn out onto parchment paper and roll out until the dough is about 1/8-1/4 in. thick. Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, press hearts into dough, making them as close together as possible without overlapping. DON"T PULL APART. Cover with another piece of parchment paper and chill for 30 minutes. You can skip the re-chilling if the dough is still nice and firm and they seem to pull off the paper easily without ripping.
6. Preheat oven to 325. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and top with cut-out hearts. Bake for about 15 minutes and let cool on the pan (to crispen them up).
7. In a small saucepan over low heat, cook raspberry preserves until reduced to about 1 cup. It should take about 15 minutes or so. When cool, place about 2 tablespoons jam on one heart cookie and top with another to make a "jam sandwich".
There you have it! My vegan rendition of "flarts"!
This recipe makes a delicious sugar-type cookie. You can cut them out in shapes, or roll them into balls, bake them soft or bake them crispy. You can morph them into thumbprints or snickerdoodles, or roll them out and ice them like a traditional sugar cookie. Have fun!
Sorry I don't have a picture of any "flarts", but I do have a recipe modification!
Jam Thumbprint Cookies:
To make jam thumbprints, prepare the recipe as above. Starting from Step 4:
After removing the chilled dough from the fridge, roll pieces of dough between your hands to get balls about an inch or so in diameter.
Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and using your thumb, make a little indentation in the center of each ball.
Fill each ball with about 1/2 tsp. of preserves of choice (I usually use raspberry or blackberry), basically just enough to fill the well you made.
Bake at 350F for 15 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheet for two minutes, then let cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!