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February 08, 2024
The Valentine holiday has origins in the pagan festival of Lupercalia, held in mid-February, to celebrate the coming of Spring. It included fertility rites where men would strip naked and sacrifice a goat, and a lottery where boys drew names of girls from a box.
St Valentine was executed by the order of the Emperor Claudius on February 14th in the 3rd century A.D for refusing to deny Christ. Before his head was cut off, he restored hearing and sight to the daughter of his jailer.
Lupercalia survived the initial rise of Christianity but was outlawed—for being un-Christian in the 5th century, when Pope Gelasius declared February 14th St. Valentine's Day. Much later, the day became associated with love. Here’s my Valentine take on a Jammy Dodger.
Ingredients:140gms plain flour100gms unsalted butter50gms icing sugar1 egg yolkStrawberry jam to fillIcing sugar (to dust)
Method:Preheat oven to 170⁰C and line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.
Beat butter and sugar together until smooth and creamy, then add flour and continue to beat until mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add the egg yolk and beat until a dough forms. Place in the fridge for 20 mins.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll out to appx 1cm thickness. Cut the biscuits using a heart shape cookie cutter. On half of them, cut out an additional small heart from the middle. Place biscuits on baking tray and bake for appx 8 mins (depending on size) until they are slightly golden around the edges.
Leave biscuits to cool on a wire rack and then sandwich them together with strawberry jam. Lightly dust with icing sugar.
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