PUBLISHED: 10:58 AM on Wednesday, February 9, 2005
Sweetheart Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)

1-1/2 cups granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Various heart-shaped cookie cutters

1 (11-ounce) bag Dove Milk or Dark Chocolate Hearts

Red, pink and white M&M'S Chocolate Candies for Valentine's Day

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add salt, egg and vanilla, and continue to beat until well blended. Gradually blend in flour until fully incorporated. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375?F. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface or between two sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap to about 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into heart shapes or use heart-shaped cookie cutters. Place on parchment-covered baking sheet. Bake until golden brown (8 to 10 minutes). Cool. To melt chocolate hearts, microwave approximately 3 to 4 minutes on medium power, stirring every 20 to 30 seconds, being very careful not to burn. Dip cookies (an edge or up to one-half) in melted chocolate. Alternatively, try painting chocolate on cookies using baker's spatula or table knife, then decorate with colored candies.

Makes 2 dozen heart-shaped cookies.