½cup(113g) unsalted buttersoftened to room temperature
½cup(100g) granulated sugar
½cup(100g) firmly packed light brown sugar
2large eggsroom temperature*
2Tablespoonsred food coloring
approximately 24 dark chocolate Dove hearts or Hershey's Kissesunwrapped
In a medium size bowl, toss together flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside.
In a separate medium size bowl with a hand mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and both sugars until light and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition, and scraping down the sides as necessary. Add vanilla and red food coloring and beat on medium speed until combined. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides and all along the bottom of your bowl to ensure coloring is distributed evenly. Beat again on medium speed until everything is incorporated.
Decrease mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture. Beat on low until dough has formed and no more pockets of flour remain. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days. If chilling longer than 2 hours, allow dough to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before rolling into balls.
When you are ready to bake your cookies, preheat oven to 350ºF (177ºC) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Make room in the freezer for one baking sheet.
Using a cookie scoop and your hands, roll dough into balls approximately 1 and ½ Tablespoons in size and place no more than 6 dough balls on a prepared baking sheet. Bake cookies for 10-11 minutes. Cookies will look underdone. Remove baking sheet from oven and allow to cool for 3 minutes.
Working quickly, press a chocolate heart into the tops of each cookie, and place baking sheet in freezer immediately for at least 15 minutes to prevent chocolate heart from melting. When cool, remove from freezer and transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 7 days or frozen for up to 2 months. Rolled cookie dough freezes well-- up to 2 months. Bake frozen and add 1-2 minutes to bake time.
*Room temperature eggs: these are crucial for proper incorporation into batter. To bring eggs to room temperature quickly, place in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes.