Apple heart cookies are buttery biscuits filled with cooked apples. They are absolutely my favourite cookies and they remind me a lot of my childhood. My mom used to buy them for me weekly. I remember being a teenager and longing to make them from scratch, but nobody had the recipe and of course I grew up without Internet. When I moved to Vancouver seventeen years ago, on a melancholy day, I was desperately looking for them in Italian stores; unfortunately, they weren’t available at that time. Now it’s easier to find them, but over the years, the taste has definitely changed. They are very sugary and there are fewer apples. A few years ago, when I started my cooking classes, I looked for the recipe and started to make them—now they are my family’s favourite. I love making these after I go to the local farmer’s market to buy fresh apples with my kids and husband. I would love to make these cookies more often, but they are simply too good and I can’t stop eating them! So, it’s important that I only have them around sometimes.
For the biscuit dough:
220 g flour (1¾ cup)
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg at room temperature
70 g sugar (5 tbsp)
¼ cup + 3 tbsp butter at room temperature cut into pieces
For the filling:
1 tbsp butter
2 medium apples, diced
1 tbsp honey
½ tsp cinnamon
Icing sugar (for dusting)
and a Sprinkle of Love
1. In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, vanilla, egg, sugar and butter. Combine with your hands until you have a soft dough; then cover it with plastic film and let it rest for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.
2. Make the filling: melt the butter in a pan and then add the apples, followed by the honey and cinnamon. Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the apples are soft.
3. Mash the apples with a fork (your kitchen will soon have the divine scent of apples and cinnamon). Let the apples cool.
4. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out. The dough will be very sticky, which makes it easier to spread out. Once you have rolled out the dough, cut out the cookie halves using a round cookie cutter. Each one should have a diameter of roughly 6 cm (the first few times I did this, I used a glass).
5. Now put some apple filling in the middle of one cookie half and top it with another cookie half. Use your fingertips to seal it closed. Repeat with the remaining cookie halves.
6. Put the cookies on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and bake them at 350 ºF/180 ºC for 15 minutes, or until they are lightly coloured.
7. While still hot, sprinkle icing sugar on top of the cookies.
About Mamma Marzia
Mamma Marzia, founder of Bella Cibo, born in Naples and grew up in the Valtellina in northern Italy, moved to Vancouver in 2003 to follow the big love of her life.
Growing up in Italy homemade food was a big part of her culture. She learned how to cook with passion from her mom, nonna and all her aunts.
Seven years ago she decided to say yes to one of her friends that asked her to teach her to how to make a real Authentic Italian Lasagna. On February 2003 she hosted the first Lasagna cooking class with bunch of moms not knowing how to manage everything. At that moment, she was a stay at home Mom with 2 small children. That night she had a blast and got so inspired from the enthusiasm of her guests she thought that maybe this could be a great idea for a new business; maybe that is what she was meant to do. Inspiring people how to cook real food while they have fun.
Without any business school knowledge she was able to launch a Social Media campaign and started to teach Authentic Italian cuisine to other people. She had a dream, to open a cooking school, and she was determined to make it real.
She chose the name for her company “Bella Cibo” literally means Beautiful food. When she started she decided to be herself and maintain her authenticity.
Seven years later Mamma Marzia now hosts classes from her kitchen and is able to inspire hundreds people with the passion and love for Authentic Italian cooking. She treats her students like her family and shares tidbits from her Italian cultural traditions. The goal is always to have a good laugh and encourage her students to make real good homemade Italian food.
Community and supporting other local businesses is the core of her business model. Bella Cibo is very well known for several donations to schools and various local charity events since its founding.
In 2018 Bella Cibo won the Service Excellence Award with the Langley Chamber of Commerce at the Business Awards event, she also had numerous previous nominations.
The Langley Advance News Paper wrote also an article in 2018 about Bella Cibo’s Cooking Classes.
Mamma Marzia is releasing her first cookbook before the end of 2020, a collection of her family recipe, recipe that inspired so many Canadian families already. Sign up in email list to get a pre-order and get inspired.
“If you have dreams go for it and if they tell you that you can’t do it, prove them wrong. Always believe in yourself and everything can happen.”