Valentine’s Day Recipes: A key to the heart is through the stomach

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The key to the heart is through the stomach. From red velvet cheesecake to chocolate strawberries to creme brulee, nothing says “I love you” like highly caloric baked goods. Three famed bloggers shared their favorite treats for the Valentine’s season.

Love Letter Sugar Cookies

by Melissa of PinkPistachio.com

Ingredients:

1 stick soft butter

3 eggs

3 1/8 cup flour

3 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 1/4 cup sugar

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/3 tsp. lemon extract

Directions:

Cream butter and sugar. Add in eggs and extracts. Mix all dry ingredients together in a separate bowl then add to other ingredients (may need to add 1/4 cup extra flour to achieve consistency to roll out). Flour counter and rolling pin. Roll out 1/4 inch thick and cut into shapes. Bake at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes, just until slightly browned or surface doesn’t appear glossy anymore.

Royal Icing

Ingredients:

1 cup powdered sugar

2 Tbs. milk

2-3 tsp. light corn syrup

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. lemon extract

Directions:

Once cookies are completely cooled, sift together powdered sugar in a medium sized bowl. Add milk and stir until smooth (frosting will appear thick). Stir in corn syrup and extracts (add optional food coloring). Transfer frosting into piping bags or Ziplocs. With scissors, cut off a small corner. Pipe a rectangular box, leaving some edge exposed. Let icing harden completely. Using a Williams-Sonoma white chocolate decorating pen, outline the envelope and add envelope detailing. Finish with a candy heart to seal the letter.

Red Velvet Sheet Cake with Nutella Fudge Icing

by Jenny Flake of Picky-Palate.com

Ingredients:

1 box red velvet cake mix

1 3.4 ounce box vanilla instant pudding mix

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup sour cream

4 large eggs

1 cup sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup Nutella

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and spray a half sheet 13×18 inch baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.  I lined my baking sheet with a silpat liner, the cake can be done with or without it.

Place cake mix, pudding mix, milk, oil, sour cream and eggs into mixer and mix until well combined, about 1 1/2 minutes. Transfer batter to prepared baking sheet and spread evenly. Bake for 25-32 minutes, until baked through. Remove from oven and start icing.

Place sweetened condensed milk and Nutella into a microwave safe dish and heat for 30 seconds, or until smooth when stirred. Drizzle icing over warm cake spreading oven entire cake. Let cool for 20 minutes then cut into squares with a plastic knife.

Valentine’s Peanut Butter Blossoms

by Tina Chambers of SugarBeanBakers.blogspot.com

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup shortening

1/3 cup peanut butter

2 Tbsp. milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 egg

Sugar

48 Hershey’s Kisses Brand milk chocolates or Dove Promises chocolates

Directions:

Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, combine flour, 1/2 cup sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, shortening, peanut butter, milk, vanilla and egg; mix with electric mixer on low speed until stiff dough forms. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake at 375°F. for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately top each cookie with 1 milk chocolate candy, pressing down firmly so cookie cracks around edge; remove from cookie sheets.
The chocolate will keep its form, but will take at least a couple hours to set back up, so be sure not to touch it.
For picture tutorials and more recipes, visit their websites at PinkPistachio.com, Picky-Palate.com and SugarBeanBakers.blogspot.com.
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