Stuffed Pecan Pie French Toast
(from Pepperidge Farm)
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 loaf (16 ounces) Pepperidge Farm® Cinnamon Swirl Bread (16 slices)
1 cup milk
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Heat the oven to 350°F.
Heat the butter and brown sugar in a 1-quart saucepan over medium heat to a boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the pecans.
Lightly grease a baking sheet with additional butter. Place the bread slices onto the baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes or until the bread slices are lightly toasted on both sides.
Beat the milk, eggs, granulated sugar and vanilla extract in a medium bowl with a fork or whisk. Dip 8 bread slices into the milk mixture and place onto a baking sheet. Spread about 1 tablespoon pecan mixture onto each dipped bread slice. Dip the remaining bread slices into the milk mixture and place over the pecan mixture to form sandwiches.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the sandwiches are lightly browned. Sprinkle with the confectioners' sugar.
Calabrian Love Knot Cookies
2 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/8 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 cup milk
1/2 tablespoon almond extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
Optional almond sugar frosting
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Either grease baking sheets or lay out some parchment paper. Set aside.
Beat together the eggs, oil, granulated sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Stir in the milk, almond extract, baking powder, and enough flour so that the dough becomes stiff.
Knead the dough either by hand or with a dough hook in a mixer until smooth. Pinch off about 1 tablespoon worth of dough for each cookie; roll into a rope and then twist into a pretzel shape, simple knot, or the letters of the name of your significant other. Place cookies on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer the cookies on to a wire rack to cool.
If you're making them with frosting, go ahead and whisk the cream and almond extract together in a small mixing bowl. Beat in the confectioners' sugar bit by bit until it is smooth and of your desired consistency. Drizzle over the cooled cookies.
Either way, store in an airtight container. These cookies keep beautifully when frozen.
Makes 24 cookies
1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® Crescent Recipe Creations® refrigerated seamless dough sheet
1/3 cup hazelnut spread with cocoa
2 tablespoons dark chocolate chips
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
Heat oven to 375°F. Line large cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper.
Unroll dough sheet; cut into 8 squares. Place squares on cookie sheet.
Spoon 2 teaspoons of the hazelnut spread onto 1 side of each square. Top each with 3 raspberries and 4 chocolate chips. Fold dough over filling; press edges to seal. Form each into heart shape as shown by pressing indentation in center to form top of heart while rounding sides of heart with hands. Brush with egg.
Bake 13 to 17 minutes or until hearts are golden brown.
In small microwavable bowl, mix remaining 1 tablespoon hazelnut spread and remaining 1 tablespoon chocolate chips. Microwave uncovered on High 45 to 60 seconds or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Spoon into resealable food-storage plastic bag. Seal bag; cut off tiny corner of bag. Sprinkle hearts with powdered sugar. Squeeze bag to drizzle each with chocolate mixture.
Decadent Chocolate Pie
1 Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crust, softened as directed on box
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
Salted Rum Caramel Sauce
1/4 cup dark rum
1/2 cup caramel topping
1/2 teaspoon coarse (kosher or sea) salt
Raspberry Cocktail Coulis
2 cups fresh or frozen (thawed) raspberries
1 tablespoon raspberry-flavored liqueur
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Heat oven to 375°F. Place pie crust in ungreased 9-inch pie plate. Press crust firmly against side and bottom; flute.
In medium microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips and butter uncovered on High 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted. Beat in granulated sugar and eggs with whisk. Beat in cocoa.
Pour chocolate mixture into pie plate. Bake about 25 minutes or until top of chocolate mixture just forms a thin crust (pie will not be completely set in center). Cool 20 minutes.
Heat 1-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add rum, and cook until reduced by half. Add caramel topping, stirring until well mixed. Top with salt, and drizzle over cooled pie.
In blender, place raspberries, liqueur and powdered sugar. Cover; blend on medium speed 5 to 10 seconds or until well mixed and raspberries are pureed. Press through fine strainer to remove seeds, and drizzle over cooled pie.
Cranberry Sweetheart Scones
2 cups flour
1 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
4 tbsp. margarine
1 tsp. orange zest
1 cup chopped fresh cranberries
1/2 cup milk
Combine the 4 four ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Blend in the margarine with a fork until the mixture is crumbly. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the zest and cranberries. In another bowl, beat the eggs well and then stir the milk into them.
Make a well in the middle of the dry mixture and pour the wet ingredients into it. Stir just until blended. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead a few times. Pat the dough to a 1-inch thickness. Use a butter knife to cut heart shapes. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Makes 8 scones.
Quick Strawberry Jam Empty a 16-ounce package of unsweetened frozen strawberries into a glass bowl. Microwave on medium until the berries are hot and soft (about 12 minutes). Stir in a 3-ounce package of strawberry Jell-O.
Fruit Butter Blend 2 parts softened butter and 1 part strawberry, raspberry, or apricot jam.
Flavored Cream Cheese Smooth 4 ounces of cream cheese with a wooden spoon. (Add a tablespoon of yogurt for a creamier consistency.) Fold in a few fresh or defrosted strawberries or raspberries.
English Muffin Hearts
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup warm water (110º F/45º C)
1 package (1/4-ounce) active dry yeast
5 1/2 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
Combine the milk, butter, and honey in a medium-size saucepan. Warm the mixture over medium-low heat until the butter starts to melt, then whisk it briefly. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the liquid to cool until lukewarm.
While the milk cools, pour the water into a medium-size mixing bowl and sprinkle the yeast over it. Stir the liquid gently with a fork. Set the bowl aside for 5 to 10 minutes, until all of the yeast has dissolved.
Line two baking sheets with waxed paper and sprinkle on a generous amount of cornmeal. (This is where you'll set the muffins to rise.)
Pour the cooled milk into the dissolved yeast and gently stir the mixture until well blended. Add 3 cups of flour and the salt to the liquid and beat the mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon until smooth (about 100 strokes). Beat in enough of the remaining flour, about 1/3 cup at a time, so that the dough is firm enough to knead and no longer sticky.
Scrape the dough from the bowl onto a floured surface. Dust the top of the dough with flour. Flour your hands as well, and knead the dough for 3 to 4 minutes. Let the dough rest for about 5 minutes.
Roll out the dough with a rolling pin, starting in the middle and pushing the pin from the center out, until the dough is a half inch thick.
Cut the dough into circles with a 3 1/2-inch biscuit cutter. Gather and reroll the scraps and cut out more circles (you should end up with 18). Now shape each circle into a heart: use a knife or scissors to cut a third of the way into the circle, round the cut side into the top of the heart, and then pinch the opposite side into a point for the tip.
Transfer the muffins to the prepared baking sheets, spacing them well apart. Sprinkle cornmeal on the tops. Cover the muffins with a dry, lightweight towel and let them rise until they are almost doubled in height--about 35 to 45 minutes.
When the muffins have risen, heat a large, heavy, ungreased skillet over medium heat. (If you have two skillets, you may want to prepare both so you can cook more muffins at once.) Or you can use an electric griddle heated to 300º. Carefully lift the muffins from the waxed paper and place them in the heated pan or griddle, spacing them an inch or so apart. You should be able to fit 4 or 5 muffins in each pan.
Cook the muffins for about 10 minutes on each side, using a spatula to flip them. You may have to adjust the heat if the muffins are browning too quickly or slowly. Transfer each batch of cooked muffins to a wire rack to cool before splitting and toasting them.
Makes 1 1/2 dozen.
Sweet Heart Krispie Treats
3 tablespoons margarine
6 cups mini (or 60 regular-size) marshmallows
Red food coloring
9 cups Rice Krispies cereal
Heart-shaped cookie cutter
Plastic bags, yarn
To begin, lightly coat a 10- by 15-inch baking sheet with cooking spray and set it aside.
Melt the margarine in a large pot over low heat. Add the marshmallows, stirring them continuously until they melt. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in drops of red food coloring until the color receives a thumbs-up from the chef.
Add the Rice Krispies, stirring until they are evenly coated with marshmallow. Spoon the mixture onto the baking sheet.
With waxed paper (or lightly buttered hands), smooth out the mixture, spreading it to an even thickness.
Cut out hearts with the cookie cutter. Place each heart in a clear plastic bag, tie on a yarn bow, and they're ready for giving. Makes seven 5-inch hearts.
"Eat Your Heart Out"
1 (14-ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk
3 (3-ounce) packages of red flavored gelatin
2 (1/4-ounce) envelopes of unflavored gelatin
Dissolve one package of flavored gelatin in 3/4 cup boiling water. Add 3/4 cup cold water, then pour the mixture into a 9- by 13-inch glass pan and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Stir together 1/2 cup boiling water and the condensed milk. In a separate bowl, dissolve all the unflavored gelatin in ½ cup cold water for 1 to 2 minutes. Thoroughly mix in 3/4 cup boiling water, then combine this mixture with the milk and let it cool. Add half the mixture to the pan of red gelatin, pouring it over a spatula to slow the stream, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Continue alternating layers — gelatin mix, the remaining milk mix, the final gelatin mix — chilling each for 20 to 30 minutes to set it. Create individual servings with a heart-shaped biscuit or cookie cutter.
3 cups all-purpose flour
5 egg yolks
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
1/3 cup ground walnuts
1 1/2 cups seedless raspberry jam
In a large bowl, mix the flour, egg yolks, butter, 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla extract, then knead until it forms a soft dough. Chill for 30 minutes.
On a floured surface, roll the dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut a heart for the bottom of the cookie sandwich, and a heart with a smaller heart cut in it for the top. Brush the tops with the egg whites. Mix the walnuts with the 2 tablespoons of sugar and sprinkle on the cookie tops. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 10 minutes. Cool.
Spread the bottom hearts with a layer of jam and put the tops on. Makes about 26.
A Hearty Dessert
1 18 1/4-ounce box white cake mix (plus eggs, water, and oil, as directed on box)
1 3-ounce box strawberry-flavored Jell-O
1 16-ounce package frozen sliced strawberries, thawed and drained
1 cup butter, softened
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Red or pink candies
To begin, heat the oven. Meanwhile grease and flour two 8-inch baking pans, one round and one square, as directed on the cake mix box. Add the Jell-O to the cake mix, then prepare the mix as directed on the box. Fold half of the strawberries into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake according to the package directions. Remove the cakes from the pans and allow them to cool completely on wire racks.
To make the frosting, beat the butter, sugar, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Add the remaining strawberries and beat until well combined.
Cut the round cake in half and place the two semicircles against two sides of the square cake, as shown.
Spread on the frosting and decorate to your heart's content with the red or pink candies.
Lemony Love Potion
12-ounce can pink lemonade concentrate
1 cup raspberry sherbet
12-ounce can of lemon/lime soda
In a pitcher, mix the lemonade concentrate with the recommended amount of water.
In a separate pitcher, combine the sherbet with 1 cup of the lemonade mixture.
Add the soda, stir, and serve. Makes 3 cups.
Devil's Food Fudge Cookies
(from Duncan Hines)
1 pkg Duncan Hines® Moist Deluxe® Devil's Food Cake Mix
2 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 °F. Grease baking sheets.
Combine cake mix, eggs and oil in large bowl. Stir until thoroughly blended. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts. (Mixture will be stiff.) Shape dough into 36 (1 1/4-inch) balls. Place 2-inches apart on prepared baking sheets.
Bake at 350 °F for 10 to 11 minutes. (Cookies will look moist.) Do not overbake. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheets. Remove to cooling racks. Cool completely. Store in airtight container.
Makes 3 dozen cookies
Chocolate-Filled Pillows with Chocolate Sauce
So luscious and decadent...and easy! Flaky pastry squares hold a yummy, warm chocolate surprise.
Prep Time: 20 Min
Total Time: 40 Min
Makes: 6 servings
1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® Crescent Recipe Creations™ refrigerated flaky dough sheet
18 milk chocolate candy drops*
1 tablespoon whipping cream
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips*
Heat oven to 375°F. Spray large cookie sheet with cooking spray. Unroll dough on work surface; press dough into 12x8-inch rectangle. Cut into 6 squares. Place on cookie sheet.
Place 3 chocolate candy drops in center of each dough square. Bring 4 corners of dough to center of candies; twist firmly. Pinch edges to seal. Brush tops with 1 tablespoon whipping cream; sprinkle with sugar.
Bake 14 to 19 minutes or until deep golden brown.
Meanwhile, in 1-quart saucepan, heat sauce ingredients over low heat 1 to 2 minutes or until melted and smooth. Spoon 2 tablespoons sauce onto each serving plate. Top each with 1 pillow; drizzle with remaining sauce.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): No change.
1 Serving: Calories 360 (Calories from Fat 200); Total Fat 22g (Saturated Fat 11g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 30mg; Sodium 330mg; Total Carbohydrate 36g (Dietary Fiber 1g, Sugars 21g); Protein 5g Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 6%; Vitamin C 0%; Calcium 8%; Iron 8% Exchanges: 1 Starch; 1 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 4
* Editor's Note: This would probably be awesome (and better IMHO) with dark chocolate!
Sweetheart Chocolate Cupcakes
- 2 cups sugar
- 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water
- Vanilla frosting (homemade or ready-to-spread)
- Few drops red food color (optional)
- 1/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries (optional)
- Decorative themed candies, colored sprinkles or sugars (optional)
- OPEN CHOCOLATE HEARTS (directions follow)
- Heat oven to 350°F. Line about 30 muffin cups (2-1/2 inch in diameter) with paper or foil baking cups.
- Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Fill cups 2/3 full with batter.
- Bake 22 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool completely in pans on wire rack.
- Frost with vanilla frosting or tint all or part of frosting with a few drops of red food color to get pink. Stir in chopped maraschino cherries, if desired. (For best results, dry cherries thoroughly on paper towels.) Garnish with decorative candies, sprinkles and OPEN CHOCOLATE HEARTS, if desired.
About 30 cupcakes.
OPEN CHOCOLATE HEARTS:
Cover tray or cookie sheet with waxed paper. Place 1 cup HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Chocolate Chips or HERSHEY'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips in medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 1 minute; stir. If necessary, microwave at MEDIUM an additional 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until chips are melted and smooth when stirred. Spoon melted chocolate into small squeeze bottle, pastry bag or strong resealable plastic food storage bag fitted with writing tip*. Pipe freehand hearts or follow patterns by drawing heart shapes on paper that is slipped under the waxed paper. Refrigerate hearts about 30 minutes or until firm.
* Plastic food storage bags can be used without the writing tip. Simply fill bag and then snip off a very small section of one bag corner.
Artichoke, Asparagus and Asiago Valentine Pizzas
- pizza dough -- homemade or store-bought
- 2 tbsp. (30 mL) olive oil
- 1 can (28 oz/796 mL) diced tomatoes
- 1 jar (6 oz/170 mL) marinated artichoke hearts, drained
- 1 tsp. chopped garlic
- 1/2 tsp. (5 mL) salt
- 1/4 tsp. (1 mL) black pepper
- 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) shredded asiago cheese (about 6 oz/170 g)
- 4 oz. (113 g) fresh asparagus, cut into 1-inch (0.5 cm) pieces
- If you want to use your own homemade dough you’ll have to prepare the dough at least one hour before you want to bake the pizzas. If you’re using store-bought pizza dough, begin with one 1-1/2 lb (750 g) package of fresh or frozen pizza dough.
- At least one hour before (or even a day ahead) you want to make the pizzas, prepare the tomato sauce. Measure the olive oil into a 9x13-inch (23 x 33 cm) baking dish. Pour in the diced tomatoes -- including all the juice. If the artichoke hearts are large, cut them in half but they should remain in substantial chunks. Add to the tomatoes in the pan along with the chopped garlic. Place in the oven and bake at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) for 45 minutes, stirring once in a while, or until most of the liquid has evaporated and the sauce is thick. Let cool.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Grease two large baking sheets. Sprinkle lightly with cornmeal.
- Divide the pizza dough into 4 pieces. Roll out each ball of dough to approximately a 6-inch circle, then shape into a heart-shaped crust by pinching one side and indenting the other. Place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving plenty of room between for expansion. Spoon tomato sauce mixture over surface to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of the edge of the dough, making sure you distribute the pieces of artichoke hearts evenly among the pizzas. Sprinkle with cheese and top with the asparagus pieces. Bake pizzas for 15 to 20 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned on the bottom and the toppings are melted.
Beef Wellington for 2
Prepare the Beef Wellingtons ahead of time and you’ll have enough time to change into something more comfortable before you sit down to dinner. Just the two of you.
- 3 tbsp. (45 mL) butter, divided
- 1/3 cup (75 mL) minced shallot or red onion
- 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) coarsely chopped mushrooms
- 1/4 cup (50 mL) red wine
- 2 beef tenderloin steaks -- 4 oz. (113 g) each, cut 1 inch (2 cm) thick salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 pkg. frozen puff pastry dough, thawed
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp. (15 mL) water
- Melt 2 tbsp (30 mL) of the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the minced shallots and cook, stirring, just until softened -- about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until mushroom liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms have started to brown. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until it has evaporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl.
- Add the remaining 1 tbsp (15 mL) of butter to the skillet and increase the heat to high. As soon as the butter has melted, add the steaks to the pan, sprinkling them with salt and pepper and quickly sear both sides until browned -- about 1 minute per side. Remove steaks from pan immediately. Let cool.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the block of puff pastry dough out to a 12-inch (30 cm) square. Cut the square in half, then cut one of two halves in half again (reserve the remaining half of the dough).
- Beat together the egg and the water and brush lightly over the surface of the two small squares of dough. On each square, spoon half of the mushroom mixture and top with one steak. Pull the corners of the dough up and over to wrap the whole thing up like a package -- seal up any openings by pinching and folding them together. Turn over and arrange on a baking pan. Brush with egg mixture. Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut shapes out of the reserved pastry dough to decorate the top of each packet and brush with egg wash.
- You can prepare the Wellingtons to this point as much as 3 or 4 hours before you want to serve them. Refrigerate, covered until about one hour before you want to begin baking.
- Remove Wellingtons from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before baking to allow them to come to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
- Place Wellingtons in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until puffed and golden. Let stand for about 5 minutes before serving.
Sweetheart Layer Bars
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, divided
- 1-1/2 cups finely crushed unsalted thin pretzels or pretzel sticks
- 1 cup HERSHEY'S MINI KISSES Brand Milk Chocolates
- 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
- 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
- 2 cups MOUNDS Sweetened Coconut Flakes, tinted pink*
- Heat oven to 350°F.
- Put 3/4 cup butter in 13x9x2-inch baking pan; place in oven just until butter melts. Remove from oven. Stir in crushed pretzels; press evenly into bottom of pan. Sprinkle chocolates over pretzel layer.
- Place sweetened condensed milk, cocoa and remaining 1/4 cup butter in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 1 to 1-1/2 minutes or until mixture is melted and smooth when stirred; carefully pour over pretzel layer in pan. Top with coconut; press firmly down onto chocolate layer.
- Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned around edges. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into heart-shaped pieces with cookie cutters or cut into bars. About 36 bars.
* PINK COCONUT: Place 1 teaspoon water and 1/2 teaspoon red food color in small bowl; stir in 2 cups MOUNDS Sweetened Coconut Flakes. With fork, toss until evenly coated. Use immediately.
- In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, salt, and cinnamon. Set mixture aside.
- Use an electric mixer to cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
- Add flour mixture; mix on low speed until thoroughly combined. Divide dough in half; wrap in plastic. Chill at least 1 hour.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. On a floured surface, roll dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes. Transfer to ungreased baking sheets; refrigerate until firm, 15 minutes. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until crisp but not darkened. Cool on wire racks; decorate as desired.
Makes about 16 large cookies
- 2/3 cup butter, softened
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup strawberry drink mix
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon shortening
- 1/3 cup butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons strawberry drink mix
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 3 to 5 tablespoons milk
In a small bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and lemon juice. Combine the flour, drink mix, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 2-1/2- to 3-in. heart-shaped cookie cutter. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until set and edges begin to brown. Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
In a microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Spread over cookies; let stand until set.
In a small bowl, beat the butter, drink mix and salt until blended. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar. Add enough milk to achieve desired consistency. Decorate cookies. Yield: about 2 dozen.
**I like to roll out my cookies using powdered sugar instead of flour, it keeps them more tender. For chocolate cookies, you can roll them out using cocoa or a mixture of cocoa and powdered sugar to keep them from getting the "white powdery" look.
Valentine Sugar Cookies
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1/2 cup superfine sugar, plus more for sprinkling (or granulated sugar processed for 10 seconds in the food processor)
1 large egg, beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 drops red food coloring
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
In another bowl, use an electric mixer set on medium speed to beat together the butter and 1/2 cup sugar until light and creamy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla, and continue to mix for 2 minutes.
On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until just combined. With lightly floured hands, gather the sticky dough into a ball. Divide the ball in half. Return one half to the bowl, add the food coloring, and mix until blended. With floured hands, form each half into a ball. Divide each ball in half, and flatten each half into a disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours or preferably overnight.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Set aside the 2 1/2-inch and 1- or 1 1/2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutters, and two ungreased or parchment-lined baking sheets.
Remove one of the plain dough disks from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured board, on a pastry cloth, or between two sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap, roll out the dough 1/4-inch thick. (If it is too hard, let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes.) Use the 2 1/2-inch cookie cutter to cut the dough into hearts. Use a spatula to place the dough on a baking sheet, leaving 1/2 inch between the hearts. Repeat rolling and cutting with one of the pink dough disks.
To create contrasting colors and patterns on each cookie, use the 1- or 1 1/2-inch cutter to cut out and lift out a smaller heart inside, or to the outside edge of, the larger heart. (The small heart will lift up with a cutter.) Pop out the dough with your fingertip, and replace it with a heart of the contrasting color. (Dough scraps can be combined by color and rerolled once, or both colors can be combined once to make marbleized hearts.) Sprinkle with sugar.
For soft cookie, bake until set but still pale, about 8 minutes. For crisper cookies, bake until pale golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat rolling, cutting, and baking with the remaining chilled dough.
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies
- For flavored hearts, substitute 1 teaspoon of the vanilla extract with wintergreen, lemon, or almond extract. Continue as directed.
- For spicy hearts, add 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, or Chinese five-spice to the other dry ingredients, and continue as directed.
TIPS FOR ROLLED COOKIES:
- Using a superfine sugar creates a lighter, flakier cookie.
- Forming dough into disks instead of balls before chilling guarantees easier rolling.
- Rolling chilled dough between two sheets of lightly floured heavy-duty plastic wrap is an easy way for beginners to get good results. By lifting the bottom sheet, the cut shape will often pop right out, ready to transfer to the baking sheet.
Make the cupcakes according to package instructions. Lightly grease the muffin tin (or use paper liners) and fill the batter almost to the rim of each muffin cup. Bake according to package directions and let cool.
In a food processor combine the mascarpone cheese, strawberries, 1/4 cup sugar, and lemon juice. Process the mixture until smooth. Transfer the strawberry mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a small tip. Push the tip gently into the top of a cupcake and squeeze in the strawberry mixture until the cupcake plumps. Continue with the remaining cupcakes.
In a small saucepan bring the 1/2 cup sugar, water, and vanilla extract to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer until the sugar is dissolved. In a medium bowl combine the vanilla syrup with the confectioner's sugar. Stir until smooth. Working quickly, use a rubber spatula spread the icing on the top of the cupcakes. If the icing begins to firm up, place in the microwave for a few seconds to warm up again.
Source: © Cooking Light Magazine
Yield: 9 servings
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup evaporated skim milk
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 3/4 cups hot water
2 (.77-ounce) envelopes instant cappuccino coffee mix or 1/4 cup other instant flavored coffee mix
9 tablespoons frozen vanilla yogurt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine first 5 ingredients in a 9-inch square baking pan, and stir well. Add milk, oil, and vanilla, stirring until smooth. Stir in chocolate morsels. Combine brown sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa; sprinkle over batter. Combine water and coffee mix, stirring to dissolve. Pour coffee mixture over batter; do not stir. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center. Serve warm with 1 tablespoon frozen yogurt.
Source: Close-up on Cakes
For the Cake:
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 drop red food coloring
For the Icing:
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 egg white, lightly whisked
1 teaspoon raspberry extract
2 drops red food coloring
Rose petals for decoration, optional*
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a medium-sized heart-shaped cake pan.
FOR THE CAKE:
Beat together the eggs and sugar until pale and the mixture forms ribbons, about 3-4 minutes. Sift the flour into the batter in 3 batches, folding in after each addition. Add the butter, vanilla, and food coloring with the last batch. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 2-3 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
FOR THE ICING:
Sift the sugar into a large bowl. Gradually stir in the combined egg white and raspberry extract until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the icing for decoration and color the rest with 1 drop of the red food coloring. Color the reserved icing with the remaining drop of food coloring so that it is darker. Spread a thin layer of the paler icing evenly over the cake and allow it to set. Fill a pastry (piping) bag with the reserved icing and pipe small decorative dots and a fine rim around the top edge of the cake. Decorate with rose petals if desired and serve.
Source: Close-up on Cakes
For the cake:
6 egg yolks
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/3 cups self-rising flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
5 1/2 oz white chocolate, melted
For the filling and topping:
9 1/2 oz white chocolate, melted
2 cups mixed summer berries
TO MAKE THE CAKE:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9-inch springform pans and line bases with parchment or waxed (greaseproof) paper.
Combine the egg yolks, 1/4 cup of the milk,
and the vanilla in a bowl.
In a large bowl, combine the flour and sugar. Add the softened butter with the remaining 3/4 cup milk and add to dry ingredients. Beat on low speed to combine, 3-4 minutes. Gradually add the egg mixture in 3 batches, beating well after each addition. Add the melted white chocolate and beat to combine, about 2 minutes. Pour the mixture into the prepared pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
TO MAKE THE FILLING AND TOPPING:
Spread one-third of the warm melted white chocolate over 1 cake layer using a large metal spatula.
Place the berries, reserving a few for decoration, on top of the cake layer spread with the chocolate. Place the second cake layer on top and cover the assembled cake with the remaining melted white chocolate. Decorate with the reserved berries and serve.
Source: Burt Wolf's Menu Cookbook
Makes 10 servings
1 1/4 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
4 eggs, separated, plus 1 egg white
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
1/2 cup ground hazelnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For Icing and Filling:
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup cherry-flavored liqueur
2/3 cup cherry preserves
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a 9-inch springform pan then set it aside.
TO MAKE THE CAKE:
In a bowl, combine the flour and baking powder, then set aside. In another bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, then beat in the chocolate. Stir in the hazelnuts and vanilla. In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff. Alternately fold the beaten whites and the flour into the batter.
Spread the batter evenly in the prepared springform pan. Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool the cake on a rack.
TO PREPARE THE ICING:
In the top of a double boiler, over simmering water, melt the chocolate. In a small saucepan, heat the cream. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir the cream into the chocolate, then set aside.
When the cake is cool, using a long serrated knife, slice it horizontally into 3 layers. Remove the top 2 layers. Brush the bottom layer with some of the cherry-flavored liqueur, then spread with a third of the chocolate filling on the first layer and finally half of the cherry preserves.
Place the second layer and repeat the process with the liqueur, chocolate, and preserves. Put the remaining layer of cake on top and pour the remaining chocolate over the top. Place the cake in the refrigerator to set for 1 hour.