Valentine’s Day Sweets: Recipes

There never seem to be enough hours in the day to finish everything on my list. This weekend went by especially fast.

I did some baking, shopping, and played in a tennis match this weekend. One of my favorite things about this hallmark holiday are the pretty shades of pink and red everywhere. There is just something so appealing  about having candy look as pretty as it is delicious to eat! (Although I would say that the candy hearts I purchase are an exception to this logic).

I baked up a ton of Valentine’s day worthy sweets to give out to friends, to share with my husband, and to take to an office V-day party.

I made….

Gingersnap Palmiers
Molasses, brown sugar, and spices rolled in puff pastry bake into a rustic heart shaped French treat. I used this recipe by Martha.


Tips:

When adding the syrup, use a less is more approach. You only need a thin coat. If you put on too much, it will ooze out everywhere and cause a sticky mess.

I used pumpkin pie spice instead which is a blend of all the spices needed in the recipe.

 

 I love using ginger and it is so affordable and easy to use! It is one of those power ingredients that is good in both sweet and savory dishes. Keep a knob frozen in an airtight container and it will last for months! When you need to use it, simply use a grater and it will fall like gingery snow. You don’t even need to peel it!

 

Make sure if you buy frozen dough to run a rolling pin over it to push out all the seams and create an even surface. If you don’t do this, the seams will separate when baking.

Brown Sugar Cupcakes
Filled with chocolate ganache and topped with buttercream frosting.

Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 & 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup buttermilk

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325°. Line standard muffin tins with liners.

2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with buttermilk. Beat until well-combined after each addition.

4. Fill lined cups 3/4 full with batter. Bake 20-30 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on wire racks 10 minutes then remove from pans to cool completely.

Note: For mini cupcakes, I recommend using a tbsp measuring spoon to fill your liners with batter.  Mini cupcakes bake up in half the time at about 10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on your cupcakes but don’t open your oven too much or your cake may sink.

I filled the mini-cupcakes with chocolate ganache. I created a cavity for the filling by inserting a icing tip and twisting out some of the cake and then use a piping bag with a slightly smaller tip to fill up the space with ganache.

Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients:
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon dark rum (optional)

Directions:
Place the chocolate into a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil, watching very carefully because if it boils for a few seconds, it will boil out of the pot. When the cream has come to a boil, pour over the chopped chocolate, and whisk until smooth. Stir in the rum if desired.

Allow it to cool until thick, then whip with a whisk until fluffy.

Now it’s time for the frosting and finishing touches!

White Buttercream Frosting  
This is the simplest white buttercream frosting that I use and is especially good for using food coloring with.

Ingredients:
6 tbsp butter (room temperature)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tbsp heavy cream
2 cups powdered sugar

Directions:
1. Mix it all together until fluffy. To create different colors, add one drop of food coloring at a time until you reach the desired shade.

2. Pipe it on! I use a piping bag and a star tip because I think it looks prettier. The easiest way to fill a piping bag is to put your bag in a circular vase or wide glass and cuff it over the edge. This will keep the mouth of the bag open so that you can fill it with your frosting.

3. Add your finishing touches.

Sugar Cookies
No holiday is complete without classic cutout cookies. (This is my favorite recipe)

I mixed up a couple different colors of royal icing in pretty pastels to make my own version of conversation hearts and also put some on lollipop sticks for easy milk access ;).

Royal Icing

Ingredients:
2 tbsp Meringue powder
4 c. Powdered sugar
6-8 tbsp Water (poured little at a time)
Food coloring

Directions:
1. Mix all the dry ingredients together.

2. Pour in water 2 tbsp at a time until you reach the desired consistency. (too much will cause the icing to run everywhere and create a mess too little will make it extremely hard to work with and spread on your cookie)

3. Once you reach the desired consistency, put in a drop of your desired food coloring.

Tip:

  • I make one giant batch and separate it into separate bowls to color.
  • Use a large glass to cuff your piping bag around. This will keep the mouth of the bag open and allow you to fill it with icing.

 

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Comments

  1. I would recommend it, yes. Ideally you sholud try and use everything, because it is like royal frosting, left overs will harden with time. I used everything on about 12 cup cakes.

    • Thank you so much ladies! I’m lnivog the 1/2 food blogger idea, Julie! Marie, you are a doll. I wish you could come to my neck of the woods and enjoy some piped cuppies! Liz, I am not surprised you like the glazed look, but I am sure you have loved the piped texture. Oh my! Bakesperiments…welcome to my blog. Thanks so much for visiting! Love your St. Patty’s Cake..very cute!xoxo, Rachel

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