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Monday, February 2, 2015

Valentine Treat Recipes for Work or School

Chocolate Dipped Pretzels
Ingredients:
Chocolate Bark OR Red/Pink Wilton Candy Melts
Shortening
Pretzel Sticks
Valentine Candy Sprinkles
Melt about 1-1/2 cups of melts plus 1/2 teaspoon of shortening in a glass bowl for 1 minute, stirring halfway. After candy is melted, hold the pretzel vertically over the bowl and spoon over the melted candy, this is a lot easier than trying to dip. Shake off excess back into bowl. Lay pretzel on waxed paper, immediately placing on sprinkles.

Heart Health
Ingredients:
Watermelon slices
Orange slices
Bamboo kitchen skewers
Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter on watermelon slices. Poke a bamboo kitchen skewer through each heart, then complete the arrow with an orange slice tip and tail.

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
Ingredients:
For the cakes
2 1/4 cups flour
2 tbs. cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk {or make your own}
1 tbs. liquid red food coloring
For the filling
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
3 cups marshmallow creme {Marshmallow Fluff}

Prepare the pans: Cut two peices of parchment paper to fit two cookie sheets. Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter or a template cut from cardstock, trace hearts onto parchment paper. Place parchment paper upside-down on cookie sheets. Mix the batter: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl mix flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract separately, beating well after each addition. In a small measuring cup mix the buttermilk and red food coloring. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour and buttermilk mixtures beating after each addition just until incorporated. Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip {I used tip #2A from Wilton}. Pipe the batter onto the hearts on the parchment paper, leaving some room for spreading. Bake for 6-9 minutes until center is set, rotating halfway through. Cool completely. To make the filling: In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and vanilla on medium speed until creamy. Add half the confectioners' sugar and mix on low just until combined and then mix on high until smooth. Repeat with remaining confectioners' sugar. Scrape down sides with rubber spatula and add marshmallow creme. Tip: Before adding marshmallow, spray the measuring cup with nonstick cooking spray to help the marshmallow come out more easily. Mix on medium speed until filling is smooth and creamy about 3 to 4 minutes. Match up same-sized cakes and with a pastry bag and large tip, pipe filling onto one half of the cakes. Put the other half of the cakes on top of the filling and press together slightly.


Brownie Heart Cupcakes
Ingredients:
Vegetable oil, cooking spray
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
3 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces
12 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Basic Buttercream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Coat an 8-inch square cake pan with cooking spray, line bottom with parchment, then spray parchment. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Place butter and chocolate in a heatproof mixer bowl set over a pot of simmering water, stirring until chocolate melts. Attach bowl to mixer, add sugar, and whisk on medium-high speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla. Reduce speed to low, and add flour mixture. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Spread remaining batter in square pan. Bake until set but still soft, about 18 minutes. Let cool in tins and pan on wire racks. Frost cupcakes with buttercream. Cut out 24 hearts from brownie in pan using a 1 1/2-inch heart-shaped cutter. Top each cupcake with a heart.

Valentine Heart Pops
Ingredients:
For the Candy Centers
1 cup light corn syrup
2 cups sugar
1/8 teaspoon peppermint, cinnamon, or other flavored oil, optional
Paste or gel food coloring, in pink tones
For the cookies
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
32 white lollipop sticks (6 inches long)
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar on medium until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla until incorporated. Gradually add flour mixture on low until combined. Wrap dough in plastic; chill 1 hour. Heat oven to 325 degrees. On a well-floured surface, roll out dough to 3/16 inch thick. Cut out 2 1/2-inch rounds. Use smaller cutters to cut hearts from rounds. (If desired, save and bake heart cutouts.) Transfer 8 cookies to an ungreased cookie sheet. Press 1 lollipop stick under each cookie. Place small hearts on same cookie sheet. Chill until firm, 15 to 30 minutes. Bake 8 to 12 minutes, until firm but not browned. Transfer cookies on pan to wire rack to cool, about 20 minutes. Repeat until all dough is used. Leave cooled heart pops on ungreased cookie sheet. Set aside. Combine 1/2 cup corn syrup, 1 cup sugar, and 1/2 cup water in heavy 2-quart saucepan. Stir over medium heat, until sugar has dissolved. Increase heat to medium high; boil until mixture reaches 300 degrees on a candy thermometer, 25 to 35 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in flavored oil. Quickly pour mixture into 2 small heatproof bowls. Add food coloring to each; stir to combine. Pour into each empty heart. Make candy mixture again as in Step 5 with remaining ingredients and 1/2 cup water. Fill remaining cookies. Let set until hard, 10 to 20 minutes. Transfer in single layers to airtight containers. If humid, refrigerate.

Heart Shaped Rice Krispy Treats
Ingredients:
3 tablespoons margarine
4 cups miniature marshmallows
6 cups crispy rice cereal
In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Add KELLOGG'S RICE KRISPIES cereal. Stir until well coated. Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool. Cut into 2-inch squares. Best if served the same day.

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