Thursday, February 9, 2012

Valentine's Day Treats (that you can make yourself!)

For Valentine's Day, it is the thought that counts.  Don't be tricked into thinking it's about chocolates, flowers, or big trips... Valentine's Day is just an excuse to show those that you love that you value them.  You can show your spouse that you love them by doing things that they love most: baking them a special treat, giving them a foot massage, or watching their favorite show while eating their favorite ice cream.  Even a card or acronym with the qualities that you like best about them written out can be meaningful and special.  Be creative!

In our house, we love food for special occasions (not that I'm recommending that - it's just how we are!), so when I saw these fun treats that are special, relatively easy, and inexpensive to make - I knew they would be perfect for a special Valentine's Day treat.

Red Velvet Cupcakes in a Jar 
 (Adapted from My Cakies Blog)

- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- *2 1/4 tsp cocoa powder
- *1 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 tbsp red food coloring
- 1 tsp white distilled vinegar
- *2 tsp vanilla extract

For the cream cheese frosting:
- 1 pound cream cheese, softened
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- *2 tsps vanilla extract
- 4 cups sifted powdered sugar
1. Mix cake ingredients together.  Once batter is fully mixed, fill greased cupcake tins 2/3 full.
2. Bake at 350 degrees for 17 minutes, then take out and place them on a wire rack to cool. 
3. While the cake is baking, mix together the cream cheese frosting.
4. Once cupcakes are mostly cooled, cut each cake in half.
5. In a jar (pint mason jars are perfect for this!), place the bottom half of a cupcake.  
6. Top with a layer of cream cheese icing (about a large dollop).
7. Place the top of a cupcake in the jar, on top of the icing layer.  Gently smash and flatten the cupcake top in the jar until it is a semi-flat layer.
8. Top the jar with a dollop of frosting.
9. You're done!  Present beautifully with a spoon tied to the jar with ribbon and a sweet note attached.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

{Makes 3-4 Dozen)
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup milk or soy/almond milk
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

14 oz dark chocolate candy coating

1. Beat butter and sugars and in large bowl with mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add milk and vanilla. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt and mix on low speed until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips.
2. Cover and chill dough for 1 hour.
3. When dough is firm, lightly flour your hands and form dough into 1" balls.
4. Arrange balls on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Place sheets in freezer and let chill for 30 minutes.
5. Melt chocolate candy coating in microwave according to package directions. Using forks or a dipping tool, dip cookie balls into candy coating to cover. Tap fork on side of pan to remove any excess coating, and return to waxed paper-lined baking sheets.
6. Chill until set. Store, chilled, in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Enjoy these delicious treats for Valentine's Day, and share some with a friend, family member, or neighbor to spread the love around!

No comments:

Post a Comment