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Valentine Delights

Valentine's Sugar Cookies


 
  • 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup Golden Crisco Shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup or regular pancake syrup
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (plus 4 tablespoons, divided)
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

    Icing:

  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp water
  • Red food colouring
  • Decorative candies
  • 1. Combine sugar and shortening in large bowl. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs, syrup and vanilla. Beat until well blended and fluffy.
    2. Combine 3 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add gradually to creamed mixture at low speed. Mix until well blended.
    3. Divide dough into quarters. Wrap each quarter of dough with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
    4. Preheat oven to 375F. Place sheets of foil on countertop for cooling cookies.
    5. Spread 1 tablespoon of flour on large sheet of waxed paper. Place one quarter of dough on floured paper. Flatten slightly with hands. Turn dough over and cover with another large sheet of waxed paper. Roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Remove top sheet of waxed paper. Cut out with floured cutters in traditional shapes such as hearts and cupids. Transfer to ungreased baking sheet with large pancake turner. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Roll out remaining dough.
    6. Bake one baking sheet at a time at 375F for 5 to 9 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies (bake smaller, thinner cookies closer to 5 minutes; larger cookies closer to 9 minutes). DO NOT OVER BAKE. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet. Remove cookies to foil to cool completely.
    7. For icing, combine icing sugar and water. Mix until smooth and spreadable. Divide in half. Add red food colouring by drops to half until desired colour is reached. Spread thin layer of icing on cookies. Decorate with candies as desired.

    Makes: About 3-1/2 dozen cookies

    Secret Smooch Cookies


     
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 cups powdered sugar, divided
  • teaspoon vanilla extract
  • teaspoon salt
  • 1 cups flour
  • cup cashew nuts, finely chopped
  • 24 chocolate kiss candies, unwrapped
  • Preheat oven to 375F. Place rack in center of oven. In a medium-size mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, cream butter until fluffy, add cup powdered sugar. Mix in vanilla and salt. Stir in flour and nuts, mix just until blended. Press a teaspoonful of the dough into your palm and us thumb of other hand to shape the dough into a flat disk; place chocolate kiss in the center; bring the edges of the dough up to cover the chocolate kiss completely. Gently roll the dough between your palms to form a ball; place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Continue making cookies, placing them 1-inch apart on cookie sheet.

    Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, just until they begin to brown.

    While the cookies are baking, sift remaining powdered sugar into a medium bowl. Place hot cookies in powdered sugar, one at a time, and gently roll to coat with powdered sugar. Remove coated cookies and place on a fresh cookie sheet to cool completely. Roll cooled cookies again in powdered sugar to completely coat. Store cookies in an airtight container.

    Yield: 24 cookies

    Chocolate Cherry Cake


     
  • 2 cups Big Chief granulated sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 can cherry pie filling
  • 6 ounces chocolate chips
  • 1 cup nutmeats -- chopped
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • Combine all ingredients, leaving cherry pie filling and chips to the end. Pour into a greased and floured bundt pan. Bake at 350F for 1 hour until done. Cool. Sprinkle with Big Chief powdered sugar, or make a glaze to drizzle on cake. This makes a very moist cake.

    Description: "A sweet something for your valentine!" Source: "Monitor Sugar"

    Lacy Valentine Cake

       

    • 1/2 cup warm water (105 to 115F)
    • 2 packages Fleischmann's Active Dry Yeast
    • 1/2 cup warm milk (105 to 115F)
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon butter or margarine -- softened
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (4 1/2 to 5 cups)
    • 1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries -- drained
    • 1/2 cup chopped slivered almonds -- toasted
    • Almond Icing

    Place warm water in large, warm bowl. Sprinkle in yeast; stir until dissolved. Add warm milk, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup butter, eggs, salt and 1 1/2 cups flour; blend well. Stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough.

    Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 4 to 6 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

    Pat maraschino cherries between paper towels to remove excess moisture. In medium bowl, combine cherries, almonds and 1/4 cup sugar; reserve.

    Punch dough down. Remove dough to lightly floured surface; divide in half. Roll one piece to 24- 7-inch oblong. Melt remaining butter; brush half on dough to within 1/2-inch of edges. Sprinkle half of cherry mixture on surface. Beginning at long end, roll up tightly as for jelly roll. Pinch seam to seal; carefully roll back and forth to stretch to 26-inch rope. Place, seam side down, on greased baking sheet. Form into ring; pinch ends together to seal. Shape into heart.

    With sharp knife, cut slits starting at outside edge of heart, 2/3 of the way through dough, at 3/4-inch intervals. Turn each section on its side to show filling. Repeat with remaining dough, butter and filling. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

    Bake at 350F for 20 to 25 minutes or until done; switch positions of sheets in oven halfway through baking time for even browning. Remove from sheets; cool on wire racks. Frost with Almond Icing.

    Almond Icing: Combine 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted, 1/2 teaspoon almond extract and 2 to 3 tablespoons milk. Stir until smooth.

    Yield:    2 Coffee Cakes

    Sweetheart Meringues with Crme Brle and Raspberry Sauce

     
    • 8 large California Fresh Egg Whites>
    • 2 cups granulated sugar

      CREAM BRULEE
    • 3 cups heavy cream
    • 8 large California Egg Yolks
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 3 tbsp. Raspberry Sauce

      RASPBERRY SAUCE
    • 1 10-ounce package red raspberries frozen in syrup
    • 2 tbsp. orange flavored liqueur
    Preheat oven to 325F.  Whip egg whites until frothy, then gradually add sugar a little at a time, until sugar is dissolved and whites are very stuff.

    Using pastry bag and large plain tip, pipe meringue into 8 heart shapes about 3 inches across on parchment-lined baking sheet. Build the hearts up to about 1/2" in height. Bake about 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Let sit in oven with door open until cool. (This helps the meringues dry out thoroughly.)

    Place hearts on serving plates.  Crme Brle Instructions: Mix egg yolks with granulated sugar until thoroughly blended.  Whip in cream.  Place in top of double boiler and heat, stirring constantly until the mixture coats the spoon in a thick layer.

    Remove from heat and stir in liqueur. Let cool slightly.  Pour into meringue hearts and refrigerate for several hours. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the brulee to prevent a skin from forming or dot the surface, while still warm, with a stick of butter so that a thin film of fat is on the surface, protecting it from the air.

    Raspberry Sauce Instructions: Thaw raspberries.  Dessert Assembly: Place two or three dollops of raspberry sauce around the brulee-filled hearts. Garnish with a couple of fresh raspberries and mint leaves.

    Use caution and care when separating eggs. Make sure that no egg yolk gets into the white. The fat in the egg yolk will prevent the whites from whipping. If suitable for the recipe, add a source of acid, such as lemon juice or cream of tartar before you begin the whipping process. This stabilizes the foam and prevents it from separating quickly after whipping. Start whipping slowly to begin the aeration process, then increase the speed to a rapid whip to develop the foam.  When adding the sugar, test the meringue by rubbing a little between the fingers.

    Description:  "This is a special occasion dessert great for Valentines day!"
    Source:  "California Egg Commission"

    NOTES : Although there are three components, the preparation is simple. The crme brle is cooked on the stove top, requiring no water bath or oven time. The meringues can be made up to a day ahead, if the weather is not too humid. The simple raspberry sauce will keep for several days in the refrigerator. 

    Cooking Hints: Whipping Egg Whites - Use very clean bowls and beaters. Any foreign material, but particularly grease or soap file can inhibit foaming. Metal or glass bowls are the best. Plastic is not recommended because grease may cling to plastic surfaces, even after cleaning.

    Valentine's Day Red Cake

     
    • 2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
    • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1 1/2 cups Big Chief granulated sugar
    • 1 tsp white vinegar
    • 1 cup buttermilk
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1/4 cup red food coloring (2 1-oz bottles)
    • 1 tsp cocoa
    • 2 large eggs

    • FROSTING
    • 1 1/2 sticks butter -- softened
    • 1 pound Big Chief powdered sugar
    • 10 ounces cream cheese -- softened
    • 2 cups chopped pecans
    Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together all cake ingredients with mixer until well blended. Spray 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with non-stick coating. Pour batter into the pans. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool 10 minutes and remove from pans to cool completely before frosting.  To prepare frosting, combine butter, cream cheese and Big Chief powdered sugar in a bowl and beat until very fluffy. Fold in 1/2 cups pecans to decorate top of cake. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

    Description:  "For your sweetest of sweets!"
    Source:  "Monitor Sugar"

    Valentine Meringue Hearts

     
    • 3 egg whites
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
    • Dash salt
    • 1 cup sugar
    • Red food coloring
    • 1 quart vanilla ice cream
    • 1 pint strawberries -- sliced

    Cut a heart pattern from a 4-1/2 inch square of paper. Cover baking sheet with brown paper. (You can bake on the brown paper so make sure it is clean.) Grocery store bags without writing on them are okay. Draw 6 hearts on the brown paper using your pattern as a guide. Beat egg whites with vanilla, cream of tartar and salt until frothy. Add sugar, a little at a time, and continue beating until stiff peaks form and sugar is dissolved. Rub a bit between your figures to feel that no sugar remains undissolved. Add food coloring, a few drops to make a delicate pink color.  Spread meringue over the heart shapes, 1/4 inch thick. Make into the heart shape using a spoon to push and form into correct shape. Pipe rim 3/4 inch high with pastry tube.  Bake in preheated 275-degree oven for 1 hour. Turn off oven and let meringues dry in oven for 1 more hour. DO NOT open oven door during this time.  Fill the cooled meringues with scoops of ice cream and top with strawberries.  Decorate with mint leaves if desired.

    Valentine Parfait: White Chocolate Mousse with Red Raspberry Coulis


          RASPBERRY SAUCE
    • 2 10-ounce packages frozen raspberries in syrup
    • Juice of 1/2 lemon
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 2 tbsp cornstarch
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1 tbsp. Grand Marnier or other liqueur (optional)

           MOUSE

    • 1/4 cup water
    • 1 tsp unflavored gelatin
    • 1/4 cup milk
    • 5 ounces white chocolate** -- broken up
    • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

    Combine undrained berries and lemon juice in processor or blender and pure. Strain, pressing with back of spoon. Add sugar, cornstarch, water and liqueur; blend well. Place in saucepan over medium heat and bring to boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and continue stirring one minute. Remove from heat and allow to cool until ready to use.

    In a glass measuring cup, sprinkle gelatin over cold water and allow mixture to soften for 1-2 minutes. Microwave on HIGH 20-40 seconds and allow to stand for 2 minutes, or until granules are completely dissolved. (Alternatively, place cup in a bowl of hot water and stir until completely dissolved.) In a small saucepan bring milk to the simmering point. Remove from heat and add white chocolate. Stir occasionally until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Blend gelatin into chocolate mixture and refrigerate until slightly thickened but not gelled about 10 minutes.

    Whip cream until stiff and peaks hold their shape. Fold white chocolate mixture into whipped cream . Beginning with raspberry sauce, alternate layers of mousse with raspberry sauce into tall parfait glasses. Refrigerate 1-2 hours. To serve, garnish with partially frozen whole berries, or fresh if available.

    NOTES : Luxuriously light but deliciously decadent, this rich, white chocolate mousse and red raspberry coulis (pronounced "coo - lee") parfait is a delicate balance of the holiday's two favorite ingredients. These perfect partners combine to produce a velvety smooth dessert with a simple elegance that makes it a fitting finale to a quiet valentine dinner for two, or an ideal company dessert as well. It can be made ahead and uses frozen berries from your local grocery freezer case.

    Cherries Jubilee

     
    • 2 tbsp sugar
    • 3 tbsp kirsch (cherry liqueur)
    • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
    • 1 can (16 oz) pitted dark sweet cherries, undrained
    • 1/2 cup brandy (optional, for flaming)

    In small saucepan over moderate heat, warm sugar, kirsch, cornstarch and cherries with their juice until hot but not boiling.  Pour cherry sauce into heat-proof bowl for serving.

    To flame the cherry sauce, pour 1/2 cup brandy into small, long-handled pan or ladle; warm over burner or candle flame.  (Alternatively, warm brandy in the microwave; Using a long kitchen or fireplace match, carefully ignite brandy.  Exercising great caution; Pour flaming brandy over warm cherry sauce;  allow flame to subside.  Serve warm.

    Serves 6.

    Hummingbird Cake

     
    • 3 cups flour
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 3 eggs, beaten
    • 1 cut vegetable oil
    • 1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple, undrained
    • 2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts, divided
    • 2 cups chopped bananas
    • Cream Cheese Frosting

    Cream Cheese Frosting

    • 1 - 8oz package cream cheese, softened
    • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 pkg (16 oz) confectioners' sugar
    FOR CAKE:  Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cinnamon in large mixing bowl.  Add eggs and vegetable oil, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened.  Do not beat.  Stir in vanilla, undrained pineapple, 1 cup of the chopped nuts and chopped bananas.

    Spoon batter into a well-greased 12-cup tube pan or 3 9-inch cake pans.  Bake at 350 degrees.  For tube cake, take 1 hour and 20 minutes.  For cake pans, bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until cake tests done.  Cool in pans 10 minutes, remove from pans and invert onto a serving plate.  Cool completely.

    Spread Cream Cheese between layers and on top and sides of cake.  Sprinkle with remaining chopped nuts.

    FOR FROSTING:  Combine cream cheese, butter and vanilla; cream until smooth.  Add sugar, beating until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes.

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    Changes last made on: Wed Jul 22, 2009