Tag Archives: Valentine’s Day

This Is The Perfect Dessert For Valentine’s Day

feb. 15

This Apricot-Orange Muscat Sponge Cake might seem like a bit more work than you might be prepared for, but I really encourage you to give it a try. It is an absolute stunner. Beautiful to look at and so, so good to eat. You could substitute strawberries for them apricots, if the fancy takes you. Muscat is a sweet (dessert) wine that complements the apricots, and turns an ordinary sponge cake into a showstopper!

Apricot-Orange Muscat Sponge Cake

  • 1-1/2 cups dried apricots
  • 1 cup Quady Orange Muscat “Essencia”
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1-1/2 cups whipping (35%) cream
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  1. Add apricots and wine to a bowl, and let soak until apricots are soft.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and lightly flour a 9 x 2 inch round cake pan. Line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper.
  3. Combine eggs and sugar in a large, stainless steel mixing bowl  placed over a pot of boiling water. Whisk until mixture is warm to the touch. Remove from heat, add vanilla, and beat until the batter is stiff. Feel free to use an electric mixer.
  4. Slowly pour flour over the batter, folding it in with a spatula as quickly as possible. Stir 1/2 cup of the the batter into the butter, then fold the butter mixture gently into the rest of the batter.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the top of the cake springs back when touched, about 25 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack. Let cool completely.
  6. Drain the apricots, reserving the wine. Chop the apricots.
  7. Which cream until soft, but spreadable. Combine 1 cup of cream with the apricots.
  8. Split the cake in half horizontally. Carefully lift off the top layer. Brush the bottom layer with wine until it is evenly moistened. Spread the apricot-cream mixture over the bottom layer. Brush the cut side of the top layer of cake with the remaining wine. Carefully, place the top layer on the bottom layer. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Enjoy!

Sweet Valentine’s Day! You’ll Love These Choco-Nut Cookies

Photo: kraftcanada.com

Photo: kraftcanada.com

Happy Valentine’s Day! Full disclosure here: I did not wake up this morning with a plan of how to make this day super special for my family. So, if you’re like me (and I sincerely hope you’re more with it than I am this morning!), you might be wondering how you’re going to cover for your lack of Valentine’s Day foresight.

I’ve got your back on this one. Here’s my secret: just add chocolate. Make these cookies for your sweetheart and all will be forgiven!

Choco-Nut Cookies

First, let me say that this recipe is adapted from a Kraft recipe that you can find here. Second, as you might guess, I’m going to encourage you to turn on your stove’s exhaust fan. Yes, we’re all about range hoods here. And yes, turning on the exhaust fan helps purify your indoor air.

But, there’s actually another reason you should turn on that fan. That sweet cookie aroma is going to waft outside. It’s going to hit your favorite person right in the olfactory glands, and it will attract your sweetie’s attention like nothing else.

Cook these up and let me know how it all works out for you!

  • 225g  bittersweet chocolate chips, divided in half
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup nuts (walnuts, pecans, pistachios, peanuts – just choose your favorite), chopped
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Place half of the chocolate chips in a microwaveable bowl. Microwave on medium 3 to 4 minutes until partially melted; stir until completely melted.
  3. Add butter to the melted chocolate; stir until well combined.
  4. Add eggs to chocolate mixture. Combine well.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine sugar, flour, nuts, remaining chocolate chips, and baking powder.
  6. Add dry ingredients to chocolate mixture; stir well.
  7. Drop dough by tablespoons onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  8. Bake about 12 minutes, or until cookies are soft to the touch.
  9. Let cool on wire racks.

Enjoy!

A Special Meal for Your Valentine

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and if you’re a foodie who loves to cook, you might be thinking of ways that you can give your Valentine something special from the kitchen.  If you regularly cook and bake for your Special Someone, chances are that you are looking for something truly extraordinary for this year’s celebration.  You can go many different directions with your Valentine’s Day feast and it all really just depends on your cooking preferences and your Valentine’s level of pickiness. If you want some fresh ideas on what to prepare this Valentine’s Day, check out our suggestions for delicious recipes below and choose the one that’s right for you.

Cheesy Baked Shrimp Scampi Dip
If your Special Someone is a shrimp scampi lover, this treat could be just the thing for them. This delicious shrimp scampi dip goes perfectly with breads or pita chips and can be served with a variety of your favorite snacks. After prep and bake time, this recipe still takes only about 35 minutes to prepare, and it’s definitely easy on a scale of simple-to-hard.

RHI  Photo Credit: delish.com

Ingredients:
2 tbsp. butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. dry white wine
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
1/2 lb. medium peeled and deveined shrimp, defrosted
1 c. ricotta
1 c. shredded white Cheddar
1/4 c. grated Parmesan
Sliced baguette, for serving

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes, then add white wine, lemon juice, parsley and shrimp. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until shrimp is no longer opaque and wine is reduced, 5 to 7 minutes.

Transfer ingredients to a cutting board and finely chop shrimp. Add ingredients to a large bowl, along with ricotta, cheddar, and Parmesan. Stir to combine.

Transfer to baking dish and bake until warm and bubbly, 15 minutes. (Broiler for 3 minutes if you prefer a darker top.) Garnish with parsley and serve with bread.

Recipe via Delish

Boursin-Stuffed Chicken
If you’ve never tried this boursin-stuffed chicken, we promise you’re in for a treat. This is a special meal that your Valentine is sure to love, and with a few simple touches, this easy, 10-minute meal can become a fancy, Valentine’s Day banquet.

RHI2

Photo Credit: delish.com

Ingredients:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1 package Boursin cheese or herbed goat cheese, 4 ounces
1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
4 slices prosciutto

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Using a meat tenderizer, pound the chicken to 1/4-inch thick. Pat it dry and liberally season it with salt and pepper on both sides. Place a spoonful or two of Boursin on one end of each piece, top with a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese, and roll the chicken up, starting at the cheese-topped end. Wrap the chicken with a slice of prosciutto and place in the baking dish seem-side down, so the prosciutto doesn’t unravel. Repeat with all of the pieces of chicken.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear when pierced with a fork or knife.

Recipe via Delish

Four Cheese Heart-Shaped Pepperoni Pizza
Pizza is an American favorite, and while it’s usually thought of as a casual type of meal, you can certainly add your own twists to spruce things up. If your Sweet Heart is a pizza lover, this might be their ideal version of the ultimate Valentine’s dinner and it will mean even more as a hand-crafted peace with special heart-shaped pepperonis.

RHI3

Photo Credit: bakerbynature.com

Ingredients:
1 pizza dough, rolled out into a large (about 12”s across) circle
8 ounces mozzarella, shredded
3 ounces  Locatelli Romano Cheese, shredded
3 ounces Monterey Jack, shredded
2 ounces gorgonzola, crumbled
1/8 pound pepperoni, cut into heart shapes (optional!)
1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil, for drizzling

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees (F).

Roll the pizza dough to desired shape and place it on a large, lightly oiled baking sheet or a pizza stone.

Combine the mozzarella, Locatelli, and Monterey Jack in a large bowl.

Evenly distribute the cheese mixture over the crust. Top with pepperoni and gorgonzola, evenly distributing them around the top of the pie.

Drizzle with olive oil, and bake until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is completely melted, about 6 to 8 minutes.

Serve at once!

Recipe via Baker by Nature
These are just a few ideas to jump start your Valentine’s Day meal ideas. Do you have a traditional recipe that you make each year for your Valentine? How did you decide, and what do you make? What are your favorite dessert dishes for Valentine’s Day? Leave your suggestions and feedback in the comments below!

Unique Valentine’s Day Treats

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and if you’re someone who likes to give your valentines in the form of baked treats, you’re probably wondering how you can make something creative and popular without spending weeks in the kitchen.  If you’re a cook, chances are that you already have quite a few Valentine’s Day treat recipes up your sleeve, but if you’re all out of ideas for this year, or you’re simply looking to add a few more recipes to your collections and try something new, we have a few recipe ideas for this year’s Valentine’s Day treats.

Red Velvet Heart Sandwich Cookies
Everyone loves cookies, and these red heart cookies with delicious cream cheese frosting stuffed delightfully in the middle.  Not only are they creative and fun, but they are pretty easy to make and the perfect Valentine’s Day Treat.

RHI Photo Credit: raspberricupcakes.com

Ingredients:
250g soft, good quality unsalted butter
80g icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
About 1 tbsp liquid red food colour, adjust as you like (I used gel colouring, which only
needed about 2 tsp)
75g (1/2 cup) cornflour (cornstarch)
225g (1 1/2 cups) plain flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-processed)
1/2 tsp salt

For the cream cheese icing:
113g cream cheese
1 tbsp (14g) butter
1 cup (150g) icing sugar, sifted

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) and line two baking sheets with baking paper. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add red food coloring and vanilla and beat until just combined. Sift flours, cocoa powder and salt over butter mixture and, using a wooden spoon, stir to form a soft dough. If you are making heart shapes you may want to chill your dough for about 10 mins before you start to shape them, to stop the butter in the dough melting from the heat of your hands

Keeping your fingertips lightly floured, press heaped teaspoons of dough into heart shapes that are about 0.5cm thick and 3.5cm wide and place on baking sheets (do not knead your dough, work it as little as possible). I could fit about 24 biscuits on each sheet. Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly colored. Stand biscuits on trays for 5 minutes, before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

To prepare the icing, remove the cream cheese and butter 30 mins before starting. Beat cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on high until smooth and fluffy. Add sifted icing sugar and beat until smooth. Spoon on to cooled biscuits and sandwich together. Can be served immediately or stored in the fridge in an airtight container.

Recipe via Raspberri Cupcakes

Double Chocolate Heart Doughnuts
Not many people would turn down a chocolate donut, but what if you had a special heart-shaped donut for Valentine’s Day? It’s a proven fact that most home-cooked meals or home-baked treats taste better than that store-bought stuff, and this one will fit right into the collection.

RHI1Photo Credit: hungrygirlporvida.com

Ingredients:
1 cup cake flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 egg
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Glaze
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 Tablsepoon unsweetened cocoa powder
3 Tablespoons milk

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350*F. Lightly spray a doughnut pan with cooking spray.

In a mixing bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and sugar. In a large measuring cup whisk together the buttermilk, egg, butter, and vanilla. Mix the wet mixture into the dry until just combined. Scrape the batter into a plastic bag, cut off the tip, and pipe batter into doughnut pan wells–about 1/2 way up the sides. Bake for 10 minutes (heart shaped) or 13 for regular doughnuts. Allow to cool about 5 minutes in the pan before turning out onto a rack to cool. Glaze and sprinkle once doughnuts have cooled.

Recipe via Hungry Girl Porvida

Chocolate-Dipped Heart Brownies
Brownies are an American favorite, and they only get better with these delicious Valentine’s Day special. If you know the delight of biting into a moist, melt-in-your mouth type of a brownie, you have to try this amazing recipe.

RHI2Photo Credit: recipegirl.com

Ingredients:
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter
16 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (or chocolate chips)
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 Tablespoons instant espresso powder
7 large eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups granulated white sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour 13x18x1-inch sheet pan. Line with foil or parchment that hangs over the sides for ease in getting them out (butter the foil/parchment).

In a heatproof, medium-bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, heat butter, and chocolates until melted and smooth; cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, espresso powder, vanilla and sugar. Stir the egg mixture into the slightly cooled chocolate mixture. Cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt, then add to batter. Stir the chocolate mixture. Then pour the brownie batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. A 2-inch heart-shaped cutter is perfect for this project.  Place the whole slab of brownies on a large cutting board and start cutting out hearts.

Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean with a few crumbs attached; do not overbake as you want them to be fudgy! Let cool completely, then cover tightly and chill for several hours or overnight. Chilled brownies are easier to cut. Invert the chilled brownie pan onto a large cutting board, peel off the foil or parchment and cut into squares.

(The brownies should be chilled for this part too).  Melt desired chocolate in a bowl (in the microwave) and stir until smooth.  I used red & white A-Peels for my chocolate, but you can use any.  Brush crumbs off of the top of the brownie and hold onto the sides toward the bottom.  Dunk the tops into the melted chocolate and place on waxed paper to dry (chocolate-side-up).  Sprinkle festive decor on top, if desired.

Recipe via Recipe Girl

These are some of the treats that we liked best, but we encourage you do your own research if you are looking for great Valentine’s Day treat ideas. Do you already have a great Valentine’s Day treat that others would love to know about? Leave your suggestions and instructions in the comments below!