Thursday, February 7, 2019

Valentine's Day Recipes

 Happy February friends!!

I'm sharing a few award winning recipes 
especially for Valentine's Day.  

If you're visiting from Fox 19... Welcome!! 
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On the menu...
Heart-shaped chocolate chip cookies....
and my favorite chocolate the form of a Valentine heart.  

No need for any special pans... 
you can bake this darling cake with 
a regular 8x8 or 9x9 square casserole dish 
and a round 8 or 9 inch cake pan. 
 And... you can even use a boxed cake mix ( I'll never tell)

Although...this Devil's food cake is worth the few 
extra minutes of measuring...and comes together so easily. --either way
you're in for a sweet treat.
 Here, I used valentine candy on a 
gingerbread house form....a Cupid's Cottage... 
super cute and a fun something to keep little ones busy.

On Fox 19 today, I will be sharing how I made these cookies...
Roll them up... freeze and slice...
I used the edge of the counter to indent the heart before freezing. 
 I will take photos in the studio this morning...and post them here...

Chocolate Chip Cookies, Blue Ribbon Kitchen Blog, 2014
1 cup cake flour
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup butter (2 sticks) (softened)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2  large eggs + 1 yolk
2 TBS dark corn syrup
1 ½  teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ½ cup milk chocolate chips
1 ½  cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped toasted nuts (optional)
Sprinkle of flake sea salt (optional)

Using two kinds of chips is the key to full flavor...Yes, of course you can change it up and use bittersweet and milk chocolate chips or try butterscotch and white chocolate chips... change the nuts or add dried cherries... but the above recipe is what I use for traditional flavor. 1 cup toasted pecans (toast pecans in a 350 degree oven for 7 minutes or until lightly toasted, let cool and coarsely chop)


Combine the baking soda and cornstarch, and flours, mix well.  Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl cream together butter, and sugars until light and fluffy. (This usually takes about 2 minutes)
Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between each.  Add the vanilla, corn syrup, and salt and mix until combined.
Gradually pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined.

Gently fold in chocolate chips and toasted pecans--if using.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Drop spoonfuls or scoops* of dough onto parchment lined cookie sheets –use parchment paper for best results.
*Using a small ice cream scoop yields uniform thick cookies. My scoop measure 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Press dough balls to flatten slightly, (sprinkle lightly with flake sea salt before baking if using)
Bake for about 10-12  minutes for medium sized cookies.  Bake longer for large cookies and bake less for smaller cookies.
Remove from the oven when the edges are lightly golden and the centers look just done.
After 2 minutes, move cookies from baking sheets and place onto cooling racks.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.

Valentine Heart Dark Chocolate Cake

Karri Perry, Blue Ribbon Kitchen blog
2016 Ohio State Fair Blue Ribbon- (Devil’s Food Cake/Caramel frosting)

Chocolate Cake: (Valentine Option Follows)

2 cups all purpose flour
¾ cup dark cocoa powder- Hershey’s Special Dark
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda

2 cups granulated sugar
2  large eggs
¾ cup black coffee –cooled
1 tsp espresso powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup vegetable oil
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate-melted (1 Baker’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar)

1 cup room temperature buttermilk

Caramel Icing: (this was the original icing)  Valentine Butter Cream follows

2 sticks unsalted butter
1 ½ cups light brown sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar
3 TBS heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
2-3 cups confectioner’s sugar
Large flake or coarse sea salt-1/4 tsp or to taste.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line two 9-inch cake pans with parchment rounds spray generously with non-stick cooking spray.  How-To: Use nonstick cooking spray to spray the bottom of pan, place parchment in the bottom and then spray bottom and sides again.

In a medium bowl mix together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda, set aside.

In a second mixing bowl, add the sugar, eggs, cooled coffee, espresso powder, vanilla, oil and melted chocolate.  Mix well with a handheld electric mixer until combined and emulsified.  There should be no oily puddles on the surface.

Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in two parts, alternating with the buttermilk.  Mix until just combined and uniform in color, with no streaks of flour showing. Scrape down sides of the bowl and pour equal amounts of batter into prepared cake pans.

Bake in a preheated oven on the middle rack for 30-35 minutes or until the cakes are set and a toothpick comes out clean from the center.

After 5 minutes, loosen cake from edges of the pan with a paring knife if necessary.  Turn cakes out onto a cooling rack and carefully peel off the parchment paper.  Let cakes cool on racks until room temperature.

For the icing:
In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter and add the brown sugars.  Stir mixture until it boils, add the heavy cream and return to a boil.  Remove from heat and add the vanilla.  Let cool to almost warm and add the confectioner’s sugar using an electric mixer.  Add a little sugar at a time until desired consistency is reached.  Working quickly, while icing is fluid, ice the cake, icing the, middle layer, top and sides of the cake.  Sprinkle with large flake or coarse sea salt to finish.

Valentine Heart:
Bake one layer in a well greased square cake pan or casserole dish.  Bake the second layer on a round cake pan.  Turn cakes out onto a cooling rack. After cakes cool, turn the square cake on its end (as a diamond shape) Cut the round cake in half.  Attach each half of the round cake the sides of the diamond cake shape, thus creating a heart shaped cake.  Frost with desired frosting and decorate with sprinkles. 

Easy Butter Cream Frosting: (I would double this frosting recipe for this heart shaped cake)
1 Cup unsalted butter softened (2 sticks)
2 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
5-6 cups of confectioner’s sugar
If frosting becomes too thick, loosen with a tsp of milk or cream to reach desired consistency.
Beat the softened butter on medium until light and fluffy, add the vanilla and salt.  Gradually add the sugar. Once sugar has been added, mix on medium and then high for 2-3 minutes. Mixing a high speed will create a light creamy frosting. 

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