by Maria Perilla
[Editor Note: Though Valentine’s Day is over, these recipes can make great snacks!]
Red Velvet Mug Cake For Two (or one honestly)
Note: All microwaves are different and vary in power. Each microwave can yield different results, so be sure to watch your cake carefully as it cooks.
6 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
10 drops red food coloring
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1 tablespoon cream cheese
Powdered sugar, for serving
Sprinkles, for serving (optional)
- In a large mug, whisk together the milk, vinegar, flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, vegetable oil, and red food coloring. Fold in mini chocolate chips, and give it 1 more stir. Add a dollop of cream cheese right in the center of the batter, and push it down so it’s submerged completely.
- Microwave on high for 5 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Garnish with powdered sugar and sprinkles. Enjoy immediately.
Betty Crocker Heart Cookies
1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker™ chocolate chip cookie mix
¼ cup Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
½ cup butter or margarine, softened
3-inch open heart-shaped cookie cutter
- Heat oven to 375°F. In medium bowl, stir cookie mix, flour, butter and egg until well blended. Roll into 1 1/4-inch balls.
- Spray cookie cutter with cooking spray; place on ungreased cookie sheet. Press dough ball evenly into cutter. Remove cutter; reshape dough if necessary. Continue making heart-shaped cookies, placing 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Spray cookie cutter as needed with cooking spray.
- Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheet.
Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Instructions for the strawberries:
- 1-2 Cups Fresh Strawberries
- 1 Cup Very Dark Chocolate Chunks
- Freeze Dried Fruit(optional)
- Raw Hemp Hearts(optional)
- Raw Cacao Nibs(optional)
Leave the stems on the strawberries, wash them, and set them out on a clean rag to dry. I like to use my meat mallet to break up the bars into chunks. Place the chocolate in a bag or between pieces of parchment paper, and whack away!
Melt the chocolate in the microwave or a double boiler. If you use the microwave, run it for 15 seconds at a time, stirring in between. If you cook it for longer segments it may burn around the edges of the bowl.
Make sure that your strawberries are completely dry before dipping them. Water will cause the chocolate to seize (it gets crumbly and weird). Dip each strawberry, and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with bits of freeze-dried fruit (you can also use the meat mallet to break them up into sprinkle sized pieces) and other toppings if desired.
Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator long enough to allow the chocolate to harden. Enjoy!
Chocolate Short Bread Heart Cookies
Yield: 3 dozen cookies
Prep time: 40 minutes (includes chill time)
Cook time: 18-20 minutes
2 cups all-purpose Gold Medal flour
2/3 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
Sprinkles, for decorating
- Sift the flour, cocoa and salt together. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the vanilla extract. Slowly add in the flour mixture and mix until combined. Between two sheets of waxed paper, roll the dough 1/4-inch thick as evenly as possible.
Chill for 30 minutes.
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with a Silpat baking mat or parchment paper.
4. Cut out the cookies with a heart shaped or other cookie cutter. Arrange the cookies, on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake the cookies for 15 minutes, or until crisp and firm. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for two minutes and then transfer to a wire
cooling rack to cool completely.
- When the cookies are cool dip the hearts into the melted chocolate. I only dipped about 1/4 of the heart. Sprinkle the chocolate section with sprinkles, if desired. Place the heart cookies on wax paper until the chocolate is completely set up.
Note-you can use any type of cookie cutter and sprinkles. You can make these cookies for any and every holiday!
Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
Yield: approximately 18 sandwich cookies
For the cookies:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1 oz. red food coloring
For the frosting:
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- 5 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Preheat the oven to 375˚ F. Using a heart template cut out from card stock, trace evenly spaced hearts onto pieces of parchment paper sized to fit two cookie sheets. Place the parchment on the cookie sheets so that the side you have drawn on is facing down; set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Blend in the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, beat in about a third of the dry ingredients, followed by half of the buttermilk, beating each addition just until incorporated. Repeat so that all the buttermilk has been added and then mix in the final third of dry ingredients. Do not overbeat. Blend in the food coloring.
Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip. Pipe the batter onto the parchment paper using the heart tracings as a guide. Bake 7-9 minutes or until the tops are set, rotating the baking sheets halfway through. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets at least 10 minutes, until they can be easily transferred to a cooling rack. Repeat with any remaining batter. Allow cookies to cool completely before proceeding.
To make the cream cheese frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the vanilla extract. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth.
Transfer the frosting to a clean pastry bag fitted with a plain, round tip. Pair the cookies up by shape and size.
Flip one cookie of each pair over so that the flat side is facing up.
Pipe frosting onto the flat-sided cookie of each pair, leaving the edges clear. Sandwich the cookies together so the flat sides are facing each other and press gently to help the filling reach the edges. To store, refrigerate in an airtight container.
(SOURCE: cookies adapted from Dinner and Dessert, originally from Better Homes & Gardens, December 2008; frosting frosting adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride)