Valentines Day Recipe Round-up

Hello Dear Friends!

As I was searching for a Valentines Day themed dessert to make for my son's preschool class, I quickly realized I've made plenty of those treats here on my own blog.  So I thought I'd put them all together in one place so they're easier for you and me to find.  Easier, that is, if you put yourself in the "I volunteered to make something, and not sure why" boat (like me).

This is one of the first cookies I made on the blog, they are Chocolate Espresso Cookies with Kahlua Buttercream.  And like a lot of the treats featured today, they can be made and enjoyed year-round i.e., no "holiday" required. 

Chocolate Espresso Cookies with Kahlua Buttercream

Now this one is a lot of people's favorite.  It's my Chocolate Covered Cherry Whoopie Pie.  I love chocolate covered cherries, so it only seemed logical I make a whoopie pie in their honor.

Chocolate Covered Cherry Whoopie Pies

If you like the combination of chocolate and raspberry together, this one is for you! Try these Chocolate Raspberry Cookie Bars. I'm not a big fan of the combo usually, but when you use fresh raspberries and no artificial flavoring or dyes in the buttercream, it's a winner!

Chocolate Raspberry Cookie Bars

If you're not in the mood for cookies, whoopies, or bars then try this Love Bark.  The bottom layer is Double Stuf Oreo.  It has a rich, creamy filling, and topped with chocolate and more crushed Oreo.  This is all kinds of sweet!

Love Bark

It may not be Valentines Day for some without Red Velvet making a presence.  This Red Velvet Cake Batter Dip is easy and super fun to eat.  The combinations of dippers are endless!  Be creative! 

Red Velvet Cake Batter Dip

These Raspberry Cream Wafers almost melt in your mouth.  The wafer is buttery and light and the cream in the middle is just right; flavored with raspberry preserves and almond extract.  They're dangerous to have around when they're this tiny!

Raspberry Cream Wafers

How about a brownie?  Would you like it more if it were topped with Strawberry Buttercream?  And what if you decided to splash some Kahlua in the ganache and batter?  Now we're talking!  Make me up a batch of these Strawberry Kahlua Brownies, please!

Strawberry Kahlua Brownies

And last, but certainly not least...Whether you're not big into sharing or you're enjoying the night to yourself, the Strawberry Nutella Mug Cake is right up your alley!  Dig in and pair with a large glass of milk or red wine.  No judgements here!!!

Strawberry Nutella Mug Cake

I hope you found something that looks yummy to you or something that will help you decide what to make this Valentines Day.  Thanks for stopping by!  Now excuse me while I do some last minute shopping for a billion Valentines that my kids can pass out.  Something Star Wars related, I'm sure.


Cookie Crazed Mama

Pumpkin Muffins with Brown Butter Glaze

Y'all, I don't wait for the leaves to fall and the air to turn crisp before I start making pumpkin goodies.  In fact, I started making pumpkin whoopie pies weeks ago.  Because you know what?  People are like me and they eat the stuff up no matter what the thermometer says.  It's delicious, so why wait?  I mean, unless you're waiting for your pumpkins to grow and ripen on the vine of course.  Otherwise grab a giant can of Libby's Pumpkin Purée and join me!

*These muffins are super moist, taste like pumpkin pie, and are great with or without glaze.  You can store them for a few days in a container (if they last that long!) and are perfect heated up in the microwave for just a few seconds.

Pumpkin Muffins
adapted from King Arthur Flour
makes approx. 24 large standard muffins

-1 c. canola oil
-6 eggs
-3 c. granulated sugar
-3 c. pumpkin purée
-1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
-2 1/2 tsp. salt
-1 Tbsp. baking powder
-3 3/4 c. all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350º.  Line muffin tins with tulip parchment cups if you have them, I ordered mine on Amazon, but I've also found them at Krogers.  Otherwise, use standard cupcake liners.  If you do, the recipe will make more than 24-feel free to cut the recipe in half!

Beat together oil, eggs, sugar, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, salt, & baking powder until smooth.  Slowly add flour and mix until flour is just blended in and no flour streaks remain.

For standard muffin liner, fill 3/4 full.  If you're using tulip cups like mine, fill to the top of muffin pan-the tulip cups support the extra rise.

Bake standard muffins for 20-25 minutes; ones in tulip cups 25-30 minutes.  Toothpick should come out clean.

As muffins cool slightly make your glaze...

Brown Butter Cinnamon Glaze
adapted from Martha Stewart

-1 stick unsalted butter
-2 c. powdered sugar, sifted
-1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
-1/4 tsp. cinnamon
-2-4 Tbsp. heavy cream (can use whole milk or such)

Over medium heat, melt butter in a light colored pan on stove.  Butter will melt, bubble and foam.  Stir as sediment collects at bottom to prevent scorching.  After 5-10 minutes, sediment and butter will start to darken and give off a nutty aroma.  Remove from heat once medium-light in color.

Transfer butter and brown butter sediment to mixing bowl.  Add sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon and whisk.  Slowly pour in heavy cream and whisk until you've reached your desired consistency.

Pour, scoop, or drizzle over warm muffins.  These would also be great brushed with butter and topped with cinnamon sugar.

Enjoy and join the rest of us pumpkin eating/drinking maniacs...

Found on a friend's Facebook.  Can't tell if he was poking fun at over zealous pumpkin lovers like myself.  Hmm.

Peach Cobbler

One of the biggest complaints about my baking amongst my family is that I never bake for them.  This accusation makes me feel somewhat guilty, but only because it is 100% true.  I can't remember the last time I made something solely for them to enjoy and not just some scraps or duds from something I whipped up for customers.  Maybe the last time was for one of the kids birthdays?  Surely?

Well, the spirit must have caught me today as I gazed at the peaches sitting on my counter.  I could almost hear them say, "We're going to go bad by tomorrow if you don't do something with us now.  Right NOW!"  Again, totally true.  I'm the worst when it comes to consuming fruit that isn't already washed and ready to eat.  However, I dragged these damn peaches all the way back home from Tennessee and I wasn't going to waste them because a.) they were very juicy and delicious and b.) being wasteful seems like bad karma.

I asked the husband if he wanted Peach Crisp or Peach Cobbler.  He said Crisp.  So here it is, Peach Cobbler! (Oh I'm an evil wife, but at least I made him something)

Fresh peaches!

Peach Cobbler
adapted from Slow Roasted Italian

-7 fresh peaches; peeled, pitted, and sliced into 1/8ths
-1/4 c. sugar
-1/4 c. dark brown sugar
-1/2 tsp. apple pie spice (or blend of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, mace)
-1 tsp. lemon zest
-1/2 tsp. almond extract
-1 Tbsp. cornstarch

Glazed with brown syrupy goodness and ready to bake!

Preheat oven to 400º (425º if using dark pan or glass).  In a large bowl, stir to combine all the ingredients.  Pour evenly into a 2 quart baking dish.  Bake for 10 minutes.  While peaches bake, make the topping:

-2 c. all-purpose flour
-1/2 c. sugar
-1/2 c. dark brown sugar
-2 tsp. baking powder
-1 tsp. salt
-12 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
-1/2 c. boiling water

-Turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw) for sprinkling

Cutting butter into small cubes makes it easier to work with.

 In a large bowl, stir together dry ingredients with a fork.  Break up any large pieces of brown sugar.  Using a pastry blender or hands, cut butter into dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly (like wet sand).  Sprinkle the water over the mixture and stir until just combined-no more flour streaks.  Using a ice cream scoop or tablespoon, drop batter over the warm peaches.  Sprinkle generously with raw sugar and place in the oven.  Bake for an additional 30-35 minutes.

Using a cookie scoop creates an even layer on top.

*For ease of cleaning, put a foil lined baking sheet on the oven rack under the crisp to catch any juices that might boil over during baking.

Serve warm with ice cream or fresh whipped cream.  Or enjoy as is!

The darker topping is due in part to the dark brown sugar.  Feel free to use light brown sugar.