Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hearts, Kisses and Cake!

I hope everyone had a WONDERFUL Valentines Day! I know I did! I had so much fun preparing for the day too! There were so many things that I wanted to make goody-wise, and I didnt even know where to start. There were two recipes in my book that I wanted to try, and then I came across a great website that gave me the idea for the other treat.

For this first recipe, I had to go out and buy a rolling pin and some heart cookie cutters first. Of course I didnt have those, but I was determined to make these sugar cookies. Now for making them - as for the ingredients, I had them all; as for the knowledge, I had none! I have never made sugar cookies before, and i have never had to deal with rolling out cookie dough. I went out and bought a wooden rolling pin, because I couldnt find a different one, and it wasnt so bad, except the dough kept sticking to it. But I eventually figured it all out, and went to the baking part. I burned the first batch, undercooked the second, and by the third, I had it down. My only problem was that I started this so late on Saturday, that by the time I finished those three batches, we had somewhere else to be, so I had to refrigerate the rest of the batch. What I didnt realize that I should have done though, is wrap it then put it in there. So, of course, when I went to finish them the next day, they were ruined! Ugh, but what can you do? You certainly learn a lot when you do this, especially teaching yourself.

So anyway, I only had one really good batch and it still worked for what I wanted to do with them. And, of course, Matt took a great picture of them. And he also enjoyed some for himself :)

For my next goody, I cant take the credit for - although I wish I could because they were so GREAT! I got the idea from www.bakerella.com where, if you are ever looking for great ideas, you will find them there. She is an amazing baker who came up with so many great ideas, and even has a book called Cake Pops. I definitely want to get that one! Anyway, my lovely friend Maureen told me about the website (thanks Mo!), and I just cannot get enough of it! I found these little guys, called Oreo Kisses, and I just had to try them! Go to her website and you can get the recipe to make them too! They are so great! So here is the process I went through with some pictures along the way.

First I had to crush up 38 oreo cookies, preferably in a food processor the website says, but of course, I dont have one of those, so I did it the old fashioned way - Ziploc bag and crushing tool. Which tool did I use, you ask? Well... I used the back of a knife! Haha, why did I do that when I knew I had a rolling pin? No one really knows the answer to that question. Matt came up to me when I was about halfway done, and asked me that same question, and I turned to him with another question - why werent you here when I started this? The real answer is that I was already tired, and just wasnt thinking. That part ended up taking a long time, but it was worth it in the end.

After crushing, I mixed them with cream cheese, then formed them into 1" ball shapes, then onto the kiss shape. It took me a while to get that part down, but they really turned out nice in the end. The website then said to put in the freezer for a couple minutes, but as my freezer is the size of my thumb, I had to put them in the fridge for about an hour, and I couldnt even put them all in at the same time! I had to alternate with that, because my fridge isnt much bigger than my thumb. Here is the picture of them between the ball and kiss stages.

 When the kisses were all formed...

 Here I am in the process of dipping the cold kisses into the melted chocolate. I used dark chocolate melts, and this was the most fun part of the process. It was so great to see the almost finished product, and who can say dipping things in chocolate isnt fun - really?!

 Dont they already look scrum-diddly-umptious?

 Once all dipped, back in the fridge they go to harden. Then, to give them the ultimate "kiss" looking presentation, I cut up tin foil and wrote out cute little Valentines messages on some paper and wrapped them all up. All of this, was, of course from her website too. I cant take credit for any part of this recipe, except that mine did turn out the way they should have. They were super yummy as well as pretty! I even gave Matt the honor of being the one to take the first bite for this picture. I was very proud of doing this recipe; it was very labor-intensive, but so worth it in the end.

 The finished product was that I took two heart cookies, three kisses, and a few of my homemade chocolate chip cookies and put them into goody bags and handed them out to some of Matty's coworkers on Valentines Day. They were all pleased that I had some goodies for them, and when they tasted the "kisses", they were very pleasantly surprised - or so Matt told me :) It made me happy anyway!

Last, but not least, was the Valentine's Day Cake, or as the recipe book calls it, Valentine Chocolate Heart Cake. Well, again, I didnt have the heart cake pan, and I couldnt find one despite my efforts, so I resorted to a round pan. The recipe also called for the cake to have fresh (or frozen) raspberries, but when I went to the store to get some, the harvest was out. There wasnt even any strawberries, and I dont need to re-iterate about my freezer, so I just went with nothing, although that would have made it look really pretty.

This recipe called for self-raising flour, baking powder, cocoa powder (a lot of it), eggs, muscovado sugar, which is just a fine brown sugar, oil, single cream (like 1/2 and 1/2), and then for the icing, chocolate (I used dark) and double cream (heavy whipping cream). It was pretty easy to make, albeit messy! The hard part came when doing the icing. The recipe said to cut the cake in half horizontally, and spread raspberry jelly, the chocolate icing, and fresh raspberries (which of course I didnt have) and sandwich the halves back together. That didnt work out so well for me, as the halves were pretty thin and kept falling apart. The top half became more like the top 4 quarters, but thats ok. In the end, it still looked pretty and was very yummy, although Im not a huge cake person. The icing was also a very messy part, but I enjoyed scooping up the chocolate and accidentally letting it fall into my mouth :)

So there you have it - our Valentines Day treats. Needless to say, Matty was very happy with these treats, as were others at his work. And, as I was making the kisses, it really hit me that I was doing what I was meant to be doing, even if it isnt always easy, and I have some recipes that dont turn out to be perfect. I realized that I could very easily do this everyday. Just to see the look on people's faces when they have something so yummy really gives me a good feeling. Matt got me a really cute New Zealand apron and my first recipe box for V-Day, and I have already written some recipes, and cant wait to use my apron! And I helped him with his passion too, with Beauty and the Beast, and a drawing book. We are just too good to each other!

Thanks for all the great comments, and keep checking in :)


  1. I am sooo jealous! Matty gets all the good stuff and I get pictures to look at! You've become quite the amazing little baker and housewife! I'm so proud of you! Love you tons! Mom

  2. Carlota! You are THE CUTEST!!!! Your kisses looked SO good!! I want one!! I am so proud and excited for you that you've found something you're passionate about! That is awesome- and you are the perfect person for baking- you don't really like sweets!! ;) I love you TONS and TONS!! Miss you lots! xoxo, Steph