Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sweet Valentine's Treats

I realize it is a few days late, but when it comes to sweet things - better late than never right?
The Vanilla Bean Sandwich cookies are from a recipe on the food blog Smitten Kitchen.  I love this recipe because it is versatile and freezes well.  I've even substituted a gluten free flour and the texture of the cookie remained wonderful snap crunchy.  Instead of flattening balls of dough, which does give lovely edges, I rolled and cut out hearts for the holiday.  Some were filled with a vanilla bean butter cream and the other half with a dark chocolate ganache - like a Fudgeo, but better!

 These above are a smaller bite-sized cookie.  I do have a slightly bigger cutter that is almost a 'folk art' style heart and that is the one I really like to use.  They turn out a perfect sized cookie.  Glass of milk anyone?

For the folks at work I made some chocolate cupcakes with vanilla icing.    I dug a small divot into each cupcake and filled it with the remaining ganache.  It was either that or squeeze it into my mouth and I had already exceeded my sugar intake for the month eating the remaining sandwich cookies.  I am still trying to find the perfect chocolate cupcake recipe.  This one is close, but I think I could still get them a little more chocolately.
 I am also struggling to get those perfect domed tops.  I tried playing with the oven temperature to see if that worked.  They did dome up better, but were lopsided!  I know it's not an uneven heating because the direction was different on various's a mystery.  I hope that my cupcake class at the Cordon Bleu school this weekend with give me a chance to get some answers.

The white chocolate heart toppers were super easy to make with Merkins wafers and a disposable piping bag.  I just piped loads of them in different shapes and picked the ones I liked best.  If you pipe them so that the bottom of the heart is a little elongated, it makes a perfect stick to anchor the heart in the icing.

Happy Belated Valentine's Day!!!

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