Showing posts with label Valentine's day. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Valentine's day. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Candy Conversation Hearts!

Everyone seems to have a "Love 'em or Hate 'em" attitude when it comes to the traditional candy conversation hearts. I know I do. I love them because they are a tradition. They have been a part of every Valentine's Day I can remember, but I am not crazy for the chalky taste or the fact that they are hard on my teeth. I found this recipe in last years February issue of Food Network Magazine, and I was intrigued.
What I discovered after making this recipe, is that these are so much better than the original they were trying to copy. These taste fresh and they are easy to eat. I think you will like these!
Candy Conversation Hearts!
1/4 ounce packet Unflavored Gelatin Powder
1 tablespoon Light Corn Syrup
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Pinch of Salt
1/2 cup Boiling Water
2 pounds Confectioner's Sugar
Extra Confectioner's Sugar for kneading
Your choice of food color 
Your choice of extract
Cooking Spray
Food Decorating Pens
Whisk the gelatin, corn syrup, vanilla, salt, and 
boiling water in a stand mixer until the gelatin dissolves.
Beat in the confectioners' sugar, on medium, one cup at a time
until you have a stiff, sticky dough.
Move the dough to a clean work surface and knead.
You will have to add a little more confectioners' sugar
to make it workable. Add just a little at a time.
You shouldn't add more than a cup.
The dough should become soft and pliable, but still a little sticky.
Divide your dough into 4 pieces. Wrap the other pieces
so they don't become dry. On the piece you are working on
put some of the color you want this piece to be. I chose pink for this one.
 Also, drop a few drops of your extract. I used Almond.
I put 3 drops of pink color and 3 drops of almond. I used an 
eyedropper to add the extract. I added the color first, 
and then so the extract wouldn't go all over, I pulled the
 dough into a cup  form and added the extract.
 Knead the dough until the color is evenly distributed
through out.  As you can see, I also made green. :)
Take a large piece of parchment paper and spray it with
pan spray. Roll out your dough between 1/8" and 1/4".
I used 1/8" on the pink hearts and 1/4" on the others. The
1/8" was a little thin, but that is just my preference.
Start cutting out the hearts using a 1" cookie cutter.
As you peel away the dough,.....
you will have all these scraps left. Just reroll until you
have none left.
Transfer your cut hearts to parchment paper for drying.
Now do the steps again for each of the three left
over balls of dough. You can choose a different color for
each one. I used pink, green, yellow, and blue. I used almond for each
color, but you could certainly switch them up. Let the hearts sit out, uncovered
for 24 hours, but flip them over at 12 hours.
Once the hearts are dry, you can write on them with a food writer pen.
Here are a few that I wrote on. I wasn't happy with
my penmanship, so I haven't written on most of them, but I did
write a few updated ones like these and these...
just for kicks!
This recipe was time consuming, so after I made the dough,
I wrapped it tightly in plastic and did the rest the next day.
When they were done drying, I placed them in a plastic
container to keep them fresh.

So, that's it. A copycat version  of Conversation Hearts,
that I know you will love! Have fun, and thanks
for joining The Freshman Cook today!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Candy Cane Hearts!

If you have any candy canes left over from Christmas, this is the perfect reason to use some of them. These little Candy Cane Hearts are a fast and simple last minute valentine treat. And they are cute too!

Candy Cane Hearts
Mini Candy Canes 
White Almond Bark
Conversation Hearts
Place your candy canes like in the picture.
Make sure you use parchment paper or wax paper 
on your baking sheet under the candy canes.
Melt your white almond bark according
 to the package directions, then pour the 
almond bark into your heart.
This would be the perfect time to  place your candy
heart in the middle. As you can see, I forgot, and I had to 
add it at the end. You could also add red hots 
or red and pink sprinkles too!  Let set up.
Wrap in plastic, tie with a bow, and you have a quick and cute
valentine's treat!!

Thanks for joining The Freshman Cook today!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Candy Buttons!

Do you remember candy buttons? When I was a little girl, I just loved them! Did you? I made some sweet pink and red ones for Valentine's Day. You can tuck a couple in a little paper pouch for the perfect Valentine's Day treat for your special someone!
 Candy Buttons!
1 1/2 cups Confectioner's Sugar
1 Egg White
Red Food Coloring-liquid
White Paper cut into 2"x5 1/2" strips
Beat sugar and egg white until thick and smooth. 
This should take about 5 minutes.
Divide the icing into 2 bowls.
Drop one drop of red food coloring into a bowl.
Stir until icing is pink.
Drop 3 red drops into the other bowl.
Stir until it is completely red.
Cover up the pink icing so it doesn't dry out.
Use a pastry bag with a #2 tip, and fill the bag with the red color.
Pipe the icing onto the strips of paper in little dots.
Make rows so they look like the original candy buttons.
When the red icing is almost gone,
add the pink to the pastry bag, and continue piping your dots.
The color will flow from red to pink as you pipe.
Let the dots harden over night at room temperature.
A cute, simple, festive Valentine's Treat!



Thanks for joining The Freshman Cook today!

We are sharing our Candy Buttons at the following party:
In and Out of The Kitchen


Drop by and party with us!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Chocolate Heart Lollipops!

It's almost Valentine's Day, and I thought I would show you one of the little last minute gifts I made. I think it incorporates all of the Valentine's Day necessities~heart shaped, chocolate, sweet, and cute!

 Chocolate Valentine Lollipops
Good Quality Chocolate
Lollipop Sticks(1 for each sucker)
White Almond Bark
Heart Shaped Lollipop Mold
This is the lollipop mold I used.
I think I bought it at Michael's for about $2.
Melt your chocolate in a double boiler, and then
spoon it into the mold. It is not necessary to spray
your mold before putting the chocolate in.
 They will come out easily. After you have filled the 
heart, give the entire mold a tiny shake. Not a lot. Just
a little, and the chocolate will become smooth.
 Set the mold in the freezer for a few minutes.
 It will become solid  quickly.
Pop the chocolate lollipop out of the mold.
 Melt the almond bark according to directions.
Color a little of the white with pink color, 
and a little of it with red. Place the pink color in a pasty bag, 
and using a #2 tip, place a design on your chocolate lollipop.
Once the pink is dry, place the red in the same bag,
and pipe your design. Let dry.
Your lollipop is done!
There you have it!
Super simple and so sweet!


Thanks for joining The Freshman Cook today!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Say Good Morning to Red Velvet Pancakes!

Here is one last Valentine's Day post, although this certainly does not have to be eaten only on Valentines Day! These are wonderfully delicious any and every day of the year.
Red Velvet Pancakes
(adapted from about.com)
Pancakes
1 1/2 cups Flour
2 tablespoons Sugar
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 tablespoon Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
2 Eggs
1/4 cup Milk
1 cup Buttermilk
4 tablespoons Butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon White Vinegar
2 teaspoon Red Liquid Food Coloring
Butter or non stick Cooking Spray

Cream Cheese Glaze
4 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup Confectioners Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 tablespoon Milk, if needed
Preheat a griddle to medium high heat. In a bowl whisk together
the flour, sugar, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt.
Set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, then add milk, buttermilk,
butter, vanilla extract, white vinegar, and food coloring,
whisking to combine completely.
Add the dry mix into the wet mix bowl. Stir just until
combined. Don't overmix.
Brush butter or pan spray on your griddle or frying pan.
Spoon batter onto pan. 
Cook until done.
Make the glaze by mixing the ingredients. Only add milk as 
needed. Just mix together with a fork. For best results,
make sure your cream cheese is really soft! That helps
it mix better.
Place pancakes on a plate and drizzle with glaze!

Happy Valentine's Day 
from The Freshman Cook!

Share the Day with Someone You Love!


My Heart Chip belongs with Pico!

There are few things I enjoy more than tortilla chips with Pico de Gallo. It's always the perfect appetizer, welcome at any party or get together. When you think about it, it's kind of a chameleon. It fits in everywhere.
Well, this Pico de Gallo will fit perfectly into your Valentine's Day plans. After all, it's red and white, and the chips are heart shaped!!
Pico de Gallo  and Heart Chips
Flour Tortilla Chips
2 Roma Tomatoes
1/2  Onion
Fresh Cilantro
1 Garlic Clove
1 Jalapeno (late for the pic)
Chop your Roma tomatoes into small bite sized pieces.
 
Mince your garlic.
Chop your onion into small bite sized pieces.
Chop the cilantro and the jalapeno.
Remove the jalapeno seeds, and mince the pepper.
Be careful not to touch your eyes after touching the pepper.
They will sting. Also be sure to not inhale the fumes when you are
seeding the pepper. They can make you cough.
Add everything to a bowl .
Cover and refrigerate. 
(The peppers are in there, they just were put in later)
Take the flour tortilla, and a heart shaped cookie cutter,
and cut out heart shaped chips. Place them on a baking sheet,
 spray the chips with pan spray, and then...
sprinkle with garlic powder. No salt here!
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Let cool or eat warm.
Happy Valentine's Day!!