February 14, 2013

Valentine's Cake Pops, Cookies & Cupcakes

Chris and I don't celebrate Valentine's Day but I do love using "holidays" like today as an excuse to bake :)  This year I made vanilla cupcakes, white-chocolate cherry shortbread, chewy sugar cookies and also cake pops with my friend Jen.


The cupcakes were a big hit at work.  I used a vanilla cupcake recipe from Glorious Treats and made a vanilla buttercream frosting recipe from my Betty Crocker cookbook.  You might notice in the photo above, my pink frosting looks a little melted.  That's because I added too much milk and at 9:30pm on a weeknight, I had no desire to start over.

I'm not a huge fan of frosting so when I make cupcakes I typically only add a minimal amount.  However my co-workers have complained in the past about the lack of frosting, so I recently bought two big decorating tips (after reading this advice) in order to provide the socially acceptable amount of frosting :)


I wanted to make cupcakes after seeing a post about how to make heart accents on My Baking Addiction.  I figured as long as Jen and I were melting chocolate to make cake pops, it was a good time to try making some heart accents too. 

It was more difficult than I thought it'd be but it got easier once I switched to my smallest decorating tip.  I also tried a drizzle bottle because it already had chocolate in it, but that resulted in really thick hearts (shown below in white).



Pictured above are some of the white chocolate cherry shortbread that I dipped in chocolate.  I modified the recipe only slightly in that I rolled the dough out and used a heart shaped cookie cutter.  It worked well, but I will admit it's not easy to cut shapes into a dough that has white chocolate chips in it.

At first I thought the cookies were a little bland, but after dipping them in chocolate, I found I actually preferred the plain version and the taste grew on me.  I definitely plan to make these again!

 
I also made my favorite chewy sugar cookies, and wanted to try a new letter stamping technique I recently saw on Lauren's Latest.  I knew it was a long shot that they'd turn out because chewy cookies are suppose to be crinkly.  As expected they weren't legible after baking, but I think stamping would work beautifully with a traditional sugar cookie recipe.
 
 
The main event was, of course, cake pops.  They are such a pain to make, but it's a lot more tolerable when a fun friend joins you.  I needed to restock my supplies so I headed to Michael's and two different Jo-Ann's to get everything we needed, including a replacement chocolate melter because the handle on my last one broke (I still highly recommend the Wilton Chocolate Pro, I'm certain mine broke from too much use).
 
 
At the end of the night, I quickly packaged up the treats, so I could get them in the mail on Monday.  Priority Mail is great because they guarantee delivery within three days, so baked goods should still be fairly fresh and I knew they would be received by Valentine's Day.
 

2 comments:

  1. I'm hoping u baked on Sunday and on a Wed night? If not that is a lot to do on a school night, I could never fit it in. I am a slow baker. lol.

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  2. Alas I did no Valentines Day baking--must plan for this earlier next year. Yours are inspirational!

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