In this month of love, there are many who will try to look for the best gift to give to their partners. Many people will look forward to making their partners lives a little sweeter. There are many things that can help romanticize a relationship, but something done by hand will have partners mesmerized. A few recipes that have been tested by one of my dearest friends, junior Karolina Garnica, might just float your partner’s boat.
Strawberry Heart Cupcake Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup strawberry-flavored milk, at room temperature
6 strawberries, hulled (strawberry’s center piece out)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and then line a 6-cup jumbo muffin pan with paper liners.
Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Beat the butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until the batter is light and fluffy, for about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then beat in the vanilla extract. Reduce the mixer speed to low; then beat in the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the strawberry milk, beginning and ending with flour, until it’s all combined.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Let it cool for 5 minutes in the pan, and then move it to a rack to let it cool completely. Using a paring knife (a thin and small knife that is mainly for peeling fruits and vegetables), cut a cone-shaped piece of cake out of the top of each cupcake (about the same size as the strawberries), stopping about 1/2 inch from the bottom. Stuff each cupcake with one strawberry, then cover it with a small piece of removed cake.
To make the frosting, sift the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder into a medium bowl. Transfer half of the sugar-cocoa mixture to a large bowl then add the butter and 1/4 cup of whipping cream and beat with a mixer on medium-high speed until smooth. Add the remaining sugar-cocoa mixture and 1/4 cup of whipping cream and beat until it’s fluffy. Transfer the frosting on to the cupcakes and top each cupcake with a strawberry half.
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Ingredients:
4 ounces of semisweet chocolate
About 20 strawberries
Peanuts chopped (optional)
Coarsely chop 4 ounces of semisweet chocolate, then wash and dry the strawberries (about 20). Place chocolate in a glass bowl and microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. Holding a strawberry by the stem end, dip it in to the melted chocolate, letting the excess chocolate drip off. Repeat with the remaining berries and add if you like, roll in the nut of your choice. Let it chill in the fridge and it will be ready to be shared with your partner.
Red Velvet Sandwich Cookie Ingredients:
1 (18.25 ounce) box red velvet cake mix
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2-cup vegetable oil
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1/4-cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons evaporated milk
1/2 cup flaked coconut
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans (or your choice of nuts)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix the cake mix, eggs and oil together into a large bowl. Roll the dough into balls the size of walnuts and place them on a non-greased baking sheet 2 inches apart from each other.
Bake in the preheated oven until the tops start to crack, which will take about 8 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing it to a cool on a wire rack. In a large bowl combine cream cheese, butter, evaporated milk, vanilla, and coconut. Add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing well with each addition. If the consistency is too stiff, add more milk. Place the chopped pecans in a bowl and spread a generous amount of icing on the bottom of a cookie, sandwich it with another cookie, pressing firmly so that the icing comes all the way out to the edge. Roll the edges of the sandwich cookies in the chopped pecans and repeat the same thing with the remaining cookies.