Doily Valentines, just like Mom used to make. The present is a box of candy hearts. (The boys are nuts for those awful things!)
The second thing I have to say is I am not a big "pink person." Until I made the pie pops. And the cupcakes. And the Valentines. And now I am in love with Valentine's Day for the sheer pink girliness of it.
The boys have a skating party today with a group of other homeschooled kids (shhhh... they don't know yet...). We're supposed to bring Valentines for 12 kids and a treat to share. Long, rambling, boring story (involving a frustrating trip to Michael's and an extended fruitless search for chocolate lips) short, I decided to make pie pops for the Valentines. I know. Every blogger in the world has made them, but I had to, you see? They're just so stinkin' cute. And, Cheese and Sprinkles! Who wouldn't want to eat pie on a stick?!
I've been baking my tail off today. None of it is even remotely original and I don't care. It's all delicious! These pie pops are everywhere (originated by Luxirare) and are pretty self explanatory, but I thought I'd share the crust recipe I used. It's from the Better Homes and Gardens Old Fashioned Baking book on page 76.
2 C all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 C shortening or lard (I used 1/3 C shortening and 1/3 C salted, softened butter)
6 to 7 Tbs cold water
In a large bowl, stir together flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening or lard till pieces are the size of small peas. Sprinkle 1 Tbs of the water over part of the mixture, then gently toss with a fork. Push to side of the bowl. Repeat, using 1 Tbs of water at a time, till all is moistened. Divide dough in half. Form each half into a ball.
The rest is my direction:
Roll the dough out and cut with cookie cutters. Place bottom half of the pop on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper or parchment. Gently press lollipop stick onto the bottom half. Place small amount of jam (about 1/4 tsp depending on the size of your shape) over the stick. Then put the second half on top and seal the edges with a broken piece of lollipop stick. You can use an egg white wash over top if you really want to make them special.
Bake at 375° for 10-15 minutes or until tops are nicely browned. Remove as quickly as possible to a cooling rack. Any jam that has leaked out will caramelize on the paper and it's darn near impossible to get them up if they cool completely. (Trust me on this...)
favorite cupcake recipe of all time by Cheryl Porro over at Cupcake Bakeshop. The frosting is hers, without the chocolate and considerably less milk. I added natural food coloring to make the pink and a tad of vanilla extract. These. Cupcakes. Are. Divine. (Even though my piping skills are not...)
I hope you are all spending today with the one(s) you love. Have a sweet and happy Valentine's Day, everybody! (Wish me luck at the skate party, wrangling two sugared-up kids on skates is one of those wacky times that try men's souls...)