Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day is Not for Sissies...

     I have to say first thing that I didn't really plan on doing a Valentine's Day post.  But then I made the pie pops.  And then I made the cupcakes.  And then I made the Valentines.  And I simply had to. 

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...)

     These cupcakes are the treat we're bringing.  I used my 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...)

13 comments:

  1. You are SO adorable!! I wanna take a bite out of one of those pie pops this minute--they sound {and look} soooo good! Happy Valentine's Day, friend.

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  2. Thanks, lady! If I thought they'd survive the trip, I'd send you one! Here's a virtual one: -----(<3)

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    1. See what I mean??? Freaking adorable.

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  3. I love those pretty pretty pink cupcakes!! I have actually never baked anything pink! I think its' time :)

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    1. Thanks, Chinmayie! I love the new natural food colorings on the market here. The red is actually made from beet juice!

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  4. Great post, never heard of pie pops you would be the first to introduce them to me. I made your Grammy's Sugar cookies yesterday for the heck of it, and slapped some pink and red frosting on them and called it a victory. Super late last minute thing. Your piping looked cute to me, I love the contrast of the chocolate & the pink. Uber-cute. Have FUN today skating.

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  5. Thanks, Susan! I liked the pink and brown together, too. The execution just lacked a little finesse. You really aught to try those pie pops, or at least have your kids make them to give away. Very kid-friendly recipe!

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  6. The cupcakes are not only pretty they are tasty. Thanks, Brooke!

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    1. Thanks, Nancy! And you're very welcome! =)

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  7. These are so cute - I can't wait until I can make some pie pops. ^^ I absolutely adore the container that they're in, too - what is it, if you don't mind me asking?

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    1. Thanks, Aiko! Aren't they sweet? Hah, I don't mind you asking about the container! It's actually just a little pink polka-dot bucket I picked up at Michael's for a couple of dollars in the Easter section! I just stuffed a little tissue paper in there to hold up the pops!

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  8. You went wild baking - I love it! I really want a pie pop now...and one of those adorable cupcakes. I hope the skating party was fun! I'm sure everyone loved your beautiful treats.

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    1. Thanks, Hannah! The boys loved the skating party! So many cookies and cupcakes! And you know, skating... =)

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