I usually don’t get all that into the various holidays–Unless it’s St. Patrick’s Day or Halloween. Valentine’s Day was always bittersweet because oh, unrequited love is SO traumatic when you’re younger. Which is why I absolutely love and adore “Valentine” by The Replacements (okay, that links to Paul Westerberg, not technically the Replacements). I find it funny that now that I’m married, I just don’t care anymore. To his credit, Jay did ask if I wanted to go out to eat on Valentine’s Day, or if I wanted to wait until the following day. I told him I’d rather wait, just because I figure the restaurants will be packed….Plus, I have memories of the one time we DID have plans to go out, and it backfired on us.
But this time around, I thought it would be fun to make some Valentine’s Day treats. I started off with some basic chocolate chip cookies, which I gave to our neighbor.
I noticed the other night, he once again cleaned off our sidewalk with his snow blower, and I decided that we really should do something to say thank you. I don’t want us to be those lazy jackasses who let other people take care of everything for them. He wasn’t home so I left them on his porch…Hopefully he finds them later this evening! For the Valentine’s Day treats, I thought decorated cookies and brownies might be fun. And it would give me a chance to actually try decorating cookies decently for once in my life.
I don’t think they turned out too badly!
I had a request from a potential guinea pig at work for some samples….So I’ll at least set aside one of each. I would recommend using a smaller cookie cutter…They’re a little on the fragile side, and as big as they are, they were difficult to get off the spatula and onto a cooling rack, without a few cracks.
For the cookies, I simply used a recipe from Nestle’s website. I thought about picking up the special “Valentine’s Day” chips, but decided against it. I figured, I already have sprinkles and will make colored frosting, I’m not going to bother.
I wasn’t 100% sure how exactly I wanted to do the brownies. Somewhere amongst my now-defunct Everyday Food magazine collection, I have a recipe for Brownie Cookies, but I didn’t think those would quite work for cut-out cookies. That, and I only have 1 heart-shaped cookie cutter, so in the end, I made a batch of fudge brownies in a thinner baking sheet, and cut them from there.
Delish! Sweets for the sweet and all that….
- ½ C unsalted butter (1 stick)
- ¾ C Dutch-process cocoa
- 1¼ C sugar
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- ½ C flour
- Buttercream frosting & sprinkles, for decorating (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a jelly roll pan or rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, cocoa, sugar and salt. Over low heat, stir occasionally, until mixture is combined and butter is melted. Remove from heat and cool 5 minutes.
- Stir in the vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, and beating well after each addition. Add in the flour ¼ C at a time and mix well.
- Spread the mixture onto the prepared pan (it may not spread all the way to the edges of the pan). Bake for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs.
- Cool completely on a wire rack, before lifting the brownie out of the pan and placing on a cutting board. Cut shapes as desired, either with a knife or with cookie cutters. Frost with buttercream and decorate with sprinkles, if desired.
In the meantime…I’m going to watch this:
I won it months ago through a Foodie Blogroll contest (and no, it’s not the same as what’s shown there on the website. It’s a long story). I’m debating on taking the coffee cake into work tomorrow…Or a few of the cookies and brownies.