Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Day Cookie Exchange

Valentine's Day, a day dedicted to expressing your love to that special someone in your life. This year forget the Hallmark card and Sees candy, throw out those roses, nothing says "I love you" more than a homemade treat thoughtfully and lovingly baked by you...

Today LiveBakeLove hosted our very first annual Valentine Day Cookie Exchange and we're really excited to share these delicious recipes with you! Joining the festivities were our good friends, Teresa (French Macaron and Creme Brule queen) who you may recognize from this post, and Louise from, one of our favorite new blogs.

We made a great assortment of treats sure to please that special someone in your life, from cupcakes and brownies to cookies and pie pops. And of course we added our special!

Note: OK, I really wasn't serious about throwing out the card, candy and roses but a homemade treat would definitely earn you extra "brownie points" (pun intended).

Stout Cupcakes with Double Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes about 12 cupcakes


2 large eggs at room temperature
1/2 cup thick plain whole milk yogurt at room temperature
6 oz Dark Stout (Guinness) at room temperature
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 light brown sugar, lightly packed
6 Tablespoons butter soften
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

8 oz cream cheese, softened
4 Tablespoons butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon vanilla bean paste


Preheat oven to 350 and line a 12-cup cupcake pan with paper liners.

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cocoa powder and cinnamon. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter.  Add granulated sugar and brown sugar until combined. Add the eggs and and yogurt and mix.  Pour in beer and vanilla and mix to combine.

Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the beer mixture.  Mix slowly untill well combined.  Repeat the process 2 more times until the are well combined.

Divide the batter evenly between the 12 baking cups. Bake at 350 for approximately 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on cooling racks.

To make the frosting:

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer using the whisk attachment, blend together the butter, cream cheese, vanilla and vanilla bean paste. Gradually add powdered sugar mixing well until incorporated. Adjust consistency by adding more powdered sugar if needed.

Place frosting in a piping bag fitted with the decorating tip of your choice. Frost and decorate as desired.

Tip: Top each cupcake with a small frosted heart shaped sugar cookie using your favorite sugar cookie & frosting recipe. If you'd like the recipe we used, please feel free to e-mail us.

Source: Adapted from Dave Lieberman

Berry Pie Pops
Makes about 20-24 Pie Pops (depending upon the size of your cookie cutter)

2 boxes refrigerated pie crusts
Egg wash (1 egg beaten)
Sugar in the Raw or other sugar for sprinkling

1  1/2 cups of berries (I used a combination of raspberries and coarsely chopped strawberries)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

20-24 lollipop sticks


Preheat oven to 375. Line 4 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Make the filling - in a small saucepan, combine the berries, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until thickened stirring occassionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Bring crusts to room temperature following the directions on the package.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out each pie crust. Using a 2-2 1/2" heart shaped cookie cutter, cut each crust into hearts. Place half of the hearts on parchment or Silpat lined baking sheets (about 6 per baking sheet).

Place about 1 Tablespoon of the filling in the center of each heart. Take a lollipop stick and place it in the center of the filling almost to the top of the heart. Take the remaining hearts and stretch them out slightly to fit over the top of the filled hearts. Brush the edges with egg wash and place over the top of the filled hearts (egg wash side down). Seal the edges by pressing with your fingers then use a fork to crimp the edges.

Brush tops lightly with egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar or colored sugar.

Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool before removing from baking sheets.

Store at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Source: Adapted from Kelsey's Essentials

I "Heart You" Brownies

To make the heart shaped brownies pictured to the left, make the 'Most Amazing Brownie Recipe" posted here. When brownies are completely cooled, cut into hearts using a 2" heart shaped cookie cutter. Dip tops in chocolate ganache and sprinke to decorate.

1/4 c heavy whipping cream
3/4 c semi sweet or dark chocolate chips or chunks

Place chocolate and cream in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute and stir until completely melted. If chocolate is not completely melted after stirring, return to microwave for an additional 20-30 seconds.

Brownies can be stored at room temperature in an air tight container for 2 days.

Stained Glass Heart Cookies

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter softened
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
6-8 oz of your favorite hard candy


1. Crush candy (we used a ziploc bag and a meat tenderizer)

2. Make cookie dough -

In a small bowl, whisk the flour and salt together

In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together at medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla.

Add the flour mixture and beat  at low speed until combined. Form the dough into 3 equal disks. Wrap each disk with plastic wrap and chill until firm (approx 1-2 hours).

Working with one disk at a time, roll out each disk to about 1/8" thick on a lightly floured surface. Using a heart shaped cookie cutter, cut out hearts. Use a smaller heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out the center of each heart.

Place hearts on parchment or silpat lined baking sheets. Fill the center of each heart with crushed candy.

Bake at 350 for about 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before removing.

Store at room temperature in an air tight container for up to 3 days.

The Infamous "Neiman Marcus" Cookies
Source: Lovefromtheoven
Makes approx 5 dozen cookies


2 cups unsalted butter softened
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups light brown sugar, lightly packed
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups all purpose flour
5 cups oats, blended (see directions below)
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tsp salt
24 ounces good quality semi-sweet chocolate chips (we used Guittard)
1 8oz Hershey Milk Chocolate Bar, grated

3 cups chopped nuts (we used almonds)


Preheat oven to 375

Measure oatmeal into a food processor or blender and process to a fine powder. Careful not to overblend. Place in a large bowl and add flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer using a paddle attachment, cream together the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until completely combined.

Beat in eggs and vanilla.

Add flour/oatmeal mixture and blend just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

Roll into balls or use a 1 1/2" cookie scoop. Place approx 2" apart on an ungreased or parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 or until lightly browned.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheets. Remove and place on cooling racks to cool completely.

Store at room temperature in an air tight container for up to 2 days.

Behind the scenes photos....

Filling the pie pops
Adding candy to the stained glass cookies

Cookie Dough

Muffins in the oven

The anticipation builds ......


The decorating master at work

More pie pops.....

Pie pop ooozing.....

Oohh pretty.....

Baking makes you silly....
Don't you just love Valentine's Day? <3

1 comment:

  1. Delicious looking delights! I love anything whipped for Valentine's Day...whipped icing, chocolate mouse topped with fresh fruit and rice krispies....yum! I also can't wait to select one of these to bake! Happy Valentine's Day LiveBakeLove!

    Jaynie B xoxo