Love-ly treats

I love Valentine's Day. I know it's over-hyped and over-marketed and over-everything, but for me it's a day to say 'I love you and I appreciate you' to the people that I care about!

So with Valentine's Day in mind, I planned a few things I thought I'd share!

1. Cute little Valentines for Ally to hand out to her friends. They were super fun, easy, and cheap to make--and were a hit for all her little friends! She loved giving them out--and I always want to encourage her to love giving. Some we put suckers in, others cake pops...but yummy either way! :)


2. Heart shaped cake pops. My younger sis shares a love for baking and decorating, so we often try do some baking together around the different holidays...so for Valentine's Day, we decided to make heart-shaped cake pops!

We pushed chilled cake balls into a heart shaped cookie cutter, then put in the sticks, chilled again in the freezer, and finally coated them! We decided to put a little conversation heart on them for some extra cuteness.


3. A Valentine's Day party for some girly-girls! I have some amazing friends--godly, helpful, kind women--and they have girls that are all around the same age as Ally...it's so fun to see them all grow up together and become good friends. We planned a little party for them--a scavenger hunt, cupcake decorating, and lots of treats...what could be better?!

Scavenger hunt...on the lookout for the next heart-shaped clue...and goody bags at the end!
Ally's hairstyle was her pick from online for 'heart hairstyles'...not super obvious, but cute anyways.

All the girlies with their decorated cupcakes!
Photos courtesy of Laura, of Menu In Season

4. Strawberry cupcakes with strawberry buttercream....um, YUM!
This has been in my 'to try' recipe pile for a while, so Valentine's Day was the perfect opportunity! I thought I'd share the recipe since it was such a hit!

Strawberry cupcakes with strawberry buttercream

Photo courtesy of Laura, of Menu In Season

Strawberry Cupcakes

Yield: 34 cupcakes
Ingredients:
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cake flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2¼ cups sugar
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
3 large eggs plus 1 large egg white
1 cup milk
2½ cups finely chopped fresh strawberries*

For garnish:
Additional fresh strawberries

Directions:
To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder and salt; whisk to blend.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, sugar and vanilla. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs and egg white one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in two additions alternating with the milk, mixing each addition just until incorporated. Gently fold in the chopped strawberries with a spatula.

Divide the batter between the paper liners, filling each about ¾-full. Bake until light golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25-28 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Allow to cool in the pans a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Frost cooled cupcakes as desired*, and garnish with fresh berries or berry slices.

For frosting, I simply added strawberry puree to my favorite buttercream recipe. I whipped up the buttercream, then placed about 3/4 c. of hulled, sliced strawberries into the blender and pureed until smooth. I then slowly added the puree to my buttercream, and voila--strawberry buttercream!

Recipe from Annie's Eats, originally from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes


How was your Valentine's Day? Did you do anything special?

I couldn't resist putting this picture in...but she fits the theme since she's sweet and lovely! :)
Photos courtesy of Laura, of Menu In Season

Sweetly,

Rianne

P.S...be on the lookout for a 'deere' cake post coming soon!

Kim  – (January 17, 2013 at 12:31 AM)  

Rianne, did you use a template for the valentines? So cute!

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