Valentine Sweets Recipes

Written by Gina Chong in the February 2020 Issue

Pear Cake and Raspberry Cookies

On my first Valentine’s Day with my now husband, he gifted me a meal of filet mignon, crab risotto, asparagus, and creme brulee. I’d never tasted some of those and back then, I was a terrible chef, so it blew me away. This month, I wanted to share two recipes that can blow your boo away but are still doable for even us terrible chefs. 

Spiced Pear Cake 

  • 1 c cake flour
  • 3/4 c granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c oil
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 XL eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1 c pear, chopped

Directions:

Heat oven to 350F. Line two 6-in cake pans with parchment paper or grease. Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, and spices. Set aside. Beat together eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and oil. On low, mix dry ingredients into wet. Fold in the chopped pears, and divide the batter equally between pans. Bake 30-35 min until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cakes cool in the pans. Enjoy as is or visit my blog for filling and frosting ideas! 

Raspberry Sugar Cookies

Makes 35 two-inch cookies

  • 1 c butter, softened
  • 2 eggs , room temp
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • pink candy melts
  • 1 pkg (1.2 oz) freeze-dried raspberries
  • 2 c granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla, and almond extract; combine well. Beat in baking powder and salt, then stir in the flour. Crush raspberries until they’re 1/3 powder, 2/3 crumbs. Reserve 2-3 tbsp for garnish and add the rest to the dough. After combined, form dough into two balls. Place one between 2 long pieces of plastic wrap and roll out to 1/4 inch thick. Slide it onto a pan and refrigerate one hour. Repeat with the other ball.

Heat oven to 375F. After chilling, remove one sheet of dough. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone. Cut shapes out of dough and place 1 inch apart on the sheet. Bake 7 min. These ideally are golden brown on the bottom but not the edges. Let cool. Continue until dough is gone. To decorate, place cooled cookies over parchment paper. Melt candy according to directions, doing only a handful at a time. Spoon melted candy into the corner of a sandwich bag. Make a small snip in the corner and drizzle over cookies. Immediately sprinkle with raspberry crumbs and let harden. 

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