How do you say Happy Valentine’s Day to those you love? Flowers, candy, cards, or some even bigger display? Or do you prefer to do something special together? Or is it one of those days that just slips by? I saw a funny “quote” the other day. It was a photo from Star Wars and the caption was “I’ll be celebrating Valentine’s Day Han’s style….Solo!” Maybe that’s more you 🙂
We don’t make a super big hoohaw about Valentine’s Day, a few special things, like maybe chocolate or sometimes flowers. I’m usually in favor of homemade or home-printed Valentines. (OK, I admit sometimes I put way too much work into the “homemade” Valentines that the kids take to school. But this year, I put in 10 minutes of work on a printable, and then they are on their own, I’m just too tired,with a been there, done that kind of feeling). Anwyays, I came up with a brilliant idea that I think will make a memorable Valentine’s Day for us this year: The kids are in charge of making and serving supper for my husband and I. Sounds a tad dangerous, but I intend to enjoy it! We’ll see how it goes…
After having said that, I admit I did make a few Valentine’s cookies. I had the dough in the fridge and a few more M&Ms from the last couple of posts! 🙂 And I had these cute letter cookie cutters to try out! (A fun gift from a friend) So here goes a little tutorial for some fairly easy, but attention-getting cookies.
Ingredients: chocolate cookie dough and candy melts (I use Wilton brand) and letter cookie cutters (or just freehand it) and small heart cutters.Amor= love in Spanish 😉 Galletas=Cookies! Cut out letters and a bunch of small or medium hearts for bases.Bake and let cool…..cool!Melt up some red and white candy melts and get ready to pipe them out of baggies with only a tiny corner snipped off…Squeeze strings of candy melt out while moving back and forth over all the letters. Repeat with next color.Then pick up each letter and break off the extra bits of candy melt off the sides, this is really easy and works well.Line up the letters and the bases, some letters need two hearts for their bases.Use some more candy melt to attach the bases, I used dark cocoa candy melts (only took 3 melts)Holding the letters in place for about 5 seconds was mostly enough to balance the letters, but if necessary, prop them up for a bit…The candy melts set up quite quickly. Here’s the bird’s eye view:And there you go! The letters are quite sturdy and just so fun looking! Great for a Valentine’s Day centerpiece.Oh wait! Since you have the cookie dough out, and maybe a few extra cookies baked, go ahead and decorate some more for your centerpiece. Here’s how I did it with Nutella and M&Ms using the same idea from the other day’s post: The kids wanted to cut out some Os and Xs for hugs and kisses, so I used up the last of the red M&Ms on these:And here’s one for you from me (sorry it’s not edible but I’m all about digital stuff)
I’d love to hear from you if you try out some of my little cookie techniques! 🙂
Since I had a big bag of mini M&Ms sitting around my kitchen, I decided to try out some more cookies. Colorful M&Ms always remind me of Lego bricks….and it’s no coincidence that I’m thinking about Lego right about now, when The Lego Movie just came out in theaters..still haven’t seen it, but it’s on my wish list…So while I wait to see it, I made some easy Lego brick cookies. And yes, photos in this post may possibly resemble photos in my last post. I’m ok with that.The only ingredients you need for these easy cookies are: cookies, mini M&Ms and candy melts (or possibly icing and maybe some Nutella, depends how far you want to go with this).Roll out your cookie dough and straighten off the edges, then cut into small rectangles. I used this chocolate cookie dough recipe, but you can use your favorite dough. You might want to lay out 2 rows of 3 M&M candies to see exactly what size you want your rectangles. If you really wanted to go crazy with these cookies, you could use a vanilla recipe, then add food coloring to the dough so that the actual cookie would be the color of the lego brick! cool! But too much work for today.
So after you bake up the little rectangle cookies (about 7 minutes), when they have cooled you just ice them and stick M&Ms on them. Easy! I tried to melt all my different colors of candy melts in just a few baggies, so that I could pipe the melts onto the cookies. Well, that didn’t work out for me….They melted right through the bags and glooped all over the plate. In the end I just scraped up the goopy candy melts and spread them onto the cookies. For a brown Lego brick, I used Nutella instead of candy melt, yum!Just add the M&Ms before the candy melts set up. That’s all. Really. That’s it. Now to eat them!disclaimer: this is only easy if you have M&Ms and candy melts. If you have to go out and buy everything, then it’s not so easy. BUT if you were having a Lego themed party, and even only wanted to make, let’s say, red and yellow bricks, then you’d only have to buy 2 colors of candy melts. Or if you only wanted brown Lego bricks, then you only need Nutella. But then you’d still have to get lots of M&Ms….anyway. It does happen to be a win-win situation though, since both M&Ms and candy melts (oh, and Nutella) will keep for quite awhile and you can bring them out for your next special baking event. And make some slightly different looking cookies…..maybe like these ones….
Mmmm Nutella! I have noticed several posts on facebook about the *surprising* evils of Nutella. It’s not the “healthy” food we thought. Or is it. I always knew that something that yummy couldn’t possibly be healthy, so I don’t feel that I was led astray by advertising. I don’t even remember discovering the deliciousness of Nutella until I was a grown-up. Ah well, someone special brought me a treat the other day….2 jars of Nutella! And all of a sudden I felt a crazing* for Nutella and cookies. Together. In one bite. I was just going to spread it on a plain cookie, then sandwich it with another cookie, but then I started looking at photos of Nutella-filled cookies, and more goodies made with Nutelllllllllla 🙂 I had fun. Then I decided to kind of adapt a bit and try spooning the chocolaty sweet into cute little pastry shells, but made from cookie dough. I grabbed the idea from Chef Cathy here and adapted the cookie dough recipe a bit from Lilaloa who has great cookie recipes. And boy did it turn out well!! (Not like all of my experiments!) Chef Cathy calls them Cookie Pies, but I just have to call them Tarts, because that’s what they look like, a good-old Canadian butter tart shell, in miniature! (* a crazing is a crazy craving!! I just mispelled that and thought it quite clever!)The cookie dough recipe:
Makes about 40 mini tarts
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup of white sugar (a heaping cup, or 2/3 cup)
1/2 tsp. each of vanilla and orange extract
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 cups of all purpose flour
Beat the butter and sugar together. It might be nice to use room temperature butter, but mine was fairly cold, and it still works. Add in the egg and beat a bit more. Add in vanilla and orange extract, and any food coloring if you want. I added some orange coloring, but it came out very pale-looking! Throw in the salt, and keep mixing. Sprinkle the baking powder over the batter, then one cup of the flour and mix. Add in the last cup of flour and mix. (Or you can do it the traditional way!) The dough was fairly stiff and just a bit dry, so I worked it a bit with my hands at the end. No need to chill!
Roll out the dough, and use a round cookie cutter that is a bit larger than the openings of a mini muffin pan. I used a scalloped one.Cut out the rounds and gently press them into the mini muffin tin. (I used the rounded handle of a spatula to ever so gently tap them down a bit). I had greased the pan for the first batch, but later found out that that wasn’t necessary if it is a non-stick pan.I didn’t push the shells all the way to the bottom of the cups, and that seemed to work great. Now with 2 teaspoons, fill each shell with Nutella, about a teaspoon each. I used a small teaspoon (baby sized) and acutally twirled the Nutella into the shells a bit after these ones were sticking up a bit too much, and that worked well.Out of the cookie dough, I used a very small cutter and cut out some maple leaves to pop on top. The cutter was from one of those linzer cookie cutters that fell apart, so now I just use the middle cutter-outter piece for tiny cookies. Or you can just crumble up some dough and sprinkle it on top, which is what Chef Cathy did! Now bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.They popped out of the pan after sitting a few minutes, very nicely and were golden enough and had cute little bottoms!Have a bite!!! or two!I decided that I like them cold, instead of warm out the the oven.A sprinkle of cinnamon on the plate was nice, too…I originally just baked up half of the dough, and thought I would save the rest for something else. But these little cuties disappeared so quickly and were so yummy, the next day I baked up another batch! That’s why I’m kind of guesstimating that the recipe made 40 mini tarts, we ate them so fast, and a fair bit of cookie dough was munched up, too, so that’s the closest I could come for a number! These would look super on a Canadian Thanksgiving Table next week!! Or on an American Table in November. Or on anyone’s table at any time this fall! If you like Nutella, I’m pretty sure you will like this easy recipe! 😉