Strawberry Chocolate Cake
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 cup baking cocoa
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2-1/2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 quart fresh strawberries
- 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips, melted
- 2/3 cup shortening
- 1 package (32 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- Chocolate shavings and additional confectioners’ sugar, optional
- In a small bowl, combine water and cocoa until blended; set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda; add to the creamed mixture alternately with cocoa mixture, beating well after each addition.
- Pour into two greased and floured 9-in. heart-shaped pans. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
- Slice 10 strawberries; set aside. Dip remaining whole strawberries into melted chocolate, about three-fourths to top; allowing excess to drip off. Place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet; refrigerate until set.
- For frosting, cream shortening and confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy; gradually add water, beating until smooth. Spread between layers and over top and sides of cake. Set aside to set, about 30 minutes.
- For icing, heat chocolate chips and cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until chocolate is melted, stirring occasionally. Spread over frosted cake until smooth. Refrigerate until set.
- Before serving, arrange two rows of sliced strawberries on top of cake in a heart shape. Fill center with chocolate shavings and dust with confectioners’ sugar if desired. Place dipped strawberries around base. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 10-12 servings.
Almond Butter Cutouts
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup ground almonds
- Colored sugar and frosting, optional
- In a bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg yolks and extract. Combine flour, salt and baking powder; gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in ground almonds. Cover and chill at least 2 hours.
- Roll out on a lightly floured surface to 3/8-in. thickness. Cut with cookie cutters; place on ungreased baking sheets. Sprinkle with sugar if desired. Bake at 375° for 10-13 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Cool on wire racks. Frost if desired. Yield: 3-4 dozen.
Valentine Heart Brownies
- box Betty Crocker™ fudge brownie mix
- vegetable oil
- eggs called for on brownie mix box container Betty Crocker™ Rich & Creamy chocolate frosting Betty Crocker™ Decorating Decors multicolored candy sprinkles or colored sugar
- Heat oven to 350°F. Line bottom and sides of 13×9-inch pan with foil. Grease foil on bottom only of pan with shortening or cooking spray. Make and bake brownie mix as directed on box. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
- Using foil to lift, remove brownie from pan; remove foil. With deep 2 1/2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut 14 brownies. Place brownie hearts on a cooling rack or waxed paper.
- In microwavable bowl, microwave frosting uncovered on High 10 to 30 seconds. Stir; frosting will be thick and spoonable. DO NOT BOIL. Carefully spoon melted frosting over brownies to glaze, allowing excess to drip down sides. Sprinkle with candy sprinkles before frosting sets.
Lots of Love Cherry Pies
- 3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cold butter, cubed
- 3/4 cup shortening
- 9 to 10 tablespoons cold water
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 cups fresh or frozen pitted dark sweet cherries, thawed, halved
- 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Coarse sugar
- In a large bowl, combine flour and salt; cut in butter and shortening until crumbly. Gradually add water, tossing with a fork until dough holds together when pressed. Divide dough in half; form each into a disk. Wrap separately in plastic wrap; refrigerate 1 hour or until easy to handle.
- In a large saucepan, combine sugar, water, cornstarch and lemon juice until smooth. Add cherries. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 1 minute or until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in extract. Set aside to cool.
- Preheat oven to 400°. On a lightly floured surface, roll one portion of dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut out 12 hearts with a floured 4-in. heart-shaped cookie cutter. Transfer half of the hearts to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Using a floured 3/4-in. heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out small hearts from the remaining hearts. (Discard small hearts or reserve for another use.)
- Spoon 2 tablespoons cherry mixture onto the center of each solid heart. Brush edges of pastry with egg. Top with cutout hearts; press edges with a fork to seal. Brush tops with egg; sprinkle with coarse sugar.
- Bake 15-20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. While tarts are baking, repeat with remaining dough and filling.
- Let pies stand 5 minutes before removing to wire racks. Serve warm. Yield: 1 dozen.
Chocolate Cherry Martini
- 1-1/2 to 2 cups ice cubes
- 1-1/2 ounces chocolate-flavored vodka
- 1/2 ounce cherry brandy
- 4 ounces half-and-half cream
- 1/2 teaspoon maraschino cherry juice
- 1 tablespoon chocolate syrup
- 1 maraschino cherry
- Fill a shaker three-fourths full with ice. Add the vodka, brandy, cream and cherry juice.
- Cover and shake for 10-15 seconds or until condensation forms on outside of shaker. Place syrup in the bottom of a chilled cocktail glass; strain vodka mixture on top. Serve with cherry. Yield: 1 serving.