Growing up, I never had a plethora of secret admirers. I never received dozens of roses, boxes of chocolates or heart-shaped cakes delivered stealthily to my doorstep.
But I did have two very open admirers: my parents. Each Valentine's Day, my mom crafted baskets full of red and pink goodies for my sister and me. Noelle and I would marvel over the chocolates and sweets my mom so lovingly selected, we would squeal in delight as we pulled out stuffed animals or our favorite Disney movie. And then, on our kitchen table, we would find flowers from our father in two skinny white vases. We felt like princesses. To our parents, we were.
My mom and dad made Valentine's Day special for us. They taught me the importance of giving gifts, of crafting cards, of baking something special for the special people in my life. For my parents, Valentine's Day was year round. They showered us with love throughout the winter, spring, summer and fall. But on Valentine's Day, we all sat together, dipping into big bowls of strawberries and pound cake, and celebrated this love that lasted all year long.
Today, Ryan and I will make heart-shaped pizza, drink a good bottle of wine, and walk. We will both go to work knowing that in the evening, we'll have someone to come home to. I love Ryan more each day, and I know he feels the same. In fact, my love for so many people grows as each year of my life passes: my sisters, my friends, my parents, my husband. I am blessed with this ever-increasing affection.
Another pleasure that Valentine's Day brings? Baking. Baking Cookies.
For those of you who have followed my blog for awhile...these cookies are not a first time appearance. I keep on sharing them because they are one of my favorite baked treats. These will be one of the recipes I pass onto my children and grandchildren. When I start talking about progeny/legacy, you know these are good.
They are the softest cut-out cookies I've ever made, and each bite is heavenly. Truly, you won't go wrong with these treats. And of course, chocolate frosting always helps.
Happy Valentine's Day!
2 sticks butter (softened to room temperature)
1 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
1-2 Tsp vanilla or almond extract
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
6 cups sifted cake flour
1. Using a stand mixer, cream together your butter and sugar until smooth (2-3 minutes). Add in one egg at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the sour cream and vanilla and beat until smooth and well-combined.
2. Whisk together your dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture to form a dough that is stiff enough to roll out. (You may need to add more or less flour). Refrigerate your dough for 30 minutes before rolling out.
3. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll out your dough to 1/4 inch thickness on a well-floured surface. Cut into shapes of all sizes and varieties! Place on an parchment lined cookie sheet and bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes.
2 3/4 cups powdered sugar
5 TBSP cocoa powder
6 TBSP unsalted butter (room temperature)
5 TBSP heavy cream (or milk)
1 tsp vanilla
1. In a large bowl, cream together your sugar, cocoa powder, butter, milk and vanilla until smooth (about 3-5 minutes). Yes. This is that simple.
Anecdotes and Apple Cores