On A Sweet Note

On A Sweet Note

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Love is definitely in the air! February is the month of love and we are celebrating Valentine’s week. And what better than sweet treats for your sweetheart that you can feel good about! Perhaps the perfect occasion to indulge in these mouth-watering treats with your partner. Make your love life memorable and celebrate the week for love with some sweet pleasures and sumptuous desserts for a date night. And for those of you who are single, gift yourself a piece of one of these heavenly, ecstasies.

Maria Goretti, of ‘I Want to Bake Free’, Living Foodz gives us a few delectable recipes.

Unicorn Macaroons

Valentines Day

INGREDIENTS:
· 2 cups powdered sugar
· 1 cup almond meal
· 3 egg whites, at room temperature
· ¼ cup granulated sugar
· ¼ teaspoon salt
· ½ teaspoon white food color
· Vanilla buttercream
· Rainbow circle confetti
· Edible food pens: green, pink and black
· Edible metallic gold paint
· Rose luster dust

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 300ºF.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together powdered sugar, almond meal, and salt. Whisk until well combined.
3. In a separate bowl, whip egg whites until frothy, about 4 minutes. Slowly beat in sugar until soft peaks form.
4. Use a spatula to fold in about a 1/3 of the almond mixture to the meringue until well combined. Add the next 1/3, and fold completely. Fold in remaining 1/3.
5. Add white food color and fold in completely.
6. Use the unicorn template to trace a pattern onto parchment paper Turn the parchment over onto a baking sheet so that the pencil marks are facing down.
7. Spoon the batter into a piping bag fitted with a #2A tip. Pipe rounds over the circles on the parchment. Tap the baking sheet onto the counter to remove any air bubbles.
8. Spoon batter into a bag fitted with a #4 tip and then pipe details onto half of the rounds. Let set for 30 to 60 minutes, until a skin forms.
9. Place the cookie sheet in another cookie sheet to help insulate the bottom, and then place another cookie sheet above to protect it from the direct heat. Bake for 15 minutes.


Time to decorate!
1. Use food safe pens to draw on the unicorn faces
2. Paint edible metallic gold onto the horns and ears. Paint rose luster dust onto the unicorn cheeks.
3. Turn the plain round cookies upside down and pipe a dollop of filling onto each. Top with decorated cookies and then roll each macaroon in sprinkles to cover the outer edges of filling.
4. These Unicorn Macarons will take you to a magical land of flavor!

Butter Pecan Cookies



Valentines Day, Butter Pecan Cookies

INGREDIENTS:
· 1 cup butter, softened
· 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
· 1 egg
· 2 cups all-purpose flour
· 1/2 teaspoon salt
· 1 1/2 cups pecan halves
 
Directions:
1. In a large bowl, cream butter, brown sugar and egg. Mix until well blended.
2. Slowly add flour and salt and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
4. Roll one inch pieces of dough into balls and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Flatten balls with the bottom of a glass dipped in flour. Press a pecan into top of dough.
5. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until lightly colored. Serve together!
6. Pretzels – Fresh pretzels have a dark, salty crust and delicious chewy bagel-style texture. A pretzel is traditionally made from wheat flour, malt, salt, yeast and water. 


2ND METHOD:

INGREDIENTS:
· 4 teaspoons active dry yeast
· 1 teaspoon white sugar 
· 1 1/4 cups warm water (110ºF/45ºC)
· 5 cups all-purpose flour
· 1/2 cup white sugar 
· 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 
· 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 
· 1/2 cup baking soda 4 cups hot water 
· 1/4 cup kosher salt, for topping

Directions:
1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in 1 1/4 cup warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center; add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix and form into a dough. If the mixture is dry, add one or two more tablespoons of water. Knead the dough until smooth, about 7 to 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230ºC). Grease 2 baking sheets.
4. In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda in 4 cups hot water; set aside. When risen, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. Once all of the dough is shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda-hot water solution and place pretzels on baking sheets. Sprinkle with kosher salt.

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