Almost time for the pink and red
Celebrate Valentine’s Day with some fresh-from-the-oven raspberry crumb bars.
So here we are again, with February just around the corner, and Valentine’s Day looming. Even though I do not participate in this holiday at all, I realize that most people do, so I figured I would share some of the dessert recipes in my collection that would fit right in with Valentine’s Day.
Do have fun, no matter if it is a romantic day for you or if it is more like a family event. If you don’t care for sweets or you can’t have them for health reasons, consider serving some fruit. A nice fruit platter is always a welcome sight, especially if it has things such as mangoes, fresh pineapple, firm grapes and perhaps a nice selection of berries.
Take care and enjoy February. And do try to stay dry. After such dire drought conditions for so long, it feels a bit odd saying that.
Heart shaped coconut cookies 1 cup flaked coconut 1 cup sugar 3/4 cup cold butter, cubed 2 1/4 cups flour 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar 1 tablespoon water 1/2 teaspoon vanilla Coarse white sugar, optional 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
Preheat oven to 375. Place coconut and the 1 cup sugar in a food processor; cover and process until coconut is coarsely chopped. In a large bowl, cut butter into flour until it forms crumbs. Stir in coconut mixture. Stir in eggs and vanilla.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with a heart-shaped cookie cutter that measures 2-1/2-inches. It helps to dip the cutter in flour first. Using a 1-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out the center of half of the cookies. Reroll small cutouts if desired.
Place solid and cutout cookies 1 inch apart on greased baking sheets. Bake in preheated oven for 7 to 9 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks.
In a small bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, water and vanilla; brush over warm cookies with cutout centers. Immediately sprinkle with coarse white sugar if desired. Spread 1/2 teaspoon of jam over the bottom of each solid cookie; place cookies with cutout centers over jam. Makes about 3 1/2 dozen cookies.
Easy cherry cake 1 regular-size package white cake mix 1 package (3-oz.) cherry gelatin 1 1/2 cups boiling water 1 package (8-oz.) cream cheese, softened 2 cups whipped topping 1 can (21-oz.) cherry pie filling
Preheat oven to 350. Prepare cake mix according to package directions, using a greased 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Cool cake on a wire rack for 3 to 5 minutes. Poke holes in cake with a wooden skewer; slowly pour dissolved gelatin over cake. Cool for 15 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Fold in whipped topping. Carefully spread mixture over cake. Top with the pie filling. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Makes 20 servings.
Raspberry crumb bars You may need more than 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, depending on how juicy the raspberries are. Usually frozen ones have a lot of juice. One time I used raspberry preserves and it worked fine. Follow the link above for another great recipe for raspberry crumb bars.
3 cups flour 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 1 cup shortening 2 eggs, lightly beaten 1 teaspoon almond extract 1 tablespoon cornstarch 4 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
Preheat oven to 375. In a large bowl, combine the flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Cut in shortening until mixture turns into coarse crumbs. Stir in eggs and almond extract. Press two-thirds of the mixture into a greased 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
In a large bowl, combine cornstarch and remaining sugar; add berries and gently toss. Spoon over crust. Sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture.
Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 45 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Store in the refrigerator. Makes 3 dozen.
Hawaiian dessert 1 regular-size package yellow cake mix 3 packages (3.4-oz. each) vanilla instant pudding mix 4 cups cold milk 1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract 1 package (8-oz.) cream cheese, softened 1 can (20-oz.) crushed pineapple, well drained 2 cups heavy cream, whipped and sweetened 2 cups flaked coconut, lightly toasted
Preheat oven to 350. Mix cake batter according to package directions. Pour into two greased 9-by-13-inch baking pans. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until the cakes test done. Cool completely.
In a large bowl, combine all of the pudding mixes, milk and coconut extract; beat for 2 minutes. Add the cream cheese and beat well. Stir in the drained pineapple.
Spread mixture over the cooled cakes. Top with whipped cream; sprinkle with coconut. Chill for at least 2 hours. Makes 24 servings.