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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Valentine's Day Gifts

I'm no good at waiting for gifts, and Scott's present would have been a lot more expensive to arrive on Valentine's Day. What is funny is that I talked about heart shaped whoopie pies in this post and that seemed to have given a hint. Before I get into all that, let me just say I love this blog, and check out her Valentine's jello mold. Here are some ideas from some museums that are and are not that great. And here are some other artsy, and pretty good ideas (suggesting  macarons and Macallan shows a good current understanding of the tastes of different genders, or at least in this couple).

Without further ado, when I woke up this morning I was making coffee and Scott pretended to have to go get the recycling bin to put magazines in (he did say he was going to clean up the living room this weekend). He came back with a huge box. What could that be I wondered?





They were featured in the New York Times. Martha Stewart said "These are the best whoopie pies I've ever tasted", and I agree! Check out their website, the lobster shortbread and mussels shaped whoopie pies are adorable. This morning I tried the one with champagne filling, and it was beyond amazing. I am a huge fan of Chambord, and I can't wait to try that flavored filling. They are fluffy, but still dense, and have the texture of the traditional New England filling, but the great flavor of the buttercream type. For a break down of the tension between people who like different types of whoopie pies check out this post.  So adorable, delicious and thoughtful!

I thought it would be nice to give him a reminder of our honeymoon. (Check out the food we ate here). I contact Lily Gene Prints from Etsy. She made me a custom map that plotted out our trip in hearts from Las Vegas, to San Francisco, to Napa and Sonoma, then Portland, and finally Moose Jaw SK. As she states on her website: "All giclée original prints by Lily Gene are high-quality, eco-friendly, acid-free fine art paper. Printed with professional archival pigment ink." I think it turned out amazing. Check it out:


Here also featured is a painting I made of us when we first moved here in 2009.  I didn't spend much time on it, and it was sort of a joke, but I kinda like it that way.


Last night I also went a little Valentine's baking crazy. Now, we can all agree cake pops are a little infantile and in fact a little weird as a concept. See this comment thread here. Every time I think of cakepops I think of Elizabeth's comment "They're like cake, but more wrong. Mush cake and frosting together until it makes a paste similar to partially masticated cake, form into ball, dip. Tastes exactly like it sounds. If you like your food excessively manhandled before consumption cake balls may be for you!" Ok ok fine. My coworker once said "We should learn how to make cake pops", and I said casually "yeah sounds fun....". She then ordered a cake pop kit and the next day said I owed her $13. I was like "What?" So I am the proud owner of a cake pop kit (warning: that website is obnoxious). What better way to take advantage than Valentine's Day? Then, another coworker walked in my office the other day and said "Are you going to make everyone cake pops for Valentine's Day?" How did I get this reputation? (Maybe this?) Anyways, you may remember my affection for these little guys. So here's some cool things I put together last night (using red velvet cake recipe from New York Times Essential cookbook and Wilton Candy Melts I bought at Michael's).







I know my bears aren't nearly as professional looking as Bakerella's, but as a first try I think they are pretty good. I'll also say there are two ways of making cake pops and balls. You can just bake them in a ball which discredits Elizabeth's criticism, and as the proud owner of the pan I can do that. I think Strawberry Fields Confections does it this way, but I am not sure. When I baked them in the pan I was completely ridiculous. I was reading the directions for the brownies and filled the cavities up all the way. This was totally silly considering, um that cake rises. The cake exploded way up above the pan, and it was hilarious. So I broke up the exploded over cake, mixed it with a Martha Stewart chocolate buttercream recipe, and followed the Bakerella bear tutorial. Did I give in to a trend? Did I feel cooler making my Christmas eclairs? A little bit. Anyways, I realize I went a little crazy. I even called my sister to tell her so. If we are hanging out with you this weekend or if you work with my husband, there's a good chance you're getting some of these. Anyways, perhaps Valentine's can be about how you love everyone, like this article says?



2 comments:

  1. The minute I saw that kit I thought, "well, that would help significantly." I still avoid cake mushed with frosting and rolled into mushballs. I would eat cake baked into ball shape.

    Though, just to be sure, you should probably make some extra and give to me to taste. Purely for scientific testing purposes.

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  2. The whole mushing with frosting and rolled in cake ball thing is weird. Who thought of this? But, once I screwed up and had the red velvet explosion mess, I thought the only thing I could do with that besides eat crumbles of cake all week was that. So I tried both methods purely because of my unique circumstance (my coworker ordering me a pan without me remembering agreeing, and then having broken pieces of cake all over).

    Haha, good point, that is the only way you can know for sure!

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