Heart valentine cookie pops

A fun idea for s.valentine to surprise your kids: heart shaped shortbread cookies covered with chocolate and confetti on a stick! They will love the idea of handling the cookies as lollipops and they will enjoy the crumbly texture of the cookies…without even mentioning the white chocolate topping ;-)

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If you are planning a party or a bake sale, you might like this recipe too as the heart valentine cookies are very easy to individually wrap and nicely display!

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This is all you need to bake 28 big heart cookies:

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and that’s how to proceed:

– in a food processor add the flour, the butter and a pinch of salt. I really suggest to choose a very good quality butter, it will change the overall taste of the recipe. Also, the butter should be very cold and cut in cubes. Let the food processor work for 2 minutes in order to obtain a grainy texture like wet sand. This process is called “sanding the flour”.

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– transfer the “sanded” flour in a big bowl and add the other ingredients: the powdered sugar, the eggs, the orange zest, the orange extract and the vanilla extract. Sift the powdered sugar to avoid grains.

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– mix the ingredients with a fork/spoon at the beginning and than when the mix will get more compact use your hands.

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– transfer the mix on a flat surface and knead it for 2 minutes in order to obtain a compact dough. You do not want to over knead it because you do not want the butter to completely melt: that’s how the cookies will result nicely crumbly.

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– cover the dough with some parchment paper or plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to get cold and firm

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– place the dough on some parchment paper, make a hole in the center and add some colored confetti (for valentine day I opted for red, white, blue and pink). Using your hands cover the confetti with the dough and repeat everything again in order to incorporate the confetti in the dough.

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– using a kitchen roller pin roll the dough in a 1/2 inch thick layer

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– using a heart shape cookie cutter cut out as many cookies as you can. Remove the extra dough

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– place a cake pop stick in the center of the heart and with a gentle pressure push it down. With your fingers gently close some dough on top of the stick so that it will not be seen and it will firmly stay in the center of the cookie.

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– lay the heart cookie pop on some parchment paper on a baking tray and keep shaping the cookies with the remaining dough.

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– Bake the cookies in a preheated oven at 400F/180C for 10 minutes. Once cooked,  they will be lightly golden. Let them cool down

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– Melt some white candy melts or white chocolate (I used the microwave, 20 seconds at the time). Use a container that is wider and higher than the cookies. Take one heart cookie and half dip it in the white chocolate. Place the cookie back on the parchment paper to dry out. While the white candy/white chocolate is still melted sprinkle on top some red and pink sugar crystals.

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– Let the cookies completely dry out for few hours (even overnight) before handling them.

– if you want you can further decorate with a ribbon around the stick!

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posted on January 30, 2015

Snowman cookies – Pretzel covered with chocolate

Everything started from Luca’s bake sale at school: once a year every class is in charge of the monthly school fund raising bake sale. For those who are not used to bake sales (in Italy we do not organize them) this is more or less how it works: when you go to pick up your little one you find a nice table at the school entrance loaded with sweets that you can buy with a very kind volunteer parent in charge of the table happily smiling at you.  Usually you go inside, pick up your happy little one and on the way out you stop at the table and let him/her choose one sweet. The raised money goes to buy something for the school and the sweets are kindly offered (either baked or bought) by the parents of one class. January was our bake sale turn and I have to admit that I spent few evenings surfing on Pinterest to find something visually appealing for the kids, easy to wrap for the sale (cupcakes are very tricky to individually pack…) and not too difficult to prepare. That’s how I ended up preparing 36 snowman pretzel cookies ;-)

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The cookies came out so cute that I couldn’t not share with you the recipe.

Here you are what you need to prepare 36 snowman pretzel cookies:

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And that’s how to proceed:

– microwave the white candy melts for 1 minute in a glass or ceramic container that is as high as the pretzel sticks. Stir until smooth and completely melted. If you do not find candy melts you can use white chocolate and melt it in the same way. You might need more time. You can start with 1 minute in the microwave and keep going 20 seconds at the time up until the chocolate will be completely melted and smooth. Be careful because the container will get hot!

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– take one pretzel stick and immerge it in the white chocolate for 3/4. Place it on a parchment paper. Coat another pretzel stick for 3/4 and place it next to the first one. Add other 6 sticks for a total of 8 sticks. Your first snowman face is formed. Keep coating the pretzels and placing them one next to the other forming as many faces as you need.

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– let the white chocolate dry for 30 minutes at room temperature or 15 minutes in the refrigerator

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– you have enough time to prepare the snowman noses. Melt the orange candy melts in the microwave as you did with the white ones. Place the melted orange chocolate in a small plastic bag (or in a pastry chef bag). Cut a corner of the plastic bag in order to create a tiny hole. On a parchment paper design 36 tiny long triangles. Fill the center of each triangle with the orange chocolate. If needed, you can use a toothpick to spread the chocolate in the center of the triangle. Let the orange noses dry for 20 minutes.

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– Microwave the brown candy melts in a large glass or ceramic container. Take one white chocolate pretzels square and dip it on the side that is not coated in white. We are creating the snowman hat. Place the pretzel square back on the parchment paper to dry. Keep dipping the white squares in the dark chocolate.

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– Take one pretzel stick and immerge it completely in the dark chocolate with the help of a fork. Place the dark chocolate pretzel on the snowman exactly on the border of the white and the brown. We are creating the snowman hat’s brim. Let it dry.

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– Remove one orange nose from the parchment paper. Place a drop of dark melted chocolate on the back using a toothpick and gently place it on the snowman white face.

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– Using a toothpick create the snowman eyes and mouth with the dark melted chocolate.

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– Final decoration: add a sugar snowflake flower on the hat. Use the dark chocolate as a glue.

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– Let the snowman cookies dry completely for two hours and store them at room temperature.

Enjoy!!

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snowman chocolate pretzel cookies

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posted on January 22, 2015

How to thaw baby food – Baby food basics

Ok, this is not a recipe, but I really hope the video will be helpful to a lot of first time moms ;-)

I’ve been frequently asked a lot of questions not about a specific recipe, but about baby food in general: how to store it, which tools to use, what to do with leftovers, ingredient substitutions….so I decided to work on short, simple and easy video tutorials in reply to your questions. Today I will share with you the first one: how to thaw frozen baby food.

Well, there is not only one way. I would love to share with you the three ways that I use, all safe and tested tons of times with my babies. They only differ in the amount of time you will need to take the baby food back to room temperature.

1 ) REFRIGERATOR – 10/12 hours

Place the frozen baby food from the freezer in the refrigerator and let it slowly thaw in 10/12 hours. The best way to do it is moving the frozen container in the refrigerator in the evening, so that the baby food will be ready to use the following morning. The baby food should stay in the refrigerator in a container with a lid.

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2 ) IMMERSION IN HOT WATER – 10/20 minutes

Fill a bowl with hot water. Place the baby food in a container with a lid and than in a plastic bag (you do not want the lid to accidentally open..). Let the bag float in the water. The heat of the water will gradually thaw the baby food. Pending the amount of baby food in the bag, it will be defrosted in 10/2o minutes.

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3 ) MICROWAVE – 2 minutes max

It happens, your baby is hungry and you forgot to thaw the baby food…that’s when the microwave can help you! Using either a glass or a ceramic container (I prefer not to use plastic ones) place the baby food in the microwave for 20 seconds. Open, stir, place it back for another 20 seconds. Keep doing it up until the baby food will be thawed.

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Just few suggestions about the microwave: use a glass or ceramic container and remember to stir very well the baby food before serving it to your baby. That’s how you will avoid hot spots.

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Ciao! b

thaw baby food pinterest

posted on January 17, 2015


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