Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Year With Bettina Week 3

Bettina says:
Valentine Cookies

Put a lot of sugar in them, -
(Sugar always helps, I think,)
Cut them with a heart-shaped cutter,-
Ice them all a lovely pink,-
Send them to your dearest sweetheart,
(They're the kind I send to mine,)
And I'm sure he'll love to have you
For his Sweetest Valentine!

A Thousand Ways to Please a Family With Bettina's Best Recipes by Louise Bennett Weaver and Helen Cowles Le Cron

Well, I didn't make Valentine Cookies, but I did try out one of Bettina's recipes in her Please a Family book to make these cute, and yummy heart-shaped cakes for hubby and I's Anniversary!

I added the coconut for my own preference while my oldest gave me the idea to add red sprinkles on some of the cakes, too.

I must say, I've been searching high and low for a cake recipe that rivals that of the boxed cake mixes in the store. This one "takes the cake!" It'll be my go-to recipe.

White Cake for Valentine Hearts

1/2 cup fat (I used a blend of butter, olive oil and coconut oil)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract (I didn't have lemon extract, so I just didn't add any)
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2/3 cup milk (I did 1/3 cup buttermilk and 1/3 cup raw milk)
2 1/4 cups flour (I used all purpose white flour)
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder (I did 2 teaspoons baking powder and 1 teaspoon baking soda to have a better reaction with the buttermilk)
2 egg whites

Cream the fat, add the sugar and extracts, and cream for 3 minutes. Add the liquids and dry ingredients, and beat vigorously for three minutes. Carefully add the egg whites, stiffly beaten. When combined, bu not beaten, pour the batter in cake pans lined with wax paper, and bake in a moderate oven for 20 minutes.
The batter should not be more than 1/2 inch thick in the pans. When the cake is cool, cut out with a heart-shaped cooky cutter. Moisten the cutter with cold water to make smooth edges on the cakes. If cutter is not available, a paper pattern may be placed on top the cake and with a sharp knife the desired shape may be attained. Ice these cakes, place on lace or paper doilies, and arrange on a large cake-plate or platter.

Pink Icing for the Valentine Hearts
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons cream
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract (again, I didn't have, so I didn't use)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
A few drops of pink coloring (2 drops of red food coloring does a good job)
1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar (I used 1 cup powdered sugar and 1/2 cup arrowroot flour)

Cream the butter and add all the liquids and coloring. Slowly add the sugar and beat until creamy. If too stiff to spread evenly, add more liquid. With a moist knife spread the icing evenly over the cakes, being careful to ice the edges well. Small pink or white candies may be used to decorating, or bigs of green jelly mints, cut in thin strips, may be gracefully arranged on the tops. Be careful not to add too much coloring. (Fruit coloring, paste or liquid, may be used; it is perfectly harmless.)

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