Today thanks to the warm weather, we had the chance to get out and do some hiking with the little guy.
It was his first official hike and we also got to hand feed some Chickadees! We are lucky to have such
a great park system where we live, they always have interesting programs and I had been wanting
to do this one for a while. I am so happy we are having such a mild winter so far or else I might get all
Jack Nicholson a la The Shining on everyone.
We are also noshing on some pre-Valentine's day treats.
For me, much of my love of food and baking/cooking has a lot to do with nostalgia and why I incorporate it so much
on this space. Other than music, it is
the only thing that can transport me back to days gone by. I recently read a
explored the connection between comfort food and what it accomplishes for us. It seems that we enjoy
nostalgic foods, regardless of taste, because they fulfill a sense of belonging for us.
My sister and I were recently discussing how much we loved
Little Debbie treats growing up, but that we probably *probably* would never buy them
as adults because they are basically comprised of all chemicals. My favorite were always the brownies;
I would often have them after school at my grandmas and always rearrange the nuts on top so they were
evenly spaced all over the brownie (yes, I was a weird freak even then). Due to the time of year, I also remembered
the seasonal heart cakes and thought they would be really fun to try and recreate with "real"
ingredients. Enjoy and may these help you remember your childhood fondly!
Yields: About 12 cakes
Little Debbie Inspired Heart Snack Cakes
- 4 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/3 cup sifted cake flour
- 3 T cornstarch
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 t vanilla
- 1 t cream of tartar
- 5 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 (12oz) bag of pink melting chocolates
- 1 (12oz) bag of white melting chocolates
Preheat oven 450 degrees.
Take 21 x 17 baking sheet and cover with parchment or silicone mat, then spray with oil (such as pam) or
butter and flour dusting.
Separate 2 of the 4 eggs in dishes. Add additional yolk to "yolk dish" to total 3 yokes.
You will then have whites from only 2 eggs.
Add remaining 2 whole eggs to the yolk dish.
Let all egg dishes come to room temperature (about 30 minutes).
In a separate small bowl, whisk together flour and cornstarch, set aside.
Then beat sugar and 3 egg yolks and 2 whole eggs on high for about 5 minutes or
until light and fluffy.
Beat in vanilla.
Then sift in half of flour and cornstarch mixture and fold in.
Repeat with the other half.
Then take egg whites and beat with whisk attachment until foamy.
Add cream of tartar, then beat until soft peaks form.
Then fold whites into batter.
Pour entire mixture onto cookie sheet and bake 6-8 minutes or until golden brown
and when springs back when lightly pressed.
Let cool completely.
In a saucepan, combine flour and milk over med heat and whisk to prevent lumps.
Let cool completely.
Beat remaining ingredients until fluffy, then add cooled milk mixture and beat until fluffy and incorporated.
Remove cake from pan - you can leave on parchment or mat.
Using heart cookie cutter, cut out 24 hearts.
Place 12 hearts on a cooling rack or cookie sheet and add dollop of cream.
Place top heart and sandwich cream.
I added more cream than I thought I would need so I could press out the sides then clean the edges with
a knife so heart was completely filled along edges.
Once all 12 hearts are complete, melt pink chocolate in a bowl according to instructions.
Then dip all cakes in melted pink chocolate and let cool.
The chocolate was not as smooth as I would have liked, but the drizzle will hide most of the unevenness.
You could also dilute the chocolate if desired.
Melt white chocolate in a pastry/icing bag and drizzle over the top of the hearts.