SOURCE: Wilton Enterprises

February 08, 2010 09:00 ET

Love at First Bite

MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - February 8, 2010) - (Family Features) Cupid's day calls for yummy desserts that say "you're special" at first sight and first bite! With a few easy techniques, four year-round favorites -- butter cookies, fruit-filled chocolate shells, brownies and cupcakes -- become delicious and doable Valentine treats.

For additional ideas for Valentine's celebrations, or to order baking and decorating supplies, visit

Sugar Cookie Dough
    1       cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
    1 1/2   cups granulated sugar
    1       egg
    1 1/2   teaspoons vanilla extract
    1/2     teaspoon almond extract (optional)
    2 3/4   cups all-purpose flour
    1       teaspoon salt

In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and extracts; mix well. Combine flour and salt; add to butter mixture, one cup at a time. Beat until well blended. Do not chill dough. Divide dough in half; use one half each for Sweet Love Cookies and Got a Crush on You Cupcakes.

Sweet Love Cookies

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

These bite-size hearts are so easy to make but hard to resist! Buttery, subtly sweet cookie dough is pressed into a pan with heart-shaped cavities, then baked. Cooled cookies are glazed with melted white candy and sprinkled with colorful nonpareils.

        Sugar Cookie Dough (1/2 of the prepared dough)
    3   packages (14 ounces each) White Candy Melts
        Valentine Nonpareils or other Valentine Sugars and Sprinkles

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray Petite Heart Pan cavities with vegetable pan spray.

Press dough into cavities, filling 2/3 full. Bake 6 to 7 minutes or until light brown around edges. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Turn pan over; lightly tap to remove cookies. Cool completely on cooling grid.

Working with 4 to 5 cookies at a time, place cookies on cooling grid positioned over parchment paper lined cookie sheet or pan. Melt Candy Melts following package instructions; pour or pipe over cookie and let set briefly. Sprinkle with nonpareils. Let dry completely.

Step-by-step tips:

Got a Crush on You Cupcakes

Makes 24 cupcakes

Bake cupcakes -- any favorite flavor -- in colorful Valentine-inspired baking cups. Ice with white decorator icing and top with red and pink sugar-coated heart-shaped cookies (or icing decorations) for a flirty finish.

        Sugar Cookie Dough (1/2 of the prepared dough)
           Red and Pink Colored
    1   can (16 ounces) White
           Decorator Icing
    1   package (18.25 ounces)
           yellow or other favorite
           flavor cake mix
        Water, oil and eggs to prepare mix

Preheat oven to 400°F.

On lightly floured surface, roll cookie dough into a circle about 12 inches in diameter and 1/8 inch thick. Using nesting heart cookie cutters, cut 2 sizes small hearts, dipping cutter in flour before each use; sprinkle with colored sugars. Bake cookies on ungreased cookie sheet 6 to 7 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Cool cookies completely. Layer small and large cookies with icing between.

Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Place Sweetheart Bandana baking cups in standard muffin pan. Prepare cake mix following package directions. Fill cups 2/3 full; bake 17 to 19 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cupcakes completely. Ice cooled cupcakes with icing; insert cookies, mounding additional icing if necessary.

Convenience Tip: Substitute Hearts Remembered Icing Decorations for cookies to top cupcakes.

Valentine Brownie Points

Makes about 6 brownies

Brownie hearts, dressed in pink and white swirls and love notes, definitely score points with cupid. Cut a pan of brownies into heart shapes with a cookie cutter, then cover with decadent fudge icing. Use cookie icing to add messages, swirls and other decorative touches.

    1   package (about 20 ounces) brownie mix
           (13 x 9-inch size)
        Water, oil and eggs to make mix
    1   can (16 ounces) Brownie Fudge Icing
        Pink and White Cookie Icing
        Heart-shaped chocolate candy (optional)

Bake brownies in baking pan following package directions. Cool completely.

Using Comfort Grip Heart Cutter, cut shapes from cooled brownie; ice with Fudge Icing. Heat Cookie Icing following package instructions; add message, outlines, swirls and other decorations to top of brownie hearts. If desired, add candy.

Step-by-step tips:

Sweet & Tart Hearts

Makes about 8 hearts

A berry-laden, heart-shaped chocolate shell shimmers and shines for your Valentine. Make the shells up to one week in advance. To serve, brush edges with melted candy and dip into pink and white sparkling sugars; fill with berries.

    2   packages (14 ounces each) White,
           Dark Cocoa or Light Cocoa
           Candy Melts
        Pink and White Sparkling Sugars
        Fresh berries

Melt Candy Melts following package instructions. Use food-safe brush to coat bottom and sides of Ruffled Heart Silicone Mold cavities with melted candy. Coat cups thick enough so that cup cannot be seen through candy, at least 1/4 inch thick. Refrigerate candy in mold on cookie sheet until firm, 5 to 8 minutes.

Unmold candy cup by carefully peeling back sides of mold cavity; gently push baking cup bottom to release candy cup. Brush top edge of cups with melted candy; dip edge into sugars. Let set. Just before serving, fill with berries.

1. Place baking cups on flat surface. Fill with 2 tablespoons melted candy.
   Brush candy up sides, coating evenly to make heart candy shell.
   Refrigerate until firm. Repeat until shell is desired thickness.
2. Peel cup from candy, gently pushing up shell from bottom.
3. Keep shell in cool, dry place until ready to fill and serve.

Courtesy of Family Features