Friday, February 11, 2011

Sweets For Your Sweet

This and more nerdy Valentines can be found here

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Valentine's Day, which is why I've just about reached the end of my tether with the cutesy Valentine's Day crafts everyone's been posting about since the day after Christmas. I've mentally composed blog posts going on and on about why the holiday irks me, from the usual complaints about consumerism to my own inflated expectations that are, inevitably, not met. Then I figured that I'd come across as a bitter old hag and didn't want to rain on anyone else's parade if you happen to love the holiday.

Ever since I realized that Valentine's Day, like most holidays, falls into the category of "just another day" to my husband I've been reluctant and a little resentful about doing anything to celebrate since I'm the one who has to make the effort, make the plans, and do all the work to make it happen. To top it off I'm the only one who cares once all that hard work is over. But at the last minute I seem to talk myself into at least baking something yummy since my mom always made such a big deal about holidays when I was growing up. In my family even the most minor holiday is an excuse to indulge in food. Green mashed potatoes and milk on St. Patrick's Day, anyone? Or was that just me?

I'm still working on my ideas for this year's Valentine's Day treats but thought I'd share some of my previous years' works to maybe inspire some of you.

If your husband loves pizza as much as mine does you can woo him with a heart-shaped pizza. If not woo him at least you can distract him from video games long enough to get him to share a meal with you. My husband mentioned that the pizza place where he used to work would make heart-shaped pizzas by request on Valentine's Day so I got the idea to make my own. Easy peasy.

I made this cookie cake pie for our anniversary one year but I think it's fun enough and so ridiculously over the top that it works for any holiday. It's exactly what it sounds like: a pie crust base topped with a layer of cookie dough, cake batter, and a mountain of frosting on top. Top with Valentine's sprinkles and you've got a special treat! I made this back in the day when I still thought it was acceptable to use cake mix so mine included strawberry cake to satisfy my husband's love of strawberries. It'd be just as easy to do with homemade cake batter. Instructions can be found here at CakeSpy.

Not being much of a TV watcher before I met my husband, I'd never heard of Domo until we got together. Now I love the furry little guy even though I still don't fully understand his purpose. I made this cake two years ago for my husband's Valentine's Day treat. As you can see, Domo has such a simple design that it was all too easy to make a Domo-shaped cake. I baked a strawberry cake, this time from scratch and using fresh strawberries, in a 9 x 13 pan, trimmed a strip off the bottom to make into his arms, and cut a little cake out between his legs. Then I topped it all with a thick chocolate fudge frosting. This was the first time I bothered to do a crumb layer while frosting so it wouldn't look like he'd been rolling in the dirt. I used this site to make my own custom conversation hearts, which I printed in different colors, cut out, and arranged on a piece of cardboard covered with pink tissue paper to make a cute cake base. There's a layer of plastic wrap between the base and the cake because I don't relish the thought of eating printer ink along with my cake.

Last year, after I swore off Valentine's Day forever, I stumbled across some super dorky scientist valentines, free to download and print. How could I resist? Valentine's Day was back on the schedule and I decided to present the Valentine card to my husband with some chocolate cupcakes filled with strawberry chocolate ganache and topped with strawberry buttercream. Unfortunately this was before my blogging days so I didn't bother to save the recipe. I'd imagine there are plenty of recipes out there for something similar if the combination seems appealing to you. The heart toppers were inspired by something I saw in a magazine, just melted chocolate piped in the shape of a heart with swirls of chocolate across the middle. I managed to make a few stringing my and my husband's first initials together as you can see on the foremost cupcake. Again, easy peasy. Just the way I like it.

So there you have it. Just a few ideas that might help make your holiday a little more fun.


the cape on the corner said...

my high school boyfriend got us a heart shaped pizza, and they wrote our initials in sauce. lol. your homemade one looks good, and what a nice thing to do for the hubby.

Velva said...

Seems that it is difficult to avoid Valentine's Day when you have as many cool and creative ideas as you do each year. Thanks for sharing.