February 14th is Valentine’s Day. The day for love. The time that flowers, chocolates, romantic dinners, cards, stuffed animals are gifted to those we love or are crushing on! It can be quite a special day. I loooove love!
Have you ever thought about how this day came to be? It has a pretty grisly origin story about a few men named Valentine (or a variation of the name Valentine) who happened to find themselves in dire circumstances in ancient Rome. Legend has it that these men were killed by the order of the Roman Emperor, Claudius Gothicus (aka Claudius II). Each man had a different run in with Claud (that is what I am calling him). One man was killed for preforming outlawed marriage rites. The second Valentine was killed for helping prisoners escape. The final Valentine man was a prisoner sentenced to death due to an unknown reason, but allegedly sent a letter from prison to his love. Each of these incidences supposedly happened on separate occasions. I have also read accounts that suggest all three men were in fact one person. Either way, I would have hated to be named Valentine back then. Sheesh!
This day applies some serious pressure on lovers to get the perfect gift that adequately expresses their love. It is also a day for some singles to wish it were over or commemorate the day by going out to lunch or dinner as a group. Others don’t care about it one way or the other. My thought is that EVERYDAY is a great day to show love to those you care about and EVERYDAY is great day to love yourself!
The month of January is typically a slower month for the bakery as many of our customers are trying to eat healthier and working on slimming those waistlines! Parties and large holiday gatherings are now fond memories and many people are settling into their resolutions and goals for the year ahead. But, hello February and come on back because I've missed you!
During this time, the bakery sells a lot of red velvet cakes, strawberry cakes, and cupcakes, Personally, my favorite Valentine’s day dessert to eat is red velvet cheesecake brownies. The moist red velvet cake swirled with a creamy cheesecake filling and sitting atop a chewy chocolaty brownie is bliss. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!
Red velvet desserts always remind me of Christmas, but I guess it also makes one think of love and romance. It certainly is a delicious and decadent dessert! The dessert I love to bake the most for this day is our giant heart shaped chocolate chip cookie. We make it using our Old Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe and bake it in a heart shaped pan. Pipe the edges with some buttercream frosting, add some sprinkles and you have one delectable winner!
I wanted to bake something of a little lighter fare this time around for my family and friends. I love pink and thought it would be cute to bake pink cookies. I decided to call them Blushing Butter Cookies. These are our bakery standard butter cookies with a touch of natural food coloring to make it blushed with pink. I love using natural ingredients!
Guess what I used? No seriously, guess. I will wait. Powdered dragon fruit or pitaya powder! Yes, you heard me! The pitaya powder didn’t alter the taste as it has a mild sweetness on its own. Just a half of a teaspoon sifted into the flour of my recipe was all it took to achieve this delicate pink color. I can’t post our proprietary butter cookie recipe, but will add links below to some awesome butter cookie recipes from other bakers if you want to make some for your loves or just for yourself!
I am excited to see how I will use the pitaya powder in other bakes. Test kitchen, here I come! Dragon fruit is high in fiber, antioxidants, and Vitamin C so there is a perfect health benefit to use it. The powder can also be used in smoothies as well. I will keep you all updated if I create something else wonderful using the pitaya powder.
Thanks for spending this moment with me and I hope your Valentine's day is filled with love and laughter. See you next time.
Butter Cookie Recipe Links:
If you like soft baked cookies try...
If you like a crispy and crumbly cookies try...
If you are feeling adventurous try...