Showing posts with label valentine's day. Show all posts
Showing posts with label valentine's day. Show all posts
Moist & Fluffy Red Velvet Cream Cheese Cookies

Moist & Fluffy Red Velvet Cream Cheese Cookies

Are you guys ready for a Valentine's Dessert recipe that will knock the socks off your friends and family? Well, these red velvet cream cheese cookies might just be it! These thick, cakey cookies literally melt in your mouth when you take a bite. And that pretty red color? Valentine's Day cookie perfection!

You can top these pretty little cookies with festive sprinkles, or dust them with powdered sugar! When you take your first bite, you'll be thanking me from afar!

A few notes to ensure baking success:
  • These cookies need to be chilled in the fridge for 1-2 hours. Don't skip this step! It's important that the butter is cold when it goes into the oven - that's what makes cookies thick. 
  • The dough is going to be sticky, so be sure to dust your hands with flour before rolling the dough into balls. You can re-dust your hands as much as you need - I did it every 2-3 cookies. I also washed my hands a few times during the process. It's totally worth it! 
  • Use gel food coloring, not liquid. The reason is that our solid to liquid ratio is already on the edge (see above!), so adding even more is going to make rolling these into balls a real challenge. Plus, I prefer gel color because you need way less. I always feel kind of sick dumping a whole container of red liquid color into batter or dough, and sometimes can taste the food coloring too. Not with gel! I use and love this kind


1 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 oz full-fat cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup cane sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
Red food coloring gel
1/4 cup all-purpose flour, for rolling
Powdered sugar for dusting


Whisk together the dry ingredients, flour through salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until combined, then beat in the egg and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients, and mix until just combined. Add food coloring until you reach your color preference. I use gel food coloring, see notes above.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap, and chill it in the fridge for 1-2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375.

Measure the all-purpose flour into a small bowl. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Dust your hands with the flour, and roll the cookie dough into 1 inch sized balls, and place them on the lined baking sheets. Re-dust your hands as many times as needed - I dusted my hands between every 2-3 cookies.

Bake 9-11 minutes, or until the bottoms are just beginning to brown. They will be soft and may still look doughy, but if you can tap the bottom of a cookie and it easily slides, they're done!

Dust with powdered sugar when they've cooled, and serve.

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Kirsten Bell
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake

A few days ago I shared my Valentine's Day wine picks, and today I'm sharing my easy Valentine's Day dessert idea: Strawberry Chocolate Cake! I don't know about you, but I'm always trying to think of new strawberry dessert recipe ideas. In fact, if you scroll to the bottom of this post you can find a few more of my favorite strawberry recipes for inspiration!

When I was thinking of this strawberry chocolate cake recipe, I knew that I wanted it to be rich, chocolatey (that's a word, right?) and fruity. Valentine's Day chocolate dessert ideas are endless, and I wanted something just a little out of the box but still a classic dessert. Also FYI - even though I originally created this recipe for Valentine's Day, you had better believe I make it all year round! It's also a great birthday cake recipe, bridal shower cake idea, and summer cake recipe!

I always feel like fancy Valentine's Day desserts make the holiday feel even more special, but let's be honest. Most of us don't have the time to make super crazy time-intensive desserts. That's why I love this cake - because like the majority of the recipes you'll find on my site, this cake looks beautiful and is a quick and easy cake recipe too! That's a perfect Valentine's Day dessert in my opinion!

Chocolate Cake Ingredients:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa powder (I used dark chocolate cocoa powder because I wanted them really intense)
  • 1 tsp salt 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup hot brewed coffee
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (two sticks)
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Strawberry Buttercream Ingredients:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons strawberry extract
  • salt, to taste 
  • optional garnish: fresh strawberry slices
Dark Chocolate Ganache Ingredients:
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
Cake Directions: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line the bottom of three 6" round cake pans. Set aside.

In a small pan, heat the butter and coffee until the mixture is steaming and the butter is melted. Take off the burner and let cool.

Whisk together the dry ingredients, flour through baking soda.

Mix together the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla extract. Add the butter mixture once cooled. If the butter mixture is still too hot when you mix these together, the egg will cook.

Add the dry ingredients into the now combined wet ingredients in two batches. Fold together until just combined. Pour batter into prepared cake pans and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes - until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs. Allow the cake to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn them upside down on a cooling rack to cool completely. This will help create a flat top for each layer.

Strawberry Buttercream and Dark Chocolate Ganache Directions: 

Whip the butter until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, and then add the strawberry extract and salt as needed.

For the ganache, melt the chocolate chips and heavy cream together in a small bowl. Spread the strawberry buttercream between each cake layer, and pipe a barrier around the perimeter of each layer. This will help hold the ganache until it's cooled and solidified. Spoon the ganache into each buttercream well. Once the cake layers are assembled, frost the outside of the cake with the buttercream, and drip the chocolate ganache over top. Decorate with roses and fresh fruit!

I hope you enjoy, and that whatever kind of Valentine's Day you're planning it will be full of love, joy and fun! If you're looking for more desserts that's just as fancy and fabulous, how about my Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes or Simple and Delicious Vanilla Cupcakes!

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Kirsten Bell
3 Perfect Wines For Valentine's Day

3 Perfect Wines For Valentine's Day

There's only one more week of January - can you believe that?? We're almost one month down of 2019. I should probably start working on my resolutions haha! And that also means that Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and will be here before we know it! Now you guys know me, and you know that I love wine. So I put together a list of some of my favorites that would be perfect for a romantic dinner, girls night, glass after the kids go down and you eat thai takeout - whatever the evening looks like for you, it will look better with a glass of one of these delicious wines in your hand!

Maryhill Winery, 2012 Serendipity

I've loved Maryhill's wines for a long time - we finally joined their wine club about a year ago (we should have joined sooner!) and always look forward to those shipments! They have tasting rooms in Goldendale, Spokane, and are just about to open a new tasting room in Vancouver this April! Definitely pay them a visit if you're in the area. I really love all of their wines, and the Serendipity is no exception. It's really smooth, and would pair well with whatever your Valentine's Day meal looks like! We drank it while eating my White Wine and Parmesan Risotto, and it was soooo delicious! It would also be amazing with a steak or pork. (When you order this wine, also grab a bottle of their rosé! It's my favorite!!)

Merry Cellars, 2016 Dolce Vita

Merry Cellars is our local winery in town - you probably see me mention them all the time on Instagram stories! We love their wine and hanging out in their tasting room in Pullman. I'm not usually a fan of dessert wines, but I looooove Dolce Vita. It's made from merlot that's co-fermented with blackberries, which makes for a really deep, jammy and fruity wine. Dolce Vita is really special, and would be the perfect Valentine's Day treat!

Yarden, 2008 Blanc de Blancs

No Valentine's Day wine list would be complete without a sparkling wine, am I right? This sparkling wine is so good - I love how bright, fresh and fruity it is! It would be perfect with light appetizers like a cheese plate or these smoked salmon appetizers, and would also be amazing for a brunch! If you're looking to pair this with your Valentine's Day dinner, I'd recommend it with my Lemon and Garlic Salmon, or a light chicken. And grab another bottle while you're at it, because I know you'll love the Blanc de Blancs as much as I do!

I hope you all find a new wine to love on this list - be sure to let me know if you try one and report back! And if you love wine, check out this recipe for Merlot Chocolate Truffles - they will blow your mind!!

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Kirsten Bell
Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes

Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes

Valentine's Day may still be a month away, but it's never too early to start planning your Valentine's Day desserts! These easy strawberry champagne cupcakes are perfect because they sound super fancy, but they're really not at all! I also love that they can be made ahead of time, so if you're planning a nice dinner for two you don't even have to think about dessert on the day of. This strawberry champagne cupcake recipe is also a perfect bridal shower dessert idea and birthday cake recipe!

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You guys know that I like flavor in my baked goods. So if you love champagne, these are the cupcakes for you!! I love how light the flavor in these cupcakes is - it really does taste like you're eating champagne! The fruitiness of the strawberry buttercream compliments the cake so well, and I love the pieces of real strawberry in it.

Champagne Cake Ingredients:

1 cup flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cups cane sugar
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon LorAnn Sparkling wine extract
1/3 cup sparkling wine
1/4 cup buttermilk

Strawberry Buttercream Ingredients: 

1 cup butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 teaspoons strawberry extract
3 strawberries, very finely diced (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 and line a muffin tin with liners (how cute are these champagne cupcake liners?). Combine flour, baking powder, salt in a bowl and set aside. Beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add extracts, egg, yolk, champagne and buttermilk, mixing to combine. The batter may look piecy at this stage, which is ok! Slowly add flour mixture to the wet ingredients, and mix until just combined. Pour batter into liners and bake for 14-16 minutes.

For the buttercream: Whip the butter in your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and extracts, mixing on low speed until the powdered sugar is incorporated. Then increase speed to high for about 3-4 minutes. Gently stir in the strawberry, if using. Frost with a big tip to avoid the strawberry pieces getting stuck. Decorate with sprinkles, and a quarter strawberry! I love these metallic sprinkles!

Used In This Recipe: 

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Love champagne? Check out more popular champagne blog posts below:

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Kirsten Bell