FOOD FOR THOUGHT—All Things Red and Yummy

By on February 2, 2015
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By Lydia Bolen

The month of February is such a festive month with all the Super Bowl gatherings and Valentine’s Day celebrations.

The color red is everywhere to brighten your winter humdrums. Different hues of red and pink alert us all month as a reminder that a special day is near. On February 14, we typically send cards, sweets, balloons, and gifts to those we love.

I love all things red as a sweet. My favorite red dessert is Red Velvet Cupcakes. These are fun and easy to make, and I love the vibrant color!

Raspberry Cheesecake can be served as a special ending to a festive Valentine meal. The raspberries on top add that special touch of color and flavor.

One of my favorite cookies is the Thumbprint Cookie. They can be made with many different jams, but the raspberry seedless jam is pretty for a special occasion.

Red Velvet Cupcake 1

 

RED VELVET CUPCAKES

  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1 /2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 /2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 /2 cup milk
  • 1 bottle (1 oz.) red food coloring
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.
Beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Mix in sour cream, milk, food coloring, and vanilla. Beat in flour mixture gradually on low speed. Do not overbeat. Spoon batter into 30 paper-lined muffin cups. Fill each cup about 2 /3 full.

Bake 20 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 /4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 box (16 oz.) confectioners sugar

Beat cream cheese, butter, sour cream, and vanilla in electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in confectioners sugar until smooth. Frost each cupcake.

(For a festive look, use Valentine themed paper liners. Sprinkle top with pink and red sprinkles.)

Yields 30 cupcakes.

 

Thumbprint Cookies 2

 

RASPBERRY ALMOND THUMBPRINTS

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 /3 cup sugar
  • 1 /2 teaspoon almond flavoring
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 /2 cup raspberry seedless jam

Combine butter, sugar, and almond flavoring. Beat at medium speed until creamy. Add flour. Beat at low speed until well mixed. Cover; refrigerate until set. (It is very important to leave dough in the refrigerator an hour!)

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Make indentation in center of each cookie with thumb. Fill each indentation with 1 /4 teaspoon of raspberry jam.

Bake 14-18 minutes until edges are lightly browned. Let stand 1 minute on cookie sheet. Remove to cooling racks. Cool completely.

Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons water
  • 1 and 1 /2 teaspoons almond flavoring

Combine all glaze ingredients in bowl with whisk until smooth. Drizzle over cookies.

Yields 42 cookies.

 

Raspberry Dessert 1

 

RASPBERRY DESSERT

Crust

  • 1 1 /3cups graham crackers, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners sugar
  • 5 to 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Mix together and press into a 9-inch pie plate

Cheesecake

  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 /2 cup sugar

Raspberry Topping

  • 1 package frozen raspberries

 

Beat pie mixture together until smooth. Put in crust and bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes.

Drain 1 package frozen raspberries. (Do not need to save the juice)

Heat berries and add 3 tablespoons sugar and thicken with 2 teaspoons cornstarch.

Cool pie mixture and cool the berry mixture.

Place cooled berry mixture on top of cream cheese pie.

Cool pie in refrigerator.

Serve cold with a dollop of whipped cream on top of each piece.