Homemade cake pops, cookies perfect for Valentine’s Day
Add some pop to the menu this Valentine’s Day.
Homemade cake pops make the perfect gift for your significant other.
Nechama Huber of Greenfield, owner of The Pop Cakery, a company with a certified kosher kitchen, makes and sells customized chocolate treats, including cake pops (round and heart shaped), chocolate-dipped pretzels, chocolate bouquets and more.
Huber has spent years perfecting the cake pop. She says she likes to experiment with different shapes and toppings in her creations.
“I am always trying something new,” says Huber, who also makes homemade cookies and cakes. “I love baking and making any dessert but definitely cake pops are my thing. I love edible art.”
Huber offers the following basic guidelines for creating cake pops:
• Bake a cake – follow directions on package
• Grab a piece of cake
• Mix with a tablespoon of buttercream icing
• Weigh it — should be
• Roll into a ball
• Melt chocolate in the microwave
• Dip stick in chocolate and then insert into cake ball
• Let it harden
• Dip cake ball in chocolate
• Add sprinkles
• Stand them up (if you don’t have a special tray for cake pops, stand them up in a bowl of sugar)
A perfect present
Jodi Lutz of Ellwood City says homemade cookies are always a good gift, Valentine’s Day included. She sells cookies, as well as breads and cakes, through her business Cookies, Cakes, Breads and More. She made more than 600 dozen cookies at Christmas time.
She has been baking most of her life, having learned from her mother and grandmother. It’s fun to experiment with new recipes and to find a way to personalize a heart-shaped cookie for Valentine’s Day, she says.
“When it comes to baking I love to try new things,” she says. “Because any food-related item for a gift is a good choice. It is satisfying to see the final product and to see the smile on someone’s face when you hand them a homemade tray of cookies.”
Iced Sugar Cookies
2 ⁄ 3 cup shortening
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 teaspoons milk
2 cups of flour
1½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
Heat oven to 375 degrees
Thoroughly beat shortening, sugar and vanilla. Add egg, and then milk. Mix dry ingredients. Blend dry ingredients into creamed mixture. Divide dough in half and refrigerate for 1 hour. Roll out, cut and bake for 6 minutes.
2 pound bag of confectioner’s sugar
5 tablespoons of meringue powder
¾ cup warm water
Mix thoroughly and ice cookies. Write on the cookies immediately. (She uses a Pampered Chef #1585 decorator set with a #1 tip.)
Sandra Holland of Chippewa came up with the idea to make peanut butter blossom cookies, but instead of topping them with Hershey’s kisses, she used Dove chocolate hearts and added a few heart-shaped candy pieces.
She says the hearts don’t soften as fast as the kisses – it took about 10-15 minutes to melt into the cookie.
Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies
½ cup shortening
½ cup peanut butter
½ cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1¾ cup flour
Mix dry ingredients. Set aside. Cream both sugars, peanut butter, milk, shortening, vanilla and egg. Add dry ingredients. Mix in mixer until smooth. Roll into one teaspoon balls. Roll in sugar. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Immediately top with chocolate hearts (she used Dove chocolate) just until cookie starts to crack.
A sweet-inspired group
Huber, Holland and Lutz are members of the Facebook page The Wedding Cookie Table Community, a group that is devoted to the time-honored tradition of baking, assembling and sharing wedding cookie tables. The site is dedicated to preserving ethnic and cultural traditions.
It has roots in Pittsburgh, Youngstown, Ohio, and northern West Virginia areas, but boasts members from around the world. The page is an open forum where members can post and download recipes and photos, ask and answer questions and give and get advice.
There are plenty of ideas for Valentine’s Day treats on the site.
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 724-853-5062, [email protected] or via