Valentine’s Day Heart Cut-Out Cookies

Sometimes I’m asked where I find the props I use in the photographs for my blog…I’ll let you in on one of my most favorite places to shop for my props.  Painted Fox Home is where I find a lot of beautiful new and vintage pieces that are just perfect for butter, basil, and breadcrumbs photos!  Take a look at this gorgeous covered tray, called The Kermit, and that wonderful brass beading!  I just love this piece because of its vintage charm, and warmth that it brings to not only my photos, but to my home.   Painted Fox Pink Cookies

It’s funny, since my kids have all grown, Valentine’s Day really isn’t my favorite holiday, but yet, I’ve written so many Valentine’s posts in the last couple of weeks for Everything Home Magazine’s February Issue, Deco and Bloom, Hudson Daniel, and my soufflé… that I feel as though St. Valentine and I are starting to bond…

And while I say it isn’t my favorite holiday, I do love to bake for Valentine’s Day, especially cut-out hearts for my kids. Well, more so when they were younger, but I think they still appreciate them today…

This particular batch has a cinnamon flavor icing. It’s not too over powering, but as Jessica described it, “It starts out strong, and then fades away to just a hint of cinnamon after you take that first bite”. So in essence, you’re getting the full flavor of the cookie with the sweetness of the icing, and a hint of cinnamon in the background. Perfect. And if you don’t like the idea of cinnamon…substitute vanilla extract, or cherry, strawberry, or whatever flavor tickles your fancy!

This is really my go-to cut out cookie. It maintains its shape perfectly after it comes out of the oven. It has a delicious sugar cookie flavor… stays chewy for days as long as you store it in an air tight container! I left these cookies out overnight so that the icing would dry completely, and they were still perfectly soft in the morning!

Happy Valentine’s Day, my friends…


Painted Fox Cinnamon Cookies

Valentine's Day Heart Cut-Out Cookies
Serves: 3 dozen
  • 2 sticks chilled salted butter, cubed
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4½ cups all purpose flour
  1. Using the paddle attachment of the mixer, combine the butter cubes, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract, beating on slow until the butter is no longer cubes, but not so long that it turns creamy.
  2. Add the eggs, one at a time just until combined after each addition.
  3. Slowly add the flour beating just until combined after each addition. Beat until the dough forms a ball.
  4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. The dough must be chilled completely in order for it to keep its cutout shape.
  5. After the dough is completely chilled, divide in half. Keep one half out to work with, and wrap the remaining half in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator until ready to roll out.
  6. Working with the first half of dough, roll out on a generously floured surface to ¼ inch. Dip the heart shaped cookie cutter into flour before cutting into the dough, so that it releases the cutout easily.
  7. Begin cutting out the dough, and carefully lift the cookie shape from the floured surface (using a thin spatula helps to lift the cutout without destroying its shape), and place on baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Repeat with remaining dough, dipping the cookie cutter into flour after each cutout. If the cutout shape sticks inside the cutter, tap the cutter against the palm of your hand to release the cookie.
  8. Gather the dough scraps, and roll out one more time to ¼ inch. Cut more cookie shapes until all of the dough has been used.
  9. Repeat with the remaining half of cookie dough.
  10. It is imperative that the dough remains chilled before baking to that it will retain its cutout shape!
  11. After the baking sheet of cutouts has chilled for 8-10 minutes*, bake for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cookies cool completely on a cooling rack.

Going Back to My Roots

Going Back to My Roots…With My Friends…
Angie of Fiesta Friday
Steffi of Ginger & Bread
Andrea of Cooking with a Wallflower

Chocolate Souffle and a Le Creuset Giveaway!

Le Creuset Give AwayLove;
  1. An intense feeling of deep affection.
  2. A person or thing that one loves.
  3. Prudy’s crush on Le Creuset.

This will come as no surprise to many of you… I’ve had a love affair with Le Creuset for as long as I can remember, so imagine my pure delight when I was asked if I’d be interested in sharing a recipe in these darling Petite Heart Cocottes!

My heart started to flutter, and my eyes turned to hearts…

I knew immediately that chocolate soufflé in these pretty little heart shaped stoneware pots would be the perfect choice for such an unforgettable and honorable moment in my life.

True Love.

Le Creuset    Give   Away

And just in time for Valentine’s Day, these little hearts filled with this decadent chocolate dessert are a beautiful way to show your loved ones just how much you love them! They’re so versatile, you can bake the soufflé right in them, take them straight to the table, and even refrigerate or freeze the leftovers right in the cocotte!

And the soufflé? Served straight from the oven, the warm chocolate just oozes from the middle, and melts the moment it hits your tongue. You know that moment, that close your eyes, savor the moment, moment. Your tastebuds will thank you, and your loved ones? Serve this as breakfast in bed…and…they’ll worship the ground you walk on. At least for a few minutes while they’re enjoying every last bite of this delicious dessert!

What could be even more delicious than this chocolate soufflé?

Le Creuset is offering up one set of (4) Petite Heart Cocottes, valued at $100, to one lucky reader of butter, basil, and breadcrumbs! What could be yummier than that?!!

Le Creuset

To enter, simply use the Rafflecopter below!  Visit me on Instagram, Facebook, and Sign up at the bottom of this page to receive updates when I post a new recipe!  Good luck to you!!  

Happy Valentines Day!!

The fine print: No purchase necessary. Giveaway is open to US residents only. Void where prohibited. Giveaway sponsored by Le Creuset®. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Le   Creuset  Give Away

Chocolate Souffle
Serves: 4 servings
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 6 oz semi sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 egg whites
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • Fresh raspberries
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Generously grease 4 cocottes. Place on a baking sheet.
  3. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour, and whisk until smooth. Add the half and half, and continue to whisk until smooth, and the mixture begins to bubble and thicken. Remove from heat. Add the chocolate,and stir until completely melted. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Stir in the vanilla.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, and using the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar for about 2 minutes, or until soft peaks form. With the mixer still running, gradually add the sugar, and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
  5. Fold the chocolate mixture into the beaten egg whites until fully incorporated.
  6. Fill each cocotte about ¾’s of the way full. Place in preheated oven, and bake for about 15 minutes, or until the edges are set, and the middle is slightly jiggly. If you prefer a dryer soufflé, bake another five minutes or so, until the edges are set, and the center is no longer jiggly.
  7. Serve immediately in the cocotte. Garnish with raspberries and dust with powdered sugar.


Everything Home Magazine ~ February 2016 Issue

farm to table for the love of pasta

It’s February 1st, my friends… and you know that that means!! The new issue of Everything Home Magazine is live, and it is jam packed with the best Valentine’s Day ideas and projects, gorgeous homes, and tablescapes..

All I can say is that this magazine just keeps on getting better and better!

A special thank you to our most beloved sponsors Painted Fox Home and LexMod Furniture for your continued love and support! 

Simply click here, or on the photo above to go directly to the February Issue

Mac and Cheese Bites

Mac and Cheese Bites There is always an excitement in the air when the Super Bowl comes around every year…for me, that excitement comes with planning my menu for snacks and appetizers for that night! And this year? These mac and cheese bites are definitely on my menu!

Super easy to prepare, this recipe makes two dozen tangy mac and cheese bites. Crunchy on the outside, and so creamy and cheesy on the inside, they’ll be a favorite for sure!

My friend Sonal, of Simply Vegetarian 777 is hosting a Super Bowl Collective on Facebook today, and asked me to join in on the fun! Stop by her Facebook page, to find a ton of great snack ideas for the big game on February 7th!

Life is good. It’s a “For me, the Super Bowl is all about the commercials…” kind of good.


Mac and Cheese   Bites

Mac and Cheese Bites
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 24
The Mac and Cheese
  • ½ box uncooked small shells macaroni
  • 2 tsp spicy olive oil, I use Harissa infused
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ tsp white pepper
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
The Topping
  • ¼ cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp grated Romano cheese
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • ⅛ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spray 2 mini muffin pans (12 count) with vegetable spray.
  3. Cook the small shells macaroni according to the instructions on the box. Drain, and stir in the olive oil. Set aside until ready to use.
  4. While the shells are boiling, add the heavy cream to a large frying pan over medium heat. Whisk in the white pepper and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about a minute or so. Remove from heat, and add the cream cheese, shredded sharp cheddar, and shredded pepper jack cheese stirring continuously until the cheese is all melted and blended together. Stir in the egg yolks. Gently fold in the cooked shell macaroni.
  5. Add about 2 tablespoons of the macaroni and cheese to each muffin tin. Top with panko topping. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes. Place the muffin tins onto a large baking sheet, and place in oven. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the mac and cheese turns golden brown. Remove from oven, and let cool for about 10 minutes before removing from the muffin tin. Serve warm.Garnish with fresh parsley.
The Topping
  1. In a small bowl, combine the Panko breadcrumbs, Romano cheese, parsley, black pepper, and melted butter. Stir until fully combined.

Going Back to My Roots

Going Back to My Roots…With My Friends…
Angie of Fiesta Friday
Lily of Little Sweet Baker
Julianna of Foodie on Board

Yellow Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

Yellow Cupcake with   Chocolate Frosting

Even if you’ve known me for only a day, most likely you know that yellow cupcakes with chocolate frosting (and sprinkles, lots of sprinkles) are my most favorite of all time. I don’t hide that fact. At all.

But…I have a confession.

I have never been able to make them from scratch. Well, wait..I’ve made them probably hundreds of times from scratch, but they never turned out as light and fluffy as a cake mix, most were hard as a rock and crumbly within hours after baking them.

Moist Cupcake

So, I set out on a mission this past weekend. I was going to take the cupcake recipe that I came up with a couple of years ago, and tweak it until it turned out exactly how I like my cupcakes. Fluffy, moist, and delicious. You know…a cupcake that you can set out on the counter, and they’re still just as good as they were the day before.

I tried using vegetable oil. Sour cream. Cream cheese. Applesauce. And after five pounds of flour, numerous sticks of butter, and dish pan hands later…it turns out that you don’t need to use a lot of fancy ingredients… you only need the ingredients you have in your pantry.

Simple ingredients truly can create a deliciously fluffy and moist cupcake! I’ve gained five pounds to prove it!

The proof, my friends… is in the hips.

I think you’re going to love this recipe.

Life is good. It’s a “A whole weekend of baking yellow cupcakes with chocolate frosting, and you’d think that I’d be sick of them. Quite the contrary, my friends..Quite the contrary…” kind of good.


Basket  of cupcakes

Yellow Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 18 cupcakes
The Cupcake
  • 2½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1½ sticks butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1¼ cups whole milk
The Chocolate Frosting
  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup good quality cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners
  3. In a medium size bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter, sugar, and vanilla. Beat on high until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly between each addition.
  5. Begin to add the flour and the milk, alternating the two, and beating thoroughly after each addition, and ending with the milk.
  6. Beat on high for about five minutes.
  7. Spoon the batter into each liner about two-thirds full. (A little less than ¼ cup).
  8. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Remove from pan, and cool completely, but I won't blame you if you need to eat one right out of the oven! I always do!
  10. Repeat with the remaining cupcake batter.
  11. Once cooled, frost with chocolate frosting.
The Chocolate Frosting
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, salt, milk, and vanilla on low speed just until combined. Increase the speed to high, and beat for five minutes, until the frosting is light and fluffy.

Going Back to My Roots

Going back to my Roots:
Angie of Fiesta Friday
Mila of milkandbun
Hilda of Along the Grapevine

Raspberry Pockets

Raspberry PocketsYou know me.

And you know my inability to walk by a pretty display in a store, without stopping to admire, and ultimately purchasing whatever the store has prettied up that day. They’ve got my number. I’m the targeted consumer.

I’m like a crow that spots a shiny object on the ground, and swoops down to investigate and scoop up whatever little “sparkly” is lying there, to take it back to its nest.

This time, it was raspberries. My beloved Wegmans did them up so pretty this time. So much so, that I bought three cartons of them. Honestly. What possessed me? Well, I know what possessed me. When I was scooping them up like a madwoman, I was thinking of jam. I wanted to make a small batch of jam, because I never made it last summer, and I’m completely out.

Yeah, that didn’t happen. I ate one full carton. Yep. I popped one in my mouth to taste, and as I was watching a series of “Chopped” on Netflix, I must have been popping them into my mouth the whole time, because before I knew it, the carton was empty.

I know.
I felt kind of guilty, but really not sorry.
For a fruit out of season, they were absolutely delicious!

I decided that jam was going to have to be another day, because thoughts of tarts started floating through my head, which then changed over to these little pockets. Less fuss, you know? They are a great grab-and-go snack, pretty enough for a dessert, and delicious enough to share!

The pastry is my Aunt Linda’s recipe, which you can find with my blueberry tartlets recipe and my strawberry rhubarb galette recipe,  (and, of course, below!). I swear by this pastry. I truly do. It’s so flaky, and perfect for the most delicate of pastries, yet can stand up to a chunky meat pie, or a grab-and-go fruit pocket!

While the raspberry filling was super delicious in these little pockets, you can substitute almost any fruit your little heart desires, or even make them savory with vegetables! Let’s talk about that for a minute or two… fried potatoes and onions…with cheese. Watch for those very soon. Man…life is good, isn’t it?

Life is good. It’s a “Sometimes it’s alright when unplanned days happen. Unplanned raspberries-led to unplanned jam-led to unplanned raspberry pockets on a Sunday afternoon…” kind of good.


Raspberry   Pockets


Raspberry Pockets
Serves: 14
The Raspberry Filling
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
Aunt Linda's Pie Crust
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup crisco
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • Pinch of salt
The Glaze
  • 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Powdered Sugar for Dusting
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
The Raspberry Filling
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the raspberries, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon until fully combined. Set aside until ready to use.
The Pie Crust
  1. In a small bowl, mix the milk and vinegar together. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, blend the flour, shortening, and salt together until mixture is in pea size crumbles. Pour the milk and vinegar mixture into the flour mixture and stir. The dough will be sticky.
  3. Use plenty of flour, and roll the dough to about ⅛". Cut into 3” squares, or your favorite shape. Continue to roll the scraps, and cut squares until all of the dough has been used. (This makes about 14 pockets, so you’ll be cutting out about 28 squares).
The Glaze
  1. In a small bowl, whisk the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth. Set aside until ready to use.
Assemble the Pockets
  1. Add one tablespoon of raspberry filling to the center of half of the cut out squares, and top each with the remaining squares of dough, carefully pressing down around the edges securing both the top and bottom squares together as they form the pocket. Using the tines of a fork, press down around all four edges. Poke holes in the top of each pocket for the steam to escape, and just because it makes for a cute little pastry!
  2. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown, and the raspberries are bubbling.
  3. Remove from the oven, and place on a cooling rack until fully cooled.
  4. Drizzle with glaze, and dust with powdered sugar.
  5. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days (they won’t last that long).
  6. Enjoy!


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