Tag Archives: valentines day

homemade red velvet poptarts with cream cheese filling

The inspiration for these red velvet poptarts came from this thing I call my life notebook. You know, it’s a notebook stuffed full of life goals, to-do lists, blog posts, places to visit, books I’ve read, and grocery lists from months ago. And sometimes I leave myself little hints in the margins, like “move this to a google doc” (but it feels so much better to see my own handwriting!) and other suggestions, like “make something with clay.”

Well, the idea for these poptarts came from those margins. I don’t remember even writing this note to myself, but as I scanned the past pages of my notebook, I saw it in the interior-left top corner, a message from a brilliant, or maybe just hungry, lady:

“Make: Red Velvet Poptarts.”

Red-Velvet-Poptarts-Final-(1-of-5)

What a great Valentine’s day post! As I decided to commit to this endeavor and scanned the internet for a decent red velvet poptarts recipe, I became increasingly nervous. I couldn’t find one. Are they impossible to make? Kellog did it (gross). Eventually, I came to the decision that I’d have to wing it.

Homemade Red Velvet Poptarts

So here it is, a recipe that I developed, almost entirely from scratch.

If you’re going to make these red velvet poptarts for a Valentine’s Day surprise, give yourself some time. There’s a lot  involved. You can make these a day ahead of time and simply re-heat them in the oven at 300 degrees for a few minutes.

Homemade Red Velvet Poptarts

homemade red velvet poptarts
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Red Velvet poptarts with cream cheese filling from scratch!
Author:
Recipe type: breakfast
Yields: 12 pastries
Ingredients
For the pastry
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • ¼ c sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 sticks of cold butter, cubed and cold
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • ½ tsp red food dye (note: I used icing gels, you may need to use more food dye if you're using regular dye)
For the filling
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
Egg Wash
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp water
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and red food coloring, until blended.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the cocoa powder, flour, sugar, and salt until well combined.
  3. Using a pastry blender push in the chunks of cold butter. If you don’t have a pastry blender, you can use your hands and a fork. Cut in the butter until there are no large pieces and your flour mixture resembles coarse, damp sand.
  4. Fold in the wet ingredients until everything is well combined.
  5. Shape the dough into two or four small balls. Wrap them in cling wrap and place them in the fridge for an hour to rest.
  6. While the dough is in the fridge, using an electric mixer, whip together all of the ingredients for the filling until it’s smooth. Store in the fridge until it’s ready to use.
  7. After you’ve let the dough rest, flour a surface to begin rolling it out. Using a floured rolling pin, roll your dough into a flat, thin piece.
  8. Using a cookie cutter or a knife, cut the dough into symmetrical rectangular pieces.
  9. Decide which piece will be the top of your pastry and poke a few holes in it using a fork.
  10. Place each bottom layer on a silpator parchment paper and add some filling in the middle of the square, being careful not to over-fill.
  11. Whisk together an egg and 2 Tbsp of water to create an egg wash.
  12. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash on the edges of the bottom piece of dough.
  13. Place the top piece of dough over the bottom piece. Gently press the edges of the pastry together using your fingers, then go back around and press the edges using a lightly floured fork.
  14. Once your pastries are all set, place them in the oven and bake at 375 for 22-25 minutes.

 

Red Velvet Poptarts Step-by-Step Instructions

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and red food coloring, until blended. Note: I used red icing gel, which is highly pigmented. If you’re using regular food coloring (which is totally fine) you may need to increase the amount of dye you use.

In a large bowl, sift together the cocoa powder, flour, sugar, and salt until well combined.

Homemade Red Velvet Poptarts

Using a pastry blender push in the chunks of cold butter. If you don’t have a pastry blender, you can use your hands and a fork. Cut in the butter until there are no large pieces and your flour mixture resembles coarse, damp sand.

Homemade Red Velvet Poptarts

Fold in the wet ingredients until everything is well combined.

Shape the dough into two or four small balls. I found it easier to roll out four small ones. Wrap them in cling wrap and place them in the fridge for an hour to rest and firm up. I didn’t have any Saran wrap, so I just used Ziplocks.

While the dough is in the fridge, using an electric mixer, whip together all of the ingredients for the filling until it’s smooth. Store in the fridge until it’s ready to use.

After you’ve let your dough rest, flour a surface to begin rolling it out. You’ll want to get this as thin as possible without risking ripping the dough. The tarts that came out thicker were a little too heavy on the crust.

If at any time your dough gets too sticky, just pop it back in the fridge for a few minutes to firm up. Using a floured rolling pin, roll your dough into a flat, thin piece.

Then cut your rectangles for the tarts.

Ok, truth. This whole process will be a lot easier if you have a square shaped cookie cutter, which I didn’t. I spent some time trying to make perfect shaped rectangles and well, you see what I came up with. Let’s just go with it. Plus, my geometry skills needed a workout anyway.

So I used a pizza cutter and a knife and did an ok job at making rectangles and some squares  that were originally meant to be rectangles. Besides, I think the imperfect shapes makes homemade poptarts way more charming.

Once you’ve cut your rectangles, decide which one will be the top and which one will be the bottom of each pastry. For the top layer, use a fork and poke a few holes through the dough to make a vent.

Place each bottom layer on a silpat or parchment paper and add some filling in the middle of the square. I used anywhere from ½ Tbsp to 1 ¼ Tbsp of filling, depending on the size of my pastries. Be sure to avoid over-filling.

Whisk together an egg and 2 Tbsp of water to create an egg wash. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash on the edges of the bottom piece of dough. This will create a sealant for the pastry. See the picture below for proof that I’m a messy baker.

Place the top piece of dough over the bottom piece. (Hint: If you have two uneven sizes, try to put the larger size on top.) Gently press the edges of the pastry together using your fingers, then go back around and press the edges using a lightly floured fork.

Once your pastries are all set, place them in the oven and bake at 375 for 22-25 minutes.

You could and should double the filling mixture to create a frosting on the top of these. It’s delicious.

the weekender 2/1/2015

AntiValentinesDayCandyHeartMagnets_07

Happy February everyone! And perhaps, most importantly, happy Super Bowl Sunday. I’m not into sports, so I won’t be watching the Bowl, unless you mean the Puppy Bowl, which is my favorite. I’ll probably use this time to go to the places in NYC that are normally too crowded to bother (I’m looking at you Trader Joe’s).

These Anti-Valentine’s Day hearts made me laugh. My favorite is “meh.”

Reasons why you’re late.

This hand-painted apron would make a sweet, personalized gift.

I’m so glad copper is in right now. I can never get enough. How elegant is this DIY copper candle? It looks expensive.

I really need to find a reason to use this whale fabric. Suggestions?

These West Coast embroidery kits are stunning. I wish they had some for the East Coast.

Would you try a breakfast soup?

Also for breakfast, these citrus ricotta crepes are so cheery they’d brighten up any winter morning.

happy valentine’s day

Vintage Cowboy Card & lots of other vintage cards 

Happy Valentine’s Day! How cute is it to look out the window and seeing everyone carrying flowers, chocolates, or balloons?

Ryan and I will probably celebrate this weekend by doing something ultra-touristy. Tonight we have plans to eat fried-avocado tacos and watch junky sci-fi television. What a perfect night. Do we have class or what?

Really our greatest gift for Valentine’s Day was getting internet in our apartment. So I’m back up and running. Since all of my kitchen and craft items are in storage, I guess I’ll just share some of my favorite valentine’s-themed things:

The funniest Arrested Development Valentine’s Cards.

Speaking of, I’m having a love affair with this heart-shaped ice cream sandwich.

Valentine’s Day S’mores gift.

D.I.Y. heart-shaped sugar cubes for your tea

10 great books about love.

Nerd Valentine is perfect.

The prettiest D.I.Y. A wall of paper hearts.

and did you see google today?

Whether you’re coupled or not, celebrating or abstaining, I hope everyone has a wonderful day.

 

nerdy Valentine’s Day cards for your special someone

Please excuse me while I nerd out and share my favorite Nerdy Valentine’s Day Cards with you.Game of Thrones Nerdy Valentine's day cards

(Chris Bishop via buzzfeed)

Let’s be real. I could end this post right here. Because, well, any guy who gives me a Tyrion or John Snow valentine would be the best. ♥

But while Game of Thrones does take up the biggest spot in my nerd-girl heart (maybe because the books are so damn long?!), there are tons of other nerdtastic v-day cards.

cylon Nerdy Valentine's Day Card

cylon Nerdy Valentine's Day Card

Battlestar Galatica Valentine’s Day Cards

When Ryan and I went through our BSG affair, we would frequently ask each other, “would you still love me if I were a cylon?” Finding out your partner is a cylon must be the ultimate test of love, right?

And this card. Oh gosh, my heart would swell if anyone gave me this card.

Legend of Zelda Nerdy Valentine's Day Card

Legend of Zelda Nerdy Valentine's Day Card

Legend of Zelda Card

We have such adventurous spirits, that this could pretty much sum up our relationship.

 But, I feel like this card might be more up his alley, as far as romance goes.

Princess Leia Star Wars nerdy Valentine's Day Card

Princess Leia Letterpress Card

Or this card.

Spock Star Trek Nerdy Valentine's Day Card

 Spock Card (and so many more Star Trek cards)

I would love to give this card to my friend Michael, who introduced me to table top RPGs.

Natural 20 Nerdy Valentine's Day Card

Natural 20 Card

 And these to all of my friends who adore Firefly.

 Firefly Valentine's Day Card

Firefly Valentine’s Day Cards

And if you just can’t decide which nerdy card would be best, this one pretty much covers them all.

Awkward Affections

Awkward Affections Card

But I think this one might be my favorite one of all.

Carl Sagan e-Card download

I’m always fond of when Carl Sagan is portrayed as a romantic figure. And also, his love story might be my favorite love story of all.

valentine’s day roundup

Now that I’m (sort of) unemployed and finally have all kinds of time to craft, I don’t seem to have the space, money, or supplies. Currently I’m in temporary housing and all of my crafting supplies are packed in a storage unit. Also, I haven’t happened upon a craft store yet, and I don’t think I’m braving the 18 degree weather today to find one.

Even still, I have been scouring the craft-loving internets for Valentine’s Day inspiration.

Horny for you

How perfect are these cookies? I just love animals with horns! This Etsy shop delivers by V-Day and there’s even a unicorn cookie!

I love this ombre paint chip wreath. This is a craft I can certainly make in the apartment I’m staying in and it probably cost less than $5.

Here’s another cheap and beautiful ombre d.i.y. made with paint chips. I’ve really got to get on the “paint chip craft” bandwagon.

This 3D fringe heart would make the best party decor. Right?

This Pom Pom Heart Wreath looks simple and quick to make. I wonder if it could work with cotton balls or home made pom poms.

And finally, show your friends you really do put your heart into your baking with this tutorial. How lovely are these cupcakes?

So, have you finished your Valentine’s Day crafts yet?

valentine’s day cupcakes

Make everyone break their New Year’s resolution diets by bringing these everywhere you go.

valentine's day cupcakes

These cupcakes were the best cupcakes I’ve ever had. And I had two other people tell me that too! So, it must be true. I’ve never been great at making cupcakes. In fact, I sort of hate it. But these were real winners.

YELLOW CUPCAKE RECIPE
(adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
Yields: appx. 38
Prep: 10 minutes.
Bake time: 16 min per dozen or 48 minutes total

Ingredients:
2 cups cake flour
1 3/4 cup whole-wheat all purpose flour*
1/4 cup corn starch
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 sticks butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 eggs, room temperature
2 cups buttermilk

Do it!
– Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cupcake liners in cupcake pan.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, corn starch, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until the batter is fluffy, light, and no longer gritty.
– Mix in the vanilla and beat in the eggs one at a time on medium speed.
– Mix in the buttermilk at a low speed. The mixture will look a bit curdled.
Slowly mix in the flour mixture in parts, until everything in well combined.
Pour the mixture into the cupcake cups. I filled them 1/2 full. These really rise. When in doubt, do a test cupcake first.
Bake for 16 minutes.

*The original recipe called for four cups of cake flour. I only had two. I used this substitution. The cornstarch gave the whole thing a very slight cornbread taste, which made them taste amazing, especially since the frosting was so sweet.

valentines day cupcakes

 

BEST BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

Ingredients
2 cups vegetable shortening
8 cups confectioners sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp clear imitation butter flavor
6 cups heavy whipping cream

Do it!
– In a large bowl, cream shortening until fluffy. Fiercely beat in the confectioners sugar about one cup at a time until it’s fluffy. Then add salt and the butter flavor.
Beat in the whipping cream in parts. You’ll know the frosting is done when it’s light and forming slight peaks.

This was a perfect amount of frosting vs. cupcake ratio (minus the cup my boyfriend probably ate while I was making it.) I dyed the frosting with Wilton’s food coloring gels. They’re the best.

valentines day cupcakes

I used these frosting tutorials.

Frosting Cupcakes
Four Cupcake Frosting Techniques

And just for fun, I thought these Valentine’s rose cupcakes were beautiful.

Valentine’s Day Door Decoration Tutorial

Remember this box I used to make  this shelf? Well, there was still a whole panel of it left. So I decided to make a cute DIY Valentine’s Door Decoration. What do you think?

Valentines-Day-Door-2

Here’s how to make it.

Valentine’s Day Door Decoration

Supplies:

-Cardboard
-Box cutter or Xacto knife
-Paint: Red & White
– Hot Glue
-Yarn
-Paper
-Scissors

How to:

1. Make a Heart Stencil
You remember this one ladies from Kindergarten. Fold a piece of paper in half. Draw half a heart outline.

FINALfoldheart1

Cut it and Voila!

FINALfoldheart2

You’ve got a stencil. Cut it to a size you think will fit your door and handwriting.

2. Trace your stencil.

Since I spelled “Welcome,” I needed seven hearts. But you could write other things, if you’d like.

FINALtraceheart
3. Cut your stencil.

Using the box cutter. You also might want to use a cutting mat, unless you want your table to look like mine.

FINALcutheart

4. Paint your hearts.
I used acrylic paint. It took about three coats. Wait for them to dry between each coat.

FINALPaintHeart

5. Paint out your letters.
It occurred to me a stencil would be a good choice here, but I freehanded it. After I painted them, I outlined them with a sharpie to make things look neater.

FINALwriteheart

6. Line up the letters to form your word.
Line them up exactly how you’d like to see them hanging.

FINALlineuphearts

7. Hot glue them together.

8. Add string.
Measure out the length you want your decoration to hang.

FINALaddstring

Turn your sign over and use the hot glue gun to fasten the string to your cardboard.

FINALstring1

Really pour the glue on and make sure it’s completely covered.

FINALgluestring

Cut any extra string that may be visible.

FINALcutstring

Be sure that the glue is completely dry before hanging. And you’re done!

FINAL-Valentines-Day-Door-Decor

the weekender 1/28/11

[via weheartit]

I can’t seem to shake the laziness that overcame me on winter break. I promise myself I will actually get something done this weekend. What about you? In the meantime, here are some links for your weekend.

– Remember my New Year’s resolution to cut down on packaging? These people are quite the inspiration. [Found via Paige + Modern]

d.i.y.

Nursery Wall Decor

So I promised myself I would grow up and stop decorating my house like a child’s nursery. Seriously, the only artwork I have are cute pictures and figurines of cows, pigs, elephants, and the occasional duck. But how can I resist that giraffe? Honestly, is my nursery decor addiction that bad? Do it yourself over at My Blessed Life.

-The brilliant Kate over at See Kate Sew turns a book into a clutch. I said brilliant, right?

-Stephanie over at Under the Table and Dreaming rounds up the best d.i.y. terrarium posts.

Tea bag Valentine’s. What a perfect idea for the tea enthusiasts in your life. via Tatertots & Jello

hair:

I cannot wait to try Carrie’s beehive tutorial.
via wish wish wish

Food:

-Make your own nutella. Yes, you heard right. via Smitten Kitchen.

Are you inspired by any of these projects? Have a good weekend!