So Many Options



My neighbor just brought us these gorgeous apples from her tree. Now the only question is: what should I bake? 

Make My Love Heart Shaped

heart shaped hand pies

Day Thirteen: Shape Your Love (hand pies!!)

My family says they’re not tiring of heart shaped things: but maybe that’s because I’ve been making Pie! These lovely little fruit and chocolate tarts were made using a hand-pie mold I bought on a whim at the grocery store. It’s made by Nordic Ware and was 50% off: I figured, if it didn’t work, it was the price of a mocha. I could afford to risk the price of mocha, right? (And yes, many, many purchase decisions are made by the answer to the question, “How many Starbuck’s Mochas could I buy for that?!) 



The press worked “just ok”.  As you can see from my pies, the edges aren’t that crisp. I’m not sure if that is an error on my part or not, as the directions were pretty skimpy on the packaging. But I did like the bowl of the heart press: it made filling the pie easy. When you’re making hand pies and the bottom crust is on a flat board, it can be difficult to “mound” up the fillings without getting spillage everywhere. So, I guess it’s a trade off.

When I use the press again, I think I’ll also omit the little cut-out heart on top. It’s cute in theory, but in practice it made removing the pies from the mold cumbersome. 

I filled these pies with good chocolate chips and raspberries (Geo had raspberries and Apricot jam, because he’s not a fan of chocolate.) — but your options really are endless. Especially if you don’t use that decorative cut-out! Any bit of fruit and chocolate, or jam and finely diced nuts.  If you’re really brave, you could even use a custard filling of some sort.



Just a note, these pies can handle a lot more filling than I used! I placed about 5 raspberries and a few chocolate chips in mine: wish I had doubled the fruit for a better fruit to crust ratio. It will look like a lot, but in reality: there is a lot of crust in a hand-pie. That’s stating the obvious in retrospect — but at the time, the small amount that I used “looked” like enough. In the future, I will stuff those babies! 

I baked these at 425 for about 10 minutes. Which are the directions for my pie crust recipe. Any pie crust will work, even store-bought. Use your favorite or experiment. If you come up with a chocolate pie crust, let me know. 

Such a hit! And a sweet way to give your love. Of course, you don’t have limit your heart-shaped love to fruit pie. There’s always pizza-pie! (which, for the record, is on the menu tomorrow!) 

Valentine Cookie Round-Up

Day Eight: Who doesn’t love a little Valentine Cookie to nibble? While it might be tempting to grab a box of store bought (those boxes sure sing to me!) if you have the time, these recipes and ideas are worth the effort. And in some cases, there’s not much effort required! So, why not bake up a little love? 

Valentine Cookie Round-Up


Raspberry Lemon Squares by Lick the Spoon. More of a dessert!



I love everything about Ella Claire: and these gorgeous cookies are just the beginning of the goodness on her blog. Easy Strawberry and Cream cookies. 


a pretty cool life


Peanut Butter Blossoms. (photo credit: A Pretty Cool Life) No recipe here: but it’s pretty easy. Top you favorite peanut butter cookie with a chocolate heart. Add the candy fresh from the oven  while the cookies are still warm! 


Classic Linzer cookies. Via Attic Lace. 


pretzel cookies

Learn how to make these cute dipped pretzels. Easy, fun, and so festive. Over on Love from the Oven.

And so good! Easy Valentine’s  Day Cookies. These would be fun to do with the kids! via Family Fresh Meals.



 Fun pinwheel cookies in red and white from The Shine Project.



Sophisticated French Filled Macaroons that are easy to make! via bhg. 



 Completely worth the effort! Heart Sandwich Cookies from Martha. Oh Martha. We love you. 


Want to bake up some love this Valentine’s Day? Follow my pinterest board: Creating Everyday Romance for  more fabulous ideas and recipes. 

White Chocolate Chip and Candy Cane Cookies


Perfect with a cup of tea!


Last Friday IZ and I Baked. Yeah, that’s right, Baked with a capital B. We made 16 dozen cookies plus a dozen mini chocolate cakes for our church’s bazaar. The proceeds go to help mission projects locally, nationally, and internationally. With the landfall of Haiyan in the Philippines –it’s money much needed.

We wanted to make something festive — and to me, at least, a candy cane is the embodiment of holiday sweetness. They’re so charming in their red and white stripes.  I especially love the mini ones. I’ll confess, I tend to stash little pockets of them around the house: just so there is always one within reach when the mood strikes. You do that too, right? 

So, instead of the usual Salted Chocolate Chip cookies, let me introduce you to the White Chocolate Chip and Candy Cane Cookie. (which, really needs a better name. Suggestions??)  These are built on the same recipe for our favorite chocolate chip cookies, but instead of dark chocolate, we substituted white chocolate and candy canes. It’s still a loaded cookie: make no doubt about it. But it’s festive and has just enough peppermint to melt your heart. 


How cute is the plate? IZ made it for our family years ago! It says, “Our home for the holidays is a place of joy — Jack, Wendelynn, Georges, and you.”

Yummy! The only thing I’d do differently is I would top each cookie with just a touch of crushed candy cane — for visuals only. Otherwise, these are perfect. 

And, if you’re not a white chocolate person, they’re just as good with semi sweet chips. (I should know I made a batch of those as well!) 

The bazaar was a big success! And of course, we brought home a box of cookies. The women in my church know how to bake: I’m afraid that box is almost gone. I really need to remember to buy 2  boxes next year and pop one in the freezer for Christmas.

So, tell me… do you have a favorite holiday cookie? Please share your recipe in the comments. 


(recipe below the fold)

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A Perfect Brownie


It really is a perfect brownie. 


Perfection on so many fronts! I can’t tell you good these things are. So, I’m going to just post the recipe and let you decide for yourself. 

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