Valentine Treats: Raspberry Cream Cheese Heart Tart, Pancakes and More


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Catherine McCord is a mom, model and former MTV co-host who now channels her biggest passion — cooking easy, healthy food — into a the Weelicious website for parents. Catherine launched Weelicious.com in 2007 and posts a new recipe or tip daily as well as how-to cooking videos every Friday. Weelicious offers a realistic approach to quick, nutritious eating. Her philosophy is to be honest, while including and engaging kids in the kitchen. Try some of her Valentine's Day recipes below:

Raspberry Cream Cheese Heart Tarts
(Makes 10-11 Heart Tarts)

Putting a spin on Pop Tarts, one of my childhood favorites, I came up with the idea of these homemade Heart Tarts. Filled with fresh raspberries and a pink icing that's made with the juice from the raspberries instead of food coloring, if Pop Tarts had actually been made this way, my mom would have probably allowed me to eat them more often as a kid.

½ cup raspberries
¼ cup whipped cream cheese
1 tablespoon honey
1 double pie crust recipe or 1­-14 oz premade pie crust*
Water
1½ cup powdered sugar
10 raspberries for icing or 2 tablespoons juiced raspberries
1 tablespoon milk or water

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Place the raspberries and cream cheese in a bowl and using the back of a fork; mash the raspberries with the cream cheese, leaving some pieces.

3. Roll the pie crust 1/4-inch thick and, using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out hearts. (If you are using a packaged pie crust just unroll and cut out the shapes.)

4. Place one heart on a lightly floured work surface and top with 2 teaspoons of the cream cheese mixture in the very center, leaving a ¼-inch border around the cut-out.

5. Lightly dip your index finger into a cup of water and "brush" the border with the water.

6. Top with another heart, take the tines of a fork and gently press down the edges to adhere (so the cream cheese mixture stays inside of the heart pocket) and with a toothpick, poke some holes at the top of the heart to remove any air pockets.

7. Place on a parchment- or silpat-lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until golden.

8. While the hearts are baking, take 10 raspberries, place in a strainer and press down to release raspberry juice into a bowl (should be about 2 tablespoons of juice).

9. Whisk in the milk and slowly pour in the powdered sugar and stir to make the icing.

10. Take a fork and drizzle the raspberry icing over the hearts.

11. Serve.

*You can use Pillsbury Pie Crusts.
**You may also fill the tarts with 2 teaspoons of Nutella.

 

Raspberr-Wee Pancakes

Raspberr-Wee Pancakes

1 1/3 cups all-purpose
2½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted (plus more for cooking)
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, whisked
2 tablespoons agave
6-ounce package of raspberries (almost 1 cup)

1. Whisk the first three ingredients in a bowl.
2. In a separate bowl combine the butter, buttermilk, eggs and agave until combined.
3. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined (it's ok if there are a few lumps).
4. Heat a large pan or griddle on medium heat and grease with butter.
5. Pour about 1/4 cup of the pancake mixture onto the griddle and top with 3-4 raspberries. (If you're using cookie cutters, place the cookie cutter in the pan after step four, pour in several tablespoons of batter, add the raspberries and cook as directed in step six).
6. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.
7. Serve.

*You can keep pancakes warm on a sheet tray in a 250-degree oven until all the pancakes are cooked.
*I also tested this batter in a waffle iron and they came out gorgeous, crispy and fluffy!

**Allow to cool and place in a Ziploc bag, label and freeze up to four months. When ready, place in a toaster oven or conventional oven at 300 degrees  for 10 minutes or until heated through.

 

Macaroons

Macaroons

2 cups unsweetened coconut, shredded
1/4 teaspoon of salt (I used kosher)
4 egg whites
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl (preferably a metal bowl) beat the egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form, for about 5 minutes or until they have stiff peaks.
3. Fold in the remaining ingredients until incorporated (the egg whites will deflate quite a bit).
4. Place 2 tablespoons of the batter on a parchment- or silpat-lined baking sheet (you can also place cookie cutters on the baking sheet and place the batter inside patting it down with a spoon to even it out. Remove the cookie cutter before baking).
5. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden.
6. Serve.

*If you want to make half the batter chocolate macaroons, add 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder. If you want to make all of the macaroons chocolate, use 2 tablespoons.

 

Blood Orange Granita

Blood Orange Granita 

(Serves 4)

4 cups of blood orange juice (reserve several of the orange peel "shells" for serving).
1/4 cup agave

1. Combine the blood orange juice and agave in a 8-inch-by-8-inch Pyrex dish and whisk to combine.
2. Place in the freezer for one hour.
3. Remove from the freezer and scrape with a fork to break up pieces.
4. Place back in freezer for one hour.
5. Remove from the freezer and scrape with a fork to break up the pieces.
6. Repeat this process over several hours until granita is similar to shaved ice.
7. Serve in orange peel "shells" or in bowls (cover the pan with tin foil to keep in the freezer).

This article was first published on carolinaparent.com in 2012 and updated in 2016.

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