Valentine's Day is fast approaching. It's one of those holidays that the dating and courting crowd can't wait to celebrate with their one and only. Well, here after 10 years of marriage, Valentine's Day seems to take a back burner to those other more important days, you know, like the first and last days of school, mom's birthday, Mother's Day. The quintessential holidays that keep the atmosphere of Campbell-land in tact. In fact, I can't remember the last time that dear hubby and I bought gifts for each other or simply celebrated Valentine's Day.
I take that back. It was February 14, 2003. Our first Valentine's Day as a married couple. The only reason I remember that is because apparently at that time I had tons of extra time and actually scrapbooked a page of our celebration. Honestly, who has time for that kind of thing now!
Anyways, back to the scrumptious treat shown above.
I've been doing alot of research lately for some projects I have in the works, and I happened to come across another great food blog, Oven Adventures. There are so many great recipes and the pictures make you want to snuggle up with your computer and a cup of coffee.
Now these are what she calls Red Velvet Twisted Hearts. Myself I prefer to call them...ohmygoshIcan'tbelieveshemadetodieforredvelvettwists!!
These are like soft-pretzels, red velvet style. They combine the yeasty dough likeness of a soft pretzel with the sugary, cocoa-e (is cocoa-e or cocoa-ey a real word?) red velvet cake. All I have to say is Yum! Oh, and I'm glad I work with 6 other women who share my love of sugar based confections. If it wasn't for them, I'm sure I'd be curled up in a sugar coma in the back corner of my walk in closet wimpering for my mommy.
So here you go, her version, and below is how I made them. Now you can make them all for your self, or for that sweet someone in your life! Enjoy!
Makes approx. 20 hearts
4 egg yolks – room temp
1 whole egg – room temp
1/4 granulated sugar
6 tbs melted butter – slightly warm
3/4 c buttermilk – room temp
3 tsp red gel food coloring
3 c flour + plus more for dusting
2 tbs dutch processed cocoa powder
1 pack dry active yeast
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 butter melted
1/2 c vanilla sugar – regular granulated work too
Cream Cheese Glaze
1/4 c cream cheese – room temp
1/2 c confectioners sugar
2-3 tbs cream or milk
In the bowl of a standing mixer with your whisk attachment, whisk all your egg yolks, your whole egg, butter, buttermilk and food coloring together. Once everything is well combined add in 2 c of flour, yeast, sugar, salt and cocoa. Once everything is moist change over to your dough hook.
Add in 1 c of flour and knead on low for 4-5 minutes until your dough sticks in one ball to your dough hook. If you find your dough is a still sticky add a bit more flour. It should be soft but not sticky.
Flour your counter and take dough out of the mixer. Knead by hand for about 30 seconds. Take a large bowl and spray with cooking spray. Put dough in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Place somewhere warm. Let rise for 2 – 2 1/2 hours, until it doubles in size.
Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Flour your counter and roll out to a 12 x 14 inch square. Mix your filling and spread evenly over your dough. Cut into 1 inch strips. (I used a pizza cutter) Grab at each end of the strip and twist. Place on your baking sheet and form into a heart . It’s ok if they touch a bit.
Boil some water and place about an inch in a baking pan. Make sure you use an oven mitt while pouring boiling water into the pan. Place pan with boiling water in the bottom of the oven and on the oven rack above, place your hearts. Let sit in the oven (turned off) for 1/2 an hour. You won’t notice much of a change in size but they will feel soft and slightly warm to the touch.
Take out of the oven, remove pan of water, and preheat oven to 350 F. Make sure your oven rack is in the middle position. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
Cream Cheese Glaze
With an electric mixer beat cream cheese until smooth. Sift in confectioners sugar and add vanilla. Beat again until well mixed. Add your cream or milk to thin. If you want it a bit thinner just add a little more milk.
So there you have it, a Valentine's Day treat that's simple to make and sweet to eat!! Happy Valentine's Day!
***And on a side note, I did buy dear hubby a Valentine's Day present this year, but I couldn't wait to give it to him, I was desperate for a weekend full of Edward and Jacob. I guess it was kind of an early Valentine's Day present to myself too. But don't tell him that ;) wink, wink!