Rural Missouri - February 2018 - 27

Decadent sweets to share this Valentine's Day
by Heather Berry |


n the winter of 1845, a young playwright and poet named Robert Browning wrote to an older, world-renowned poet Elizabaeth Barrett after reading her collection titled "Poems." For the next 20 months the duo corresponded, writing each other nearly 600 love letters during their famous
If penning a long letter or poem for your love isn't your forte, share some of
Elizabeth's words with your sweetheart - and woo them with some of these
delectable treats. You're sure to win their heart one way or the other.

Cherry White Chocolate Cookies
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dried cherries, chopped
1/2 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugars. Using an electric
mixer, cream the butter and sugars until fluffy and pale in color, 3 to 5 minutes. This step is important to ensure soft, chewy cookies. Beat in the egg and
In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Using a wooden spoon,
carefully add flour mixture to the butter mixture, and stir just until combined.
Stir in the white chocolate chips, dried cherries and macadamia nuts.
Drop heaping teaspoons of the batter onto the greased cookie sheet.
Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes or until they just begin to turn golden
brown around the edges. Allow the cookies to cool for 2 minutes on the cookie
sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Caramel Cakes
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
14-ounce jar of caramel topping
1-1/2 cup cake flour, sifted
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup strong brewed coffee
1/3 cup corn oil
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Generously coat six 6-ounce ramekins with the softened butter. Chill in the
freezer for about 10 minutes, and brush with a second coat of butter. Pour 3
tablespoons caramel sauce into the bottom of each ramekin and transfer to the
freezer for 1 hour.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk the cake flour, cocoa, baking soda, sugar
and salt together in a large bowl and set aside. Stir the coffee, oil, vanilla and
vinegar together and whisk into the flour mixture until smooth.
Fill each ramekin with 1/3 cup of batter. Bake until the cake is set and a
toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, and the caramel has bubbled
up the sides, about 20 minutes. Serve cakes in ramekins, warm, and top with
extra caramel sauce.

Homemade Gumdrops
2-1/2 cups sugar, divided
1-1/3 cups unsweetened applesauce
Two 3-ounce packages strawberry gelatin
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 teaspoon lemon juice
In a medium saucepan, combine all the ingredients and let stand for 1 minute.
Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 2
minutes. Pour into a greased 9-inch-by-13-inch pan.
Place in the fridge for 3 hours, until firm. Run a spatula along the edges of
the pan to loosen the gumdrops. Turn mixture out onto the board. Cut gumdrops into bite-size squares with a sharp knife dipped in hot water.
Roll the cut gumdrops in extra sugar. Let them sit on waxed paper until
they're slightly dry, then store in an airtight container.

Homemade Valentine Mints
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon desired flavoring extract (peppermint, cinnamon or raspberry are all delicious)
Red food coloring
3 cups powdered sugar
Place cream cheese in a bowl; let stand at room temperature to soften slightly.
Stir in extract until blended. Tint mixture pink or red as desired with food coloring, carefully adding only one drop of red food coloring at a time and combining until cream cheese is the desired shade. Then gradually mix in half of the
powdered sugar.
On a work surface, knead in remaining powdered sugar until smooth. Divide
mixture into three portions; roll each to 1/4-inch thickness.
Cut candy with various-sized heart-shaped cookie cutters. Store between
layers of waxed paper in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Creamy Red Velvet Cheesecake
1 pound milk chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup butter
1 pound chocolate wafer cookies
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup butter, melted
Four 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
8 ounces sour cream
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon red food coloring
4 large eggs
2 egg yolks
Powdered sugar
In a medium saucepan, melt chocolate and 1/2 cup butter over low heat; transfer to a bowl and cool completely.
For crust: Place chocolate wafer cookies, chocolate chips, almonds and
brown sugar in a large food processor. Cover and process until finely ground.
Add the 1/2 cup of butter; cover and process until well combined. Transfer
crumbs to a 10-inch springform pan with a removable bottom. Press crumbs
onto bottom and up the sides of the pan, leaving about 1/2-inch space at the
top of the pan. Set aside.
For filling: In a very large mixing bowl, beat the cooled chocolate mixture,
cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, buttermilk and red food coloring with an
electric mixer on medium to high speed until combined. Add four eggs and two
egg yolks all at once. Beat on low speed until combined.
Pour filling into crumb-crust lined springform pan. Place springform pan
in a shallow baking pan on the oven rack. Bake in a 350 degree oven about 1
hour, or until 2 inches around outer edge of cheesecake is set.
Remove cheesecake from oven and set on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Use a
small metal spatula to loosen cheesecake from sides of pan. Cool 30 minutes
more. Remove sides of pan. Allow to cool, then cover and chill at least 4 hours.
When ready to serve, dust top of cheesecake with powdered sugar.

Quick & Easy Punch
2-liter bottle of Cherry 7UP soda
1 quart raspberry, strawberry or lime sherbet
Canned whipped cream and sprinkles (if serving in individual glasses)
Pour the 7UP into a punch serving bowl or gallon pitcher. Place scoops of sherbet in the container and stir to combine with the soda. It's also fun to prepare
individual serving glasses, topping with whipped cream and sprinkles. Serve

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - February 2018

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