Dash of Class: Sweet, sweet holiday

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Celebrate Valentine's Day with these desserts

By Nora Sweat

Happy Valentine’s Day. Especially with the holiday landing on a Friday, you might be planning a night out with your special one. Also, the whole family might be planning something special for grandparents or friends.

These three dessert recipes would be a great fit for any of those celebrations.

Nora Sweat, author of “Mama and Me” is a native of Hardin County and a retired home economics/family and consumer science teacher. She can be reached at norasweat@thenewsenterprise.com or by mail at 408 W. Dixie Ave., Elizabethtown, KY 42701.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

2 ½ cups flour

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

2 cups granulated sugar

4 eggs

1 cup sour cream

½ cup milk

1 bottle (1 ounce) red food color

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting:

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

¼ cup (½ stick) butter, softened

2 tablespoons sour cream

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

16 ounces confectioners’ sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. For the cupcakes, mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.

Beat butter and granulated sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Mix in sour cream, milk, food color and vanilla.

Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until just blended. Do not overbeat. Spoon batter into 30 paper-lined muffin cups, filling each cup two-thirds full.

Bake 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cupcake comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely.

For the frosting, beat cream cheese, butter, sour cream and vanilla in large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Frost cooled cupcakes with.

Source: www.mccormick.com

Chocolate Truffle Cake Pops

½ cup cold milk

1 package (3.4 ounces) vanilla instant pudding

30 vanilla wafers, finely crushed (about 3 cups)

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted

1 ounces white chocolate

Stir milk and pudding mix in medium bowl with large spoon just until pudding mix is moistened. Immediately add wafer crumbs; mix well.

Shape into 42 one-inch balls; place on waxed-paper-covered rimmed baking sheet. Freeze 10 minutes. Dip balls in semi-sweet chocolate; return to baking sheet. Insert lollipop stick into center of each ball.

Refrigerate 20 minutes or until firm. Melt white chocolate as directed on package. Drizzle over pops; refrigerate 10 minutes or until coating is firm.

Source: www.kraftrecipes.com

Chocolate Bourbon Tart


1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

¼ teaspoon salt

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

½ cup sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract


12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup bourbon

1 cup sugar

2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, room temperature

5 large eggs, room temperature


In a small bowl, sift the flour with the cocoa powder and salt. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter with the sugar at medium-high speed until it is well blended. Beat in the dry ingredients at low speed until just combined. Add the vanilla extract and beat just until soft dough forms, about 5 seconds. Press the pastry into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until the dough is firm, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. On a floured surface, working quickly, roll out the pastry to an 11-inch round, about ¼-inch thick. Transfer the pastry to a 10-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Gently press the pastry over the bottom and up the side of the pan. Trim off any excess pastry. Refrigerate the shell for about 20 minutes, until firm.

Line the pastry with foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for about 30 minutes, until almost cooked. Remove the tart shell from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes, then gently remove the foil and weights. Return the shell to the oven and bake for about 12 minutes longer, until dry. Transfer to a wire rack and let the tart shell cool to room temperature. Just before filling, refrigerate the tart shell for a few minutes until slightly chilled.

Filling: Put the chocolate and salt in the bowl of the standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. In a small saucepan, heat the bourbon with the sugar over moderate heat, stirring a few times, just until the sugar is dissolved; try not to let the bourbon boil. Pour the warm bourbon mixture over the chocolate. Add the pieces of butter and eggs; beat at moderate speed until the mixture is creamy and shiny.

Set the tart shell on a large baking sheet and pour in the filling. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the filling has risen and the top is cracked in places. Transfer the tart to a rack and let it cool completely. Unmold the tart and refrigerate it overnight. Using a sharp knife, cut the tart into thin wedges and serve.

Source: www.kraftrecipes.com