Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Homemade Treats for Valentine's Day

This Valentine's Day, don't worry about buying flowers or making dinner reservations — show your love with these thoughtful homemade (and delicious) gift ideas from Carla Emery.

Kisses: Beat 2 egg whites stiff. Add a pinch of salt, 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, and 1/2 t. vanilla. Drop from a teaspoon onto a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Bake in a 300 degree F oven about 30 minutes until firm and dry. Variation: Add 1/4 cup coconut, or 1 square chocolate, melted and mixed in.

Brandied Cherries: Boil 5 cups sugar with 2 cups water for 12 minutes, or until you have a clear syrup. Pour that syrup over 5 lb. cherries (the small sour kind) and let stand over night. Drain off the syrup and boil it again. Add cherries and boil about 5 more minutes. Take out cherries with a skimmer (the kind with holes to let the juice drain away) and put the cherries into canning jars. Boil the syrup down 15 more minutes. It should be getting pretty thick. Add 2 cups brandy. Remove from heat. Pour over cherries and seal.

Rose Geranium Cake: Sift together 2 cups flour, 1/2 t. salt, and 1 t. baking powder. Cream 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup sugar. Add alternately the flour and 2/3 cup water. Finally, add the unbeaten whites of 4 eggs. Whip hard for 5 minutes. Line a loaf pan with buttered paper and rose geranium leaves. Pour in batter. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes. Pull the leaves off with the paper when the cake is done. 

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