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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentines Day Baking

Well folks, its this time of year again! Depending on if you are in love or if you find yourself alone this year, you might think differently about this one day of the year where love seems to take center stage. Personally, i do not understand the holiday, for everyday should be filled with just as much love as the commercialized holiday on every February 14th. Whether you agree or not about this holiday, most of the population seems pressurized into spending their hard earned money on chocolates and flowers.

Personally, being in the restaurant industry, i am always pleased to take advantage of this "lovely" holiday to accentuate my pastries with never ending hearts and love symbols! Here's a few of the things I have made today for V-day and a simple technique to decorate your sugar cookies for any occasion!

So to start, simple sugar cookies to send a delicious love note to your valentine.

Step one:
- Bake off your favorite recipe of sugar cookies, in the shape of hearts. Remember that sugar cookies should stay white and not take on too much golden color. Make sure that you don't roll out your dough too thin and remember that the cookie will harden when it cools.

Step two:
-As you let them cool off, make your royal icing. You'll need one think icing and one of a more liquid consistency. The method you will be using is the damming /flooding technique.

Step three: Decorating your cookies.
- You will be using the thicker (royal) icing for the damming (outlining) of the cookie. Make sure that the outlining has a chance to dry enough before flooding the cookies with the thinner icing.

***Trick of the day***
- Use a toothpick to spread the thinner icing inside of the outlined area. The same toothpick can be used to pop the air bubbles which sometimes appear as the icing settled on the cookie.
(Big thanks to Nina Notaro who showed me this trick for the first time!)

Step four:
Let them dry out without stacking them. You don't want to crush out all the hard work you did on your beautifully decorated cookies.

Here's a few other things I made for Valentines day at the bakery. Enjoy and have a wonderful Valentines day!

Pink heart were added to the éclairs which we always make fresh on a daily basis.

The fruit tarts were feeling the love!

Wedges of decadently rich chocolate shortbread proved to have a big heart on V-day!

Customers we're eager to share sweet words with their loved ones on this day dedicated to love!

So that was my part in spreading the love on V-day, as for my evening, I'll be relaxing in front of a movie and wait for this day to go by till it comes again next year. :)

To change the subject of this blog to a more poetic view, here's a poem that I was thinking about today which is all about new love, lost love and hopes of love returning one day! Enjoy!


The thoughts of you were once exciting,

They used to awake the rhythms inside

My imagination would drive me to wild conclusions

Till the day we met and our bodies collided

We met under stars and the music was playing

The people surrounded as we danced apart

The force was so strong, and all I wanted

Was to feel the warmth of your skin against mine

We finally linked as the days had passed

To start a friendship who would grow into love.

A love that would drive me to cross the river,

The bridge which, at last, linked our worlds, our hearts.

I had wished it would last till the seas would dry,

Till the seasons would seize to change and come back.

The leaves started falling when our worlds were colliding

Our hopes of true love fled away in the wind.

To leave you was arduous ,

too quick and too harsh

The tears were rushing

And the days made scarce

I now find myself appraising our love

But to encounter no lust, no craving, no joy

Instead I shed tears of frustration inside

For a love which grew strong and so suddenly killed

A shame that our paths were not met to lead

To the same happy ending I would have loved to arrive

Now dropping the anchor in rivers of tears

I try to keep smiling for I have reached new lands.

I know you are there over fields and mountains

I will think of our good times and days of sunshine

To dry out the rivers which now, divide us,

Maybe in turn we will unite once more.

"Astérix", written on December 9th 2009

Eat well, sleep well, and till tomorrow!

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