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Valentine’s Day round-up.

February 2, 2011

I can’t BELIEVE it’s already February. It seems as though I was just cutting my fresh tomatoes down from my garden, not to mention making Christmas cookies, etc. But no. It’s already the Month of Love; and before you know it, these 2 weeks will fly by & it’ll be Valentine’s Day. Don’t you just hate it when you hear people say “Valentimes“? It’s not an ‘m’, people. It’s an ‘n.’ As in Valentine. Sheesh.

Saint Valentine’s Day (commonly shortened to Valentine’s Day)[1][2][3] is an annual commemoration held on February 14 celebrating love and affectionintimate companions.[1][3] The day is named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Valentine and was established by Pope Gelasius I in 500 AD. It was deleted from the Roman calendar of saints in 1969 by Pope Paul VI, but its religious observance is still permitted. It is traditionally a day on which lovers express their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as “ between valentines”). The day first became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished.

Modern Valentine’s Day symbols include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have largely given way to mass-produced greeting cards.[4]

The Early Medieval acta of either Saint Valentine were expounded briefly in Legenda Aurea.[14] According to that version, St Valentine was persecuted as a Christian and interrogated by Roman Emperor Claudius II in person. Claudius was impressed by Valentine and had a discussion with him, attempting to get him to convert to Roman paganism in order to save his life. Valentine refused and tried to convert Claudius to Christianity instead. Because of this, he was executed. Before his execution, he is reported to have performed a miracle by healing the blind daughter of his jailer.

Since Legenda Aurea still provided no connections whatsoever with sentimental love, appropriate lore has been embroidered in modern times to portray Valentine as a priest who refused an unattested law attributed to Roman Emperor Claudius II, allegedly ordering that young men remain single. The Emperor supposedly did this to grow his army, believing that married men did not make for good soldiers. The priest Valentine, however, secretly performed marriage ceremonies for young men. When Claudius found out about this, he had Valentine arrested and thrown in jail.

There is an additional modern embellishment to The Golden Legend, provided by American Greetings to, and widely repeated despite having no historical basis whatsoever. On the evening before Valentine was to be executed, he would have written the first “valentine” card himself, addressed to a young girl variously identified as his beloved,[15] as the jailer’s daughter whom he had befriended and healed,[16] or both. It was a note that read “From your Valentine.”[15]

For the past few holidays; Halloween, Thanksgiving & Christmas, I’ve done these “Best Of” posts. So seeing as how it’s cold out and I have nothing better to do, I decided to do one for Valentine’s Day too.

It’s just three of my Valentine’s cupcake ideas, put altogether in one place for easy finding. Enjoy!

These are by far my absolute favorite. White cupcakes that I colored pink (with Wilton gel food coloring in rose pink) & topped with spirals of thick vanilla buttercream made with clear vanilla extract so it’s extra white. Topped with pink & white heart sprinkles, these were a big hit with everyone who tasted them. PICTURES DO THEM NO JUSTICE. You can find the recipe here at this post: “It’s a nice day, for a, white cupcake” – Billy Idol

Another big hit; these cupcakes were so textbook it was almost embarrassing. Amy Sedaris’ vanilla cupcake recipe topped with a strawberry Swiss meringue made from strawberry preserves, and of course, a sliced strawberry half that coincidentally is shaped like a heart. Aww. Want the entire 411? Here’s the deets: Valentine’s Day strawberry heartcakes, plus a ton of other stuff.

These were just a last minute, thrown together cupcake that came from a cake recipe I got from Ruth Reichl’s book, Garlic & Sapphires. Made with Grand Marnier (or a bit of orange extract), they were an indulgent & decadent treat for V-Day. For these, you’ll have to take a trek over to Cooking The Books for the recipe: Chocolate for Valentine’s Day… how groundbreaking!

There are literally a gazillion other recipes that can be used for Valentine’s Day. Red velvet is a big one, so cute when piled up high with white frosting and heart sprinkles. Chocolate cupcakes topped with chocolate buttercream and red & white striped peppermint meringues (like these, for example) can also be used for Valentine’s Day. Coconut cupcakes work too, either with coconut buttercream or cream cheese frosting, try red liners to make ’em more Valentine-y. Heart-shaped shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate and then drizzled with melted red & white candy melts would be adorable. Maybe try a vanilla pudding with some delicious raspberries suspended in it?

I, myself, am planning on trying some of Bakerella‘s cake pops for Valentine’s Day this year, but I also have some special cupcakes & other treats planned, some maybe even this week. So stay tuned. I won’t fail you!

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  1. I have to say, I stumbled across your blog a few weeks ago, liked it so much, I sat here and read the whole thing in one night. (Well, skimmed through). I bake alot, and have for a while, and usually post my cupcake and treat making on my facebook for my friends in step by step pictures, and give a recipe. (I have a few people who like it :p ) I really like this blog, and I like your style. I have recently been going crazy reading baking blogs for some reason! I finally got my Kitchen Aid Mixer tonight via UPS, and I got it all set up. Thank you for all the ideas, I will keep up to see what’s next. These Valentine cupcakes are so pretty!

  2. I love your cupcake ideas. The old fashioned Valentine’s you used for the graphics are jut wonderful. Your blog is so unique and pretty.

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