Valentine’s Day can be fun, warm, and exciting…or major stress. Sweethearts stress over WHAT TO DO that is EXCEPTIONALLY romantic. And loners can’t bear another Kay Jewelers ad on TV.
My advice? Relax. If you love someone, you’re loving them every day. Just because they SAY this is the BIG day of love you don’t have to stand on your head over it. Just be together. That should be plenty. If you’re not with a sweetheart, then this is the day to love YOURSELF. Give yourself a gift. Treat yourself with tender care.
In any case, a nice easy heart-inspired sweet red dessert may be just the thing. Here’s mine. Mini-Heart-Tarts. They’re smile-producingly cute. Small bites of tasty pleasure. And tickle you while you bake.
Start with a defrosted sheet of puff pastry. And 2 heart cookie cutters…1 bigger than the other. Mine were 2 inches and 1.5-inches (borrowed from my mom’s cookie cutter collection).
Don’t have hearts? Find 2 other shapes, one smaller than the other. Doesn’t have to be hearts; this is your day to shape as you please. Cut out 2 larger hearts, then cut out a smaller heart from the middle of one of the larger hearts.
Brush egg wash on the larger heart and place the cut-out/stencil-looking larger heart on top so you have a small heart-opening. Brush the top with egg wash. Brush the little cut-out heart with egg wash, too.
Place them on sheet pan. Cut up some strawberries into small pieces, and/or raspberries, add some sugar and mix up in a mixing bowl…
Fill the smaller heart opening with your berries…
Sprinkle some sugar on top of each. Bake for about 15 minutes until golden in a 375 degree oven.
The border will puff up and the little hearts will puff up, too. Serve as is or add a dollop of whipped cream over the berries, and top with the little heart. A sprinkling of powdered sugar looks nice, too.
A heart for your heartthrob, a heart for a pal, a heart for your mom or sister, or dad or brother, a heart for you. Keeping the love pouring in all directions.
Strawberry Heart Pastries (makes about 8)
8 strawberries, or 12 raspberries, or combination, cut into tiny pieces
2 teaspoons sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten for egg wash
1 2-inch heart cookie cutter
1 1.5 -inch heart cookie cutter, or smaller
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Mix the berry pieces with the sugar until well combined.
Lay out the puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Using the larger cookie cutter, cut out 2 hearts. Using the smaller cookie cutter, cut a heart within one of the larger hearts, leaving a border all around. Brush the whole large heart with egg. Place the heart with the cut-out over the large heart lining it up the borders to fit exactly on top. Brush top with egg. Fill open heart cut with pieces of strawberry. Place on parchment lined sheet pan. Brush tiny heart that you cut out with some egg wash. Place next to large heart on sheet pan. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Sprinkle the pastries lightly with sugar. Bake for about 15 minutes until golden.
Serve tiny puff pastry heart with each larger pastry, Optional: add a dollop of whipped cream.