Last-Minute Valentine: Bake Something

raspberry-puffs_300Are you freaking out about Valentine’s Day yet? I usually go through bouts of crippling self-doubt around Christmas, second-guessing all of my presents, but February 14 tends to be a stress-free affair since Dom and I agree not to give gifts. Which is actually really a gift to me because, let’s be real, guys have it way easier when it comes to finding something for girls. Even though I’m off the hook in the gift-giving department (although I’d argue that going to Austin is a pretty sweet gift, and he would correctly argue it was a sweet gift…for Christmas), I still feel the need to do something.

So I’m baking, which is always a nice last-minute solution, or a low-key way to celebrate if you’ve just started darting, or an excellent excuse to stuff your face with the sugar that you’ve been craving since you made your sister special brownies and couldn’t try any of the batter. Or so I hear. I’m tackling the recipe below, but I’ve included a few other options, ranging from easy to holy fuck you are Picasso with sugar.

Raspberry Powder Puffs

Ingredients

egg whites1  cup  sugar

1  teaspoon  grated orange zest

1  teaspoon  vanilla extract

1  cup  all-purpose flour

1  teaspoon  baking powder

1  cup  sour cream

1/3  cup  raspberry preserves

confectioners’ sugar (for dusting)

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Using an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high until stiff peaks form, about 1 1/2 minutes. With the mixer running, slowly add the granulated sugar. Continue beating until glossy, about 1 minute. Add the orange zest and vanilla.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Gently fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture until no white streaks remain. Spoon the batter into a large resealable plastic bag. Using scissors, cut the end off a corner of the bag to create a circle about 1/2 inch in diameter. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, pipe the batter into 24 1 1/2-inch rounds (about the size of silver dollars). Bake until puffed and golden, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the sour cream and preserves. Spread some of the raspberry mixture onto the bottom of half the cookies. Form sandwiches with the remaining cookies. Sprinkle with the confectioners’ sugar just before serving.

Other Options:

I swear, you can do it.

  • The easiest homemade Thin Mints you can still take credit for making.
  • If you want you dessert to have more of a masculine edge, why not try your hand at Guinness-pretzel truffles? I may be tackling them for St. Pat’s…
  • Mix ingredients, pour into a bundt pan, top with glaze, and you’ll have this almond raspberry bundt cake.
  • If you’re looking for something more traditional, you can’t go wrong with red velvet cupcakes.
  • My great shame is that Dom is so much better than making tiramisu than me, even though I attempted this recipe. I swear it was me, not the recipe.
  • Are you ridiculously fancy? Do you have the time to pit cherries, stew said cherries, make meringue, and whip cream? Then you’re a better dessert maker than I am, and you’ll thoroughly enjoy this recipe for Eton mess.

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