Cody and I aren’t crazy about Valentine’s day. My poor boyfriend get’s hit with Christmas, my birthday, our anniversary and then Valentine’s Day. By the time Valentine’s Day comes around I feel like I should spoil him with something. But he always comes through with my favorite flowers, Gerber Daisies. When I used to work at the bank, he would bring in these crazy and amazing flower arrangements that would make all the ladies in the office swoon. Now that I work at a studio, I just get to enjoy them sitting on my desk and look at them to brighten my day. He knows he doesn’t have to get me flowers, but they brighten up my desk so I enjoy them. We bought some Candy hearts earlier in the week to keep at the studio in a little candy bowl and I was so disappointed! The candy hearts look like MS DOS (for those of you who remember that) typed out text on them, what is the candy heart world coming to these days!?Happy Valentine’s Day
These little mini Pumpkin Pies turned out pretty cute. I made Gluten Free Pie Crust using William Sonoma’s Gluten Free Pie Crust Mix:
To Make these mini pumpkin pies I used the same recipe as the recipe I used for Thanksgiving Dinner They turned out great! The recipe makes about 12 mini pies, these are perfect to give to friends or your Valentine! I used small 5″ non stick pie tins for this recipe.
I baked these at 450 for the first 15 minutes and then at 350 for 45 minutes. When your toothpick comes out clean they are ready to take out of the oven. After baking these I let them cool for about 20 minutes then they pop right out of the pie tins and are ready to eat warm from the oven! I really like this idea for all of my pie making, they make great single serving pies!
Valentine’s Day is coming up and I’ve also been trying to practice baking, so I married the two and made adorable little cakes for the holiday. I really cheated because I can’t decorate cakes very well AT ALL (as you will see in the upcoming images) but my secret was using cake molds that made beautiful little cakes.
Any non-stick cake mold will work for this purpose, I got really lucky and found a very cute (and heavy!) cake mold that had really intricate details on it. It’s really important to use a more dense cake for this; usually ‘Bundt cake’ is used for these types of molds because they are denser and show the molds details better. I used two different types of cake mix, one white cake and a chocolate cake mix. Technically I should have used a bundt cake mix for this but I couldn’t find a gluten free mix over the weekend so I used ‘Wholesome Chow Vanilla Cake Mix’ and ‘Pamela’s Chocolate Cake Mix.’ Both mixes are Gluten Free and Dairy Free! Right away I could tell which cake was going to turn out better in my mold. The Vanilla Cake mix was much denser and more like thick jelly than cake mix. This will make a much denser cake; the instructions say that you can add more milk until it becomes more pourable. I added a little milk but kept it on the thick side because I knew I wanted to get more details from my mold.
In the past when I have worked with GF cake mixes they don’t usually rise very much so I filled my molds to the top. It was quite a surprise when I took them out and they were like muffins coming out of the top! If you aren’t sure weather your cake will rise or not, you can fill it to the top and just cut the muffin top off each of the cakes.Now this is where having a non-stick mold will come in handy. I let the mold cool COMPLETELY, I’m talking 6 hours to cool. I baked these in the morning then left them for the afternoon to just cool off. It’s important to let the mold cool completely or else you may not get a pretty decorative cake when you take them out.As I had originally thought, the Chocolate cakes were more fluffy and didn’t show the molds as well as the vanilla cake. If you aren’t decorating the cakes with any frosting then you will want to choose a cake that is thicker. But I had plans to decorate my cakes. Which just turned into a crazy mess! I started out trying to be very detailed, but cake decorating is hard! After countless mess ups, I just went crazy and threw frosting on where ever I could. It was pretty fun, this would be a great project with children or friends. If you do pull out your cakes a little early while they are still warm, wait to decorate them until the cake has cooled completely. The frosting will just turn into a melted mess. After you are done decorating you can package them up to give to friends, or your Valentine. My Valentine took a chocolate one, added another large heap of frosting and ate it gleefully that afternoon. Something about sugar that just makes the day better 🙂
I also made Mini Pumpkin Pies, which I’ll share tomorrow.