Monday, February 14, 2011

Last minute Valentine's project - 1/2 hr

If you are needing some last-minute Valentine's ideas, here's two for you to consider for someone special:
A small door knocker pillow or a maraschino cherry cupcake with home-made marshmallow frosting!


In half an hour, you can make a hanging door knocker pillow:


A  Cut two 8.5" pieces of fabric
B  optional:  fuse an applique in the center (cupcake, heart, LOVE, etc.) using Stitch Witch to save time
after adding any applique, pin 1 1/4 yds ruffle or lace around the edge of the right side of one of the fabrics, sew
C  using large ribbon or a recycled silk scarf or rick rack (as shown above), cut a 3/4 yd. piece, tie a bow in the center, attach each end to each of the ends of the "top" side of the fabric and tuck it carefully into the center, pinning if necessary, to keep it out of the way when sewing the two pieces of fabric together
D  Pin and sew two pieces of 8 1/2" fabric, right sides together, leaving a 4-5" space at the bottom of the door knocker to add stuffing or leave a 6" space if you add an 8" stuffed pillow.  You can make your own stuffed pillow using muslin and stuffing to insert into the door knocker if you wish, or you can simply stuff it with fiber fill
E  Put into a gift bag and give to your happy recipient


Maraschino Cupcake Delights


Make 24 cupcakes using your favorite flavor cakemix, using Valentine's Day liners if possible (or whatever is on hand - then you can use scrapbook paper or construction paper (get the kids to help - fun!) to cut 2 1/2 - 3" (depending upon how big your muffin tin is) pieces of paper and tape the insides together so that you can set your cupcakes inside them - very fancy!  Stickers or drawings of hearts would be nice on plain, white paper.  Perhaps you can print something out onto copier paper?


When the cupcakes have cooled, then prepare to make the home-made marshmallow maraschino-cherry flavored icing (Betty Crocker, 1957 cookbook under "Boiled Frosting")
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup water OR maraschino cherry juice
1 Tablespoon light corn syrup OR 1/4 tsp of cream of tartar
one dash of salt
2 stiffly beaten egg whites (don't worry - they cook when you poor in the hot syrup)
1 tsp vanilla
Cook the first four ingredients of your choice over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.  Cover pan 2 to 3 minutes to dissolve sugar crystals on sides of pan.  Uncover; cook to soft ball stage (236 degrees Fahrenheit) SLOWLY add small amounts of hot syrup into the mixing bowl with the already stiffly beaten egg whites; beating constantly.  Will appear thin at first, but keep on mixing until light and fluffy.   Add vanilla; beat until frosting is of spreading consistency, about six minutes.  (If the frosting is still too thin, allow to stand a couple of minutes, then stir once or twice to set up slightly.)  Easily frosts tops and sides of 24 cupcakes or two 8" or 9" layered cakes, perhaps more!


Frost your cupcakes and decorate with sprinkles, decos, a maraschino cherry, etc. and serve on a plate with a heart-shaped doily underneath to make it special for the holiday.


Happy Valentine's Day to you!

3 comments:

  1. My son Rodger (9) says that the cupcakes are really, really, really good. He hopes that you will make them for your family, too!

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