What’s in a (nick)name? See these sweet recipes for Valentine’s Day

Take a cue from your loved one’s moniker and, for example, make your baby cakes a cake or your honey bun some honey buns.

Before the word “bae” became a popular term for someone you love, we used nicknames such as darling, dear, babe, and maybe even snuggle bunny. You probably still do.

Also popular are names with a connection to food — after all, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, right? So we have, for example, sweetie pie, stud muffin, baby cakes, honey bun, or simply cookie, or pumpkin.

And consider this: If you call your significant other a food-related name, you have a built-in idea for a Valentine’s Day gift. Wouldn’t it be sweet (pun intended) to give them a home-baked gift inspired by their moniker? So, you could make your baby cakes a cake or your honey bun some honey buns. You get the idea — right, toots?

Here are some sweets for your sweet, whatever you call him or her. (Be sure to read all the way to the bottom for a list of some of the strangest historical nicknames for loved ones.) 

Mini Raspberry Pies
Makes 4 mini pies

1 sheet refrigerated, premade pie crust
Butter (for greasing the pan)
10 ounces fresh raspberries
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 egg yolk, beaten (for glaze)
Coarse sugar (optional)

1. Remove dough from fridge about 15 minutes before you want to bake. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter four cups in muffin pan very well.

2. Lightly roll out dough to make it about 1/2-inch larger in diameter than it is. Cut out 5-inch circles using a glass or biscuit cutter. Press a circle of dough into each cup. The circles should come up to top of cups, maybe slightly higher.

3. Gather up pie dough scraps and roll flat again. Use pizza wheel to cut 7 tiny strips of dough for each pie (that’s 28 strips of dough, each about 4 inches long). Flour them well, pile them on plate, and place plate in fridge while you make filling.

4. Combine fresh raspberries, flour, sugar, almond extract and lemon juice in bowl. Stir very well. The raspberries will start to break down. Divide raspberry mixture between four cups.

5. Remove lattice strips from fridge and lay four across each mini pie. Carefully (and quickly!), loosely weave in three other strips in opposite direction. Brush each pie with egg yolk and sprinkle with coarse sugar, if using.

6. Bake pies for about 20 minutes, until golden brown and filling is bubbling. Let cool for 15 minutes, then run knife around edges to loosen them. Remove from pan to cool completely on wire rack (don’t let them cool in pan, as they might stick terribly).

— From “Sweet & Simple: Dessert for Two” by Christina Lane (Countryman Press, 224 pp., 2017)

Bacon-Caramel Scuffins with Caramel Clotted Cream
“These scuffins — part scone, part muffin — are so beyond delicious, rich, and decadent they could easily be dessert. … Clotted cream is a British condiment made simply from aged heavy cream. It’s thick, like yogurt, but very rich and delicious.” Makes 12 servings.

Oxmoor House Valerie's Home Cooking Blueberry Banana Oat Breakfast Muffins, Cherry Coconut Scuffins, Bacon Caramel Scuffins with Caramel Clotted CreamYour favorite stud muffin will appreciate these bacon-caramel scuffins with caramel clotted cream. A scuffin is part scone, part muffin, according to cookbook author Valerie Bertinelli. (Hector Manuel Sanchez)

6 bacon slices
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup jarred caramel sauce, divided
1/2 cup jarred clotted cream

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 24-cup miniature muffin pan.

2. Arrange bacon in single layer on wire rack, and place on aluminum foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake until very crisp and brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes; finely chop. Leave the oven on 350 degrees.

3. Meanwhile, stir together flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl.

4. Beat butter and brown sugar in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla, and beat until well combined. Drizzle in half-and-half, and beat at medium-low speed until mostly combined (the mixture will look broken and curdled). Add flour mixture, and beat just until smooth. Stir in chopped bacon.

5. Pour batter evenly into prepared muffin cups. Moisten your fingers with water, and smooth surface of batter in each cup. Using your finger or small measuring spoon, make small divot in center of each, and spoon 1/4 teaspoon of caramel sauce into each divot. Bake until wooden pick inserted in center of scuffin comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove scuffins from pan, and cool on rack.

6. While scuffins bake, stir together clotted cream and remaining 2 tablespoons caramel sauce. Serve with scuffins.

— From “Valerie’s Home Cooking” by Valerie Bertinelli (Oxmoor House, 272 pp., 2017)

Black Forest Cake
Makes one 6-inch cake

NEWcake.jpgThis 6-inch Black Forest cake is the perfect home-baked gift for the one you call baby cakes. (Christina Lane) 

For the cake:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup full-fat sour cream
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon warm water

For the frosting:
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder (dark or regular)
For garnish:
20 fresh dark sweet cherries, pitted
Powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line bottom of 6-inch round cake pan with circle of parchment paper. Then spray pan with cooking spray.

2. In small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. In medium-size bowl, stir together oil and sugar with wooden spoon. Add sour cream and stir until well blended. Add egg and vanilla. Stir until combined.

3. Sprinkle half of flour mixture on wet mixture. Stir until well blended. Stir in water, followed by remaining flour. Stir until no streaks of flour remain. Scrape batter into cake pan, place pan on baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Test with toothpick to ensure it’s done (an underdone cake will sink as it cools).

4. While cake is cooling, beat together all of frosting ingredients with electric mixer until light and fluffy, like whipped cream. This will take 2 to 3 minutes.

5. Once cake is cool, run knife around edge and gently tip it out of pan. Turn it upside down and frost. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Top with cherries, sprinkle with powdered sugar, and serve.

— From “Sweet & Simple: Dessert for Two” by Christina Lane (Countryman Press, 224 pp., 2017)

Honey Buns
“If you don’t have orange blossom water, you can substitute 1/2 teaspoon orange zest.” Makes 9 buns

Muffins, Quick Breads, and Breakfast TreatsWhat can you give your honey bun for Valentine’s Day? Honey buns! (America’s Test Kitchen) 

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
11/2 teaspoons honey
1 1/8 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus extra as needed
1/2 teaspoon salt
Filling and glaze:
2/3 cup honey
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon orange blossom water
1 cup pecans, chopped coarse, divided

1. For the dough: Whisk melted butter, buttermilk, eggs, honey and yeast in medium bowl until combined. In bowl of stand mixer, whisk flour and salt together. Fit stand mixer with dough hook and slowly add buttermilk mixture on low speed; mix until dough comes together, about 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium and knead until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. (If, after 5 minutes, dough is still very sticky, add 1 to 2 tablespoons extra flour; dough should clear sides of bowl but stick to bottom.)

2. Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and knead by hand to form smooth, round ball, about 1 minute. Place dough in large, lightly greased bowl, cover tightly with greased plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

3. For filling and glaze: Cook honey, butter, vanilla and orange blossom water together in small saucepan over medium heat until butter is melted, then whisk to combine. Measure out 1/4 cup mixture and set aside for filling. Pour remaining mixture over bottom of 8-inch square baking pan, then sprinkle with 1/2 cup pecans.

4. Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and roll into 12- by 9-inch rectangle, with long side parallel to counter edge. Brush dough completely with reserved 1/4 cup honey mixture, leaving 1/2-inch border on far edge. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup pecans over top and press filling firmly into dough. Using bench scraper, loosen dough from counter and roll away from you into tight log, then pinch seam to seal.

5. Roll log seam side down and cut into 9 equal pieces using serrated knife. Turn buns cut side up and reshape gently as needed. Arrange buns in pan, cover with plastic, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.

6. Bake buns until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Loosen buns from sides of pan with paring knife and let cool for 5 minutes. Flip buns out of pan onto platter. Drizzle with glaze left in pan and let cool for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

— From “Naturally Sweet: Bake All Your Favorites With 30% to 50% Less Sugar” by America’s Test Kitchen (America’s Test Kitchen, 336 pp., 2016)

Let me call you … Wicky Poo?
If you think snookums and pookie are strange nicknames, check out these sweetheart names, rounded up from historical love letters.

Immortal Beloved: Beethoven to an unnamed love (early 1800s)

Goofo: Zelda Fitzgerald to F. Scott Fitzgerald (1920s)

Wicky Poo: Ernest Hemingway to wife-to-be Hadley (1920s)

Nungen: Elvis Presley to Priscilla Presley (1960s)

The Pig: Suze Rotolo to her lover Bob Dylan (1960s)

— Thrillist.com

What’s in a (nick)name? See these sweet recipes for Valentine’s Day

by nj.com/entertainment

Related Post