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Sweet Sensations For Valentine’s Day

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, what better way to celebrate this special occasion than with some sweet sensations. These recipes are sure to guarantee a sweet ending on Valentine’s Day — or any day.

MARSHMALLOW SLICE

Base:

2 c. all-purpose flour

6 tbsp. brown sugar

1 c. margarine Topping:

1-1/2 tbsp. Knox gelatin

1 c. granulated sugar

1 c. cold water Pinch of salt

1 c. icing sugar

1 tsp. vanilla OR 1/4 tsp. almond OR 1/4 tsp. cherry flavouring

1 tsp. baking powder

Few drops of red food colouring Coconut Base:

Mix together the base ingredients of flour, brown sugar and margarine. Pack in a 9×9-inch baking pan and bake in a 325F oven for 20 minutes until set and golden. Cool.

Topping:

In a saucepan, boil slowly for 10 minutes the gelatin, granulated sugar, water and salt. Remove from heat. Add the icing sugar and vanilla, cool slightly then whip until white and firm. Add the baking powder. Mix well. Add the food colouring. Spread over cooled base. Sprinkle with coconut. cooled cupcakes with frosting; top with crushed candies. Store at room temperature up to 24 hours or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days before serving.

Makes about 30 cupcakes.

CHEWY CHERRY COCONUT TARTS

Crust:

1/2 c. butter, softened

1/2 c. lightly packed brown sugar

1 egg yolk

1 c. all-purpose flour Filling:

2 egg whites

1/2 c. lightly packed brown sugar

1/2 c. flaked coconut

1/3 c. chopped maraschino cherries, drained

1/4 c. finely chopped nuts

1 tsp. vanilla Crust:

Combine all ingredients, mixing to a smooth dough. Press into 12 muffin cups to form tart shells.

PRETTY PINK PEPPERMINT CUPCAKES

1 pkg. (510 g) white cake mix 1-1/3 c. water

3 large egg whites

2 tbsp. canola oil OR melted butter

1/2 tsp. peppermint extract

3 to 4 drops red liquid food colouring

1 container (340 g) prepared vanilla frosting

1/2 c. crushed peppermint candies

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 30 regular-size (2-1/2-inch) muffin pan cups. Beat cake mix, water, egg whites, oil, peppermint extract and food colouring with electric mixer at low speed for 30 seconds. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Spoon batter into prepared cups filling 3/4 full. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted into centres comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes to racks; cool completely. Spread Filling:

Beat egg whites to stiff peaks. Stir in remaining ingredients. Mix well. Spoon into prepared shells. Bake on lower oven rack at 325F for 18 to 23 minutes, or until golden. Cool.

Helpful hint: Work dough with hands to make smooth.

CHERRY CHOCOLATE MARBLE CAKE

1 pkg. (515 g) cherry chip cake mix 1 pkg. (102 g) instant vanilla pudding mix

1/2 c. canola oil

4 eggs

1 c. water

Few drops red food colouring 2 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted

Place first 5 ingredients in mixing bowl and beat for 1 minute. Add red food colouring to make batter a pink colour. Beat for 2 additional minutes. Remove one-half of the batter and add melted chocolate. Alternate layers of chocolate and pink batter in greased and floured 12-cup Bundt pan. Bake at 350F for 50 to 55 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool in pan for 10 to 15 minutes then turn out on serving plate to complete cooling. Top with Chocolate Glaze.

Chocolate Glaze:

2 c. sifted confectioner’s sugar

2 tbsp. cocoa

1 tbsp. soft butter

1/2 tsp. vanilla

2 to 4 tbsp. milk

In small bowl combine sugar, cocoa and butter. Add vanilla; add milk gradually to achieve desired consistency and stir until smooth. Drizzle over top of cake permitting to flow down the sides of cake or ice the cake completely.

Patricia Futros writes from Lorette, Manitoba

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