Do you have any great Valentine’s Day traditions at your house? I have friends who go all out with party style decorations covering the house and a complete menu where everything is heart shaped. I also know some that disdainfully sniff at what they call the commercial hype idea and ignore the entire day. Me? I grab every fun excuse to celebrate the ones I love!
I don’t do any one thing in particular on Valentine’s Day every year, but I do like to shower extra attention on my guys. It always means cute cards. And it always means their favorite foods. It seems to me that stomach-heart connection is a real thing.
I have found if I am too busy to get out to the store for Valentine greetings, it’s no problem anymore! American Greetings has a whole collection of gorgeous eCards to send and printables to download. You can find cards for your honey, for your kids, for your friends. And I bet we all know someone without a sweetheart who would love to receive a remembrance. American Greetings makes it easy to remember whoever you want to.
If you want to pair the perfect card with the perfect treat, these candied bacon-topped maple cupcakes are always a terrific way to my husband’s heart. A love note with a good joke makes a sure connection, too!
- 1 pound bacon
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons nutmeg
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Slice bacon as desired, dipping each piece in the sugar mixture and coating each side. You can use whole pieces of bacon but I prefer to slice mine into 1 inch pieces. It cooks quicker and it’s better for snacking.
Place on baking sheet covered with aluminum foil. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until crispy. Allow to cool and enjoy as a garnish on maple (or cream cheese) cupcakes.
- 1.5 sticks butter at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup or maple extract
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3/4 cup low-fat sour cream
- 2 cups flour, sifted with 2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
- Beat in eggs, maple syrup, milk and sour cream
- Fold in flour mixture
- Fill large cupcake liners just below tops
- Bake for 20 minutes
- Makes 12 cupcakes
MAPLE CAFE ICING
- 1.5 sticks of butter at room temperature
- 1.5 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water (cooled)
- 1 teaspoon maple extract
Whip all ingredients until fluffy. Put in piping bag and cut off the end, making a 3/4 inch hole. Pipe on cupcakes starting on the outside and swirling in and up.