As I’ve told you, Valentine’s Day is special to my family. It’s special to the four of us now, but that comes over from my childhood love of the holiday. I told you (I think?) that there would be at least one last Valentine’s Day story and this one is a doozy. I have published it on my blog in the past, probably more than once, but it needs a refresher. My father passed away in July, 1984. Before he passed unexpectedly, he had put himself on a waitlist for Cabbage Patch “Preemies.”
The Valentine’s Day after he died, I was four and Lindsay was six. This was several months later, and my mom got the call from Child World ON VALENTINE’S DAY (or maybe the day before) that two Cabbage Patch dolls he had ordered were ready for her to pick up, after all this time.
My mom was the room mother for Lindsay’s classroom and had organized a Valentine’s Day game, but instead Lindsay got sick and missed the party. We were home on Valentine’s Day and Lindsay was napping – with a high fever. She woke up and my mom gave us valentine gifts. I remember fuzzy red monkeys that had arms you could clip on things. We got homemade valentines and then the Cabbage Patch Kids dolls. My mom put cards on the boxes that said, “Happy Valentine’s Day, from your daddy in heaven.” It certainly felt cosmic then. It still does.
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes:
What You Need:
Chocolate cake mix + all ingredients to make it**
1 ½ cups milk chocolate chips
½ cup red candy melts
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1-2 tbsp milk
1 drop (about half a dime) pink gel food coloring
**Most cake mixes yield 24 cupcakes – to prepare this recipe, divide all measurements in half to yield 12 cupcakes
Yields: One dozen decorated cupcakes
What You Do:
1 – First, prepare cupcakes according to cake mix’s directions, and then allow for the cupcakes to cool before decorating.
2 – Line a pan with wax paper, and then microwave chocolate chips in 30-second intervals until completely melted.
3 – Then, dip 12 of the strawberries in the melted chocolate and place gently on lined pan.
4 – Microwave red candy melts in 30-second intervals until completely melted – stir between each interval.
5 – Scoop melted candy in a piping bag and drizzle each chocolate-covered strawberry, and then allow to set.
6 – Carve out a cavity in each cupcake. Use a paring knife to carve out a circle in the center of each cupcake, about one inch in diameter and one inch deep.
7 – Cut off the top of the remaining strawberries and insert one in each cupcake.
8 – In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together butter, confectioners’ sugar and milk on low speed.
9 – Once the ingredients are well-combined, add drop of pink gel food coloring.
10 – And then mix until buttercream is completely tinted.
11 – Scoop buttercream in a piping bag – cut off the tip and frost each cupcake.
12 – Place one chocolate-covered strawberry on each cupcake. Serve and enjoy!