I can't decide what to make Mr. Crafty for Valentine's Day. We have a tradition in the Hadley household: when there is a birthday or a holiday I make sweets. Or something akin to sweets. Last year Mr. Crafty had to get tons o' dental work done around his birthday and requested an apple pie made without sugar. That was an interesting experiment. A word to the wise: don't try to sweeten pie with stevia.
The ante is upped this year, as six months ago I decided to forsake all sugar and sugar related recipes unless there's an event demanding celebratory yummies. I made this difficult decision after spending over a week eating little more than birthday cake for every meal. Even when it wasn't a birthday week, it wasn't uncommon for me to, say, make a pie, eat pie for every meal for three days, make another pie, and repeat.
Moreover, I was a stress baker. Paper due and three classes to teach? Create experimental cheesecakes. Super broke and possessing nothing but frozen fruit and oatmeal? Fashion some sort of crumble. Bad day at work? Take it out on the dough for some bad ass cinnamon rolls.
Given all of that, you can only imagine the pressure I now feel as I approach a special occasion. For one, this is one of my few opportunities to bake. For another, more sweets aren't coming any time soon. Or at least not until Mr. Crafty's birthday in March. I realize that may not seem like a long time to some of you, but over a month of having to stress bake with beets is psychologically taxing to a person with the predilections laid out in the previous paragraphs.
To take the frantic "what to do, what to do!" out of my brain, I'm trolling for the opinions of my readers. The line up of options follows. Please cast a vote! Recipes for the curious or adventurous are linked to the goodies on the list.
Option number one: a nod to my homeland with Kentucky cream candy.
Numero dos: cardamom cake. I'm thinking it should have cream cheese frosting.
Option three is a Valentine's classic: red velvet cake. Also with cream cheese frosting.
Then there's a healthier option for number four: fruit with mascarpone cheese and meringue. This is an option I find both appealing and terrifying because I'm not a skilled meringue maker.
And number five just sounds awesome: pear upside down chocolate cake.
Quick! Vote! And please feel free to add to the mayhem by giving me more recipe ideas, too.
Much love to all of you! <3