Sweets for Your Sweetheart

Cream Puffs
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Cream Puffs

Ingredients for the Cookie

  • 150g Flour (1/12 Cups)
  • 150g Sugar (3/4 Cup)
  • 180g Butter (3/4 Cup)

Ingredients for Your Pate a Choux

  • Water 200ml (1 Cup)
  • Unsalted Butter cubed 100g (1/2 cup)
  • Salt 1 Pinch
  • "00" Flour 125g (3/4 cup)
  • 4-5 Eggs

Ingredients for Diplomat Cream

  • Milk 900ml (4 Cups)
  • Heavy whipping cream 100ml (1/3 cup)
  • Vanilla Bean Seeds (extracted 1 pod)
  • Sugar 250g (1 1/4 cups)
  • Egg Yolks 200g (10 Yolks)
  • "00" Flour 90g (1/2 Cup)

Ingredients for Cream

  • Heavy Cream, chilled 1000g (4 Cups)
  • Vanilla Bean Seed, extracted from 1/2 bean

Directions for the Cookie

Mix to combine, roll out thinly, and cut into small circles.

Directions for Pate a Choux

Bring the water, cubed butter, and salt to a boil in a saucepan. Add flour all at once. Cook to dry the mixture, stirring briskly, until a tight dough forms and pulls away from the pan. Pour the mixture into a mixing bowl with the paddle attachement. Incorporate eggs slowly, 1 by 1. Place round half-balls on a greased pan using a pastry bag. Place your round cookies on top of each one. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 F or until golden. Now your pate a choux is ready, you can now fill with your favorite cream or custard!

Directions for Diplomat Cream

To prepare custard on a stovetop, pour milk and heavy cream into large pot. Extract vanilla bean seeds by scraping them. Add seeds and sugar (250g) to the stovepot, and bring to boil.
Meanwhile, beat egg yolks with sugar (90g). Once the milk is boiling, put flour into the egg yolk mixture, along with a little but of boiling milk. Once both mixtures are combined, pour the mixture into the boiling milk. Without turning off the fire, stir carefully until the cream is dense and boils again.

Directions for Cream

In a mixing bowl, whip chilled cream with sugar and vanilla bean seeds (scraped from their pod) until mixture reaches firm peaks. Once the cream is ready combine with the custard, creating your diplomat cream.

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Valentine’s Day Fortune Cookies
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Valentine’s Day Fortune Cookies


  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour

1. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in vanilla; add flour and mix well. (add food coloring if desired to get colored dough)

2. Separate dough into 2 halves and wrap in plastic wrap then refrigerate for 1 hr.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

4. Remove half the dough from the refrigerator and roll with a rolling pin until ¼" thick. Using your 3.5" cookie cutter make 24 hearts.

5. Using your 2.5" cookie cutter, cut out a smaller heart in the center of 8 of the large hearts. These will be your center cookies. All remaining 16 cookies will be your base and top. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10-12 minutes until very slightly browned.

6. Once your cookies are cool you will want to melt ½ your chocolate in a glass bowl at 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until chocolate is completely melted. Remove from the microwave and stir in remaining ½ of the chocolate chips. Stir to combine until all chocolate is completely melted. You just tempered your chocolate. Now pour ¼ of the chocolate into a small piping bag with a tiny tip. Pipe a small amount of chocolate onto the BACK of the middle cookie like pictured above.

7. Now stick it to the top of the base cookie. You should have no chocolate squirting out the sides if you did this correctly.

8. Fill your cookie with candy hearts, sprinkles, and little notes then start piping a thin chocolate line on the top edge of the middle cookie like pictured above.

9. Now take your third cookie (and best looking cookie if some aren't fabulous) and put this one on top of the piped chocolate. Refrigerate for 2 minutes so everything is secure before your put chocolate on everything.

10. Spread the remaining chocolate all over the top and sides of the cookie. If you don't want to use chocolate you could also use a simple pink icing. Refrigerate for 5 minutes until firm.

 Monica Potter's Valentine's Day Treats
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Monica Potter's Valentine's Day Treats

#1 – Rose Sugar
• Combine 1 cup of dried rose petals wit 1 ½ cups of sugar and 1 tsp rose extract
• Blend it with a food processor
• Sprinkle sugar onto cupcakes

Tip: store rose sugar in sealed container, freeze for longer storage.

#2 –Sugared Rose Petals
• Remove petals from bud, dispose of the lighter part.
• Clean & trim.
• Arrange on wax lined cookie sheet.
• Whisk egg whites and brush on each petal.
• Sprinkle with sugar, let sit for 1 min.
• Turn each petal over, tap excess sugar off.
• Let them dry.
• Decorate on top of ice cream.

#3 –Rose Petals In Ice Cubes

• Put a sugared rose petal in each block of ice cube tray.
• Use for lemonade.

Visit for more great crafts, recipes, and more from Monica Potter.

And watch Monica on " Parenthood," Thursdays at 10/9c on NBC

Valerie Gordon's Valentine Pie
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Valerie Gordon's Valentine Pie
Valerie Gordon's Valentine Pie
Seasonal Event:
Valentine's Day

Ingredients for Pie

  • 12 ounces (about 10 medium stalks) rhubarb, rinsed, trimmed, and sliced into 1⁄2 inch pieces (3 cups)
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) sugar, or more to taste
  • 3 cups (12 ounces) strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and sliced
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) raspberries, rinsed and dried
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 20 to 25 organic rose petals, rinsed and dried
  • Pie Dough (below)
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons Pie Dust (below)
  • 1 egg, beaten

Ingredients for Pie Dough

  • 2 1⁄2 cups (12.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1⁄2 sticks (10 ounces) unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
  • 1⁄4 to 1/3 cup (2 to 2.5 ounces) cold water

Ingredients for Pie Dust

  • 1⁄4 cup (1.25 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄4 cup (1.75 ounces) sugar

Directions for Pie

Put the rhubarb and sugar into a medium saucepan and cook over medium- heat,stirring periodically, until the fruit softens, about 5 minutes. Add the strawberriesand continue cooking for 5 minutes, stirring frequently-.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the raspberries. Taste the mixture, and ifyou would like the pie a little sweeter, add more sugar. Stir in the cornstarch androse petals and let the filling cool to room temperature. (The filling can be stored,covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.)

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F.

Remove one disk of dough from the refrigerator and place on a floured cool surface.Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a 13-inch circle: Start from the center ofthe dough and roll outward, rotating the dough 2 to 3 inches after each roll—thiswill help create a true circle. After every four to five rolls, run a large offset spatulaunder the dough to release it from the work surface. Add a little flour to the surface,rolling pin, and/or dough if the dough sticks or becomes difficult to roll.

Roll the dough up onto the rolling pin, then unroll into a 9-inch pie pan, centeringthe round. Gently press the dough into the bottom of the pan and against the sides,making sure there are no air pockets. Press the dough against the upper edges of thepan so it extends about 1⁄2 inch beyond the edges, then trim any excess dough withkitchen shears. Chill the crust for 15 minutes, or until the dough is cool and firm.

Meanwhile, roll out the second disk of dough into a 12-inch circle. Using a 2-inchheart-shaped cookie cutter, cut a shape in the center of the pie round and remove it.(See Tip.)

Cover the bottom of the crust with the pie dust. Fill the crust with the filling. Using apastry brush, paint the beaten egg around the edges of
the crust.

Roll the top crust up onto the rolling pin and drape the dough over the filling. Trimand crimp the edges of the double crust (instructions below). Refrigerate the pieuntil the crust is cold and firm to the touch, about 15 minutes.

Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, or until the edges of thecrust look golden brown. Remove the pie from the oven and cover the edges of thecrust with a pie ring (below).

Bake for an additional 35 to 45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Startchecking the pie after 30 minutes, then continue baking, checking at 5-minuteintervals, until the crust is golden, with no translucent areas. Remove the pie ring

and bake for an additional 5 minutes or so, until the crust is golden brown. Transferthe pie to a cooling rack to cool completely.


The pie can be stored in the refrigerator, to serve cold, or at room temperature,covered, for up to 2 days.

Tip: If you like, brush the heart-shaped cutout with beaten egg, sprinkle with sugar,and bake on the baking sheet beside the pie for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden. Servewith a dollop of jam for a mini-pie treat.

Directions for Pie Dough

Makes enough for one 9-inch double-crust pie, two 9-inch single-crust pies, orfifteen 4-inch hand pies

Given the choice between a piecrust made with butter and one made withshortening, I always choose butter. If you keep your dough cold at every step of theway, you can achieve the same flakiness that people attribute to shortening with theincomparable flavor of butter.

To make the dough in a food processor: Put the flour, sugar, and salt in theprocessor bowl and pulse once or twice to combine. Drop the pieces of butterthrough the feed tube, continuing to pulse until the mixture resembles coarsecrumbs. Slowly add 1⁄4 cup water as you continue pulsing a few more times, thenadd more water if necessary; stop when the dough just starts to come together.

To make the dough by hand: Put the flour, sugar, and salt into a medium bowl andmix together with a fork or small whisk. Cut the butter into the dough using a pastrycutter or a large fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Drizzle 1⁄4 cupwater directly over the dough, mixing with the pastry cutter or fork, then add morewater if necessary, mixing until the dough just comes together.

Remove the dough from the processor or bowl and form into 2 equal disks. Wrapeach disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 3 days. Thedough can be frozen for up to 2 months; thaw in the refrigerator.

Directions for the Pie Dust

Sift the flour and sugar together into a small bowl. The pie dust can be stored in anairtight container for up to 6 months.

Crimping a Pie Crust

Crust design, or crimping, is a way to add a personal touch to your creations. Onceyou’ve mastered a few versions, try to do them more quickly without sacrificingprecision; pie dough holds its shape best with minimal handling.

Forked Crimp
For a single-crust pie, using a fork dipped in flour, press the dough against the rim ofthe pie pan all around the pan, making sure you don’t overlap the fork impressions.Chill the pie as directed in the recipe before proceeding.

For lattice-topped and double-crust pies, trim the top crust to a 3⁄4-inch overhang ifnecessary. Fold the edges of the top crust over the bottom crust and proceed as for asingle crust.

Simple Crimp
For a single-crust pie, place your thumbs about 1⁄4 inch apart on the edge of the crustand press them toward each other to create a crimp, then continue all around theedge of the pie. Chill as directed in the recipe before proceeding.

For lattice-topped and double-crust pies, trim the top crust to a 3/4-inch overhang ifnecessary. Fold the edges of the top crust over the bottom crust and proceed as for asingle crust.

Fancy Crimp
For a single-crust pie, put your left index finger on the edge of the dough at a 30-degree angle. Using your right thumb, lift the edge of the dough just to the right ofyour index finger and press the dough between your index finger and thumb tocreate a crimp. Using your right thumb and index finger, press the dough togetherjust to the right of the crimp, extending the dough down about 1⁄2 inch. Put your leftindex finger to the right of the established crimp and, with your right thumb, lift theextended dough up to your index finger, creating a second crimp. Continue allaround the edge of the entire pie.

When the crimping is complete, pinch all the crimps one more time to give themmore height and definition. Chill the crust as directed in the recipe beforeproceeding.

For lattice-topped and double-crust pies, trim the top crust to a 3⁄4-inch overhang ifnecessary. Pinch the top and bottom crusts together around the entire edge andproceed as for a single crust.

Making a Pie Ring

A pie ring, or pie shield, is used to prevent the edges of a piecrust from burningwhile the filling cooks through. Commercially made pie shields are available atkitchen supply stores, but you can easily make your own using the followinginstructions.

Cut a 30-inch-long piece of aluminum foil, and fold it lengthwise in half and then inhalf again. This makes a sturdy pie ring that can be used multiple times.

Wrap the foil around the edges of the partially baked pie, gently pressing the foil soit hugs the crust. Press the foil ends together to seal them. When the pie is baked,carefully remove the pie ring and save it for your next pie.

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Chocolate Dipped Pecan Cherry Cookies
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Chocolate Dipped Pecan Cherry Cookies

Ingredients for the Dough:

  • 1 cup Unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup Sifted powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. Almond extract
  • 2-¼ cups All purpose flour
  • ½ cup finely chopped pecans
  • ½ cup finely chopped candied cherries

Ingredients for the Chocolate Covering:

  • ½ cup Chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter
  • 2 Tbsp. Milk
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 cup Sifted powdered sugar

Directions for cookie dough:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  1. Combine butter, sugar, salt, vanilla and almond extracts and beat well
  1. Stir in the flour, pecans and cherries
  1. Form dough into 1-inch balls
  1. Place on un-greased cookie sheets
  1. Bake for 15 – 18 minutes
  1. Place on racks to cool

Directions for Chocolate Dipping Sauce:

  1. Combine chocolate chips, butter and milk - microwave for 1 minute
  1. Stir
  1. (if chocolate has not melted, microwave for an additional 30 seconds.)
  1. Add vanilla and powdered sugar - beat to combine.
  1. (If the mixture is too runny, add a few more tablespoons of powdered sugar.)
  1. Dip cool cookies in chocolate and cover top and sides with chocolate and place on rack to set
  1. Put rack over a pan so you can scrape up any chocolate that drips off and heat and reuse

Blue Ribbon Baker Chocolate-Dipped Pecan Cherry Cookies

Candied cherries are available seasonally - order directly from

Get more great recipes and crafts by visiting us on Pinterest at and follow "Home & Family" on Twitter @homeandfamilytv and Facebook. Plus, check out our YouTube channel for backstage videos.

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Get more great recipes and crafts by visiting us on Pinterest at and follow "Home & Family" on Twitter @homeandfamilytv and Facebook. Plus, check out our YouTube channel for backstage videos.

Sophie Uliano's Heart-Shaped Pancakes
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Sophie Uliano's Heart-Shaped Pancakes

You will need heart-shaped pancake molds
• 3 medium small red beets
• 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
• 1 cup almond flour
• 1 ½ tbsp dark brown sugar
• 1 tbsp baking powder
• ½ tsp sea salt
• 2 cups buttermilk
• 3 large eggs, beaten
• ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted + 1 tbsp for frying

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 F. Place beets in a baking dish with ½ cup water in the bottom. Cover with foil and bake for one hour, or until tender. Cool, peel and puree the beets in a food processor until smooth. You will be using ½ cup of the puree. You can freeze the remainder for future batches of pancakes!
  2. Combine the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. In a separate medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk and eggs together. Add the coconut oil and whisk again. Finally whisk in the beet puree. Combine the wet and dry ingredients.
  3. Melt the coconut oil in a cast iron pan, and when it’s sizzling place heart shaped pancake molds* in the pan. Fill the molds with batter. When you see bubbles forming on top, carefully wiggle the molds off the pancakes, and flip them. Serve with Cashew Cream and a little warm maple syrup.

* Be sure to grease the pancake molds first.
Cashew Cream Ingredients:
• 2 cups raw whole cashew nuts
• Water
• ¼ cup maple syrup
• 1tsp vanilla essence

  1. Rinse the cashews and place in a glass bowl.
  2. Cover with water and refrigerate overnight.
  3. When ready to use, rinse them and place in a high speed blender (Vitamix ideal) with ½ inch of water covering them.
  4. Blend to a smooth consistency. Add the syrup and the vanilla. If you want to make your "cream" a little thinner, add another couple of tablespoons of cold water.

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Sexy Champagne Cocktail
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Sexy Champagne Cocktail

Ingredients for Cocktail

  • 4 Strawberries
  • 1 oz. Ginger Syrup
  • 5 oz. Champagne
  • Champagne Foam

Ingredients for Champagne Foam

  • 4 oz Simple syrup
  • 1 1/2 sheets of gelatin
  • 12 oz. Champagne

Ingredients for Syrup

  • 2 1⁄4 lb. sugar
  • 14 oz. juice/extract or fruit infused water
  • 2 oz. alcohol

Ingredients for Ginger Syrup

  • 2
  • 17 oz. water
  • 3 ginger root, diced
  • 2 1⁄4 lb. sugar

Directions for Champagne Foam

In a bowl pour in the warm simple syrup and add the gelatin. Stir slowly so that gelatin dissolves and then add 12 oz. of Champagne. Pour in a siphon or Thermo Whip with 2 CO2 cartridges. Keep refrigerated.

Directions for Syrup

To make infused water, simply boil 17 oz. of water with desired ingredient (in this case, ginger root) in a small pot for 30 min. Strain off solid ingredients.
Add sugar to boiled water and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat, stir and bring to slow boil, then remove from heat.
Add alcohol and stir thoroughly. Allow to cool before bottling in a sterilized bottle.

Directions for Ginger Syrup

Boil water with ginger for 30 min, strain off solid ingredients. Add sugar as outlined in basic method. Add vodka then cool for 30 min before bottling and sealing. The homemade ginger syrup can be kept in sterilized bottle for 3-4 weeks.

Preparation for Cocktail

In a blender place the strawberries and the homemade Ginger syrup and reduce it in a puree. In a mixing glass add your puree, a scoop of ice, and pour in the champagne and gently stir until the mixture stops foaming. Now strain and pour into a chilled Champagne flute and top it with the Champagne Foam .

The color is bright red, the scent is seduced by the freshness of the strawberries and the ginger, the taste is refreshing and delicious. The perfect cocktail to offer to your better half, maybe for Valentine’s Day? Friendly reminder for all the gentlemen out there.. WOMEN love Champagne and strawberries! Salute!

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Heartie Party Cake Pops
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Heartie Party Cake Pops


  • 1 box refrigerated pie crust
  • 6 teaspoons strawberry jam (or strawberry pie filling)
  • 6 teaspoons chocolate hazelnut spread (e.g. Nutella), optional
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tablespoon Water
  • 2-3 fresh large strawberries
  • Granulated sugar for decoration
  • Candy making sticks

Heartie Party Cake Pops - Home & Family


1- Preheat your oven at 400 °F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2- Beat the egg and water well in a small bowl to make an egg wash. Set aside.

3- Unroll the pie crust and use 3 inch round cookie cutter to cut into 2 two matching

4- Take one of the circles and cut out a small heart, using a 1 inch heart cookie cutter.

5- Press your candy making stick into the center of the round pie circle that does not have a heart cut out.

6- Spread 1 teaspoons strawberry jam in the center of the circle of dough, covering the candy making stick.

7- Make sure to leave the borders without jam.

8- Using your egg wash, brush the inside of the pie that has the heart shaped cut out and then place it on top of the other one.

9- Crimp the edges of the entire pie with a fork all the way around using a dab of flour to prevent the fork from sticking.

10- Brush the top of the pie with cream and sprinkle with sugar

11- Bake until golden brown, for about 10-14 minutes. Let them cool down before serve

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Strawberries & Cream Torte
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Strawberries & Cream Torte


  • 2 Eggs separated
  • ¼ cup Butter, softened
  • ½ cup + ½ tsp Sugar, divided
  • ½ tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 cup All-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp Baking powder
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • ½ cup 2% Milk
  • 2 cups Heavy whipping cream
  • 1 pint Fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • ½ tsp Sugar


  • Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Line bottom of two greased 8-in round baking pans with parchment paper.
  • Grease paper
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and ½ cup sugar until light & fluffy
  • Add egg yolks, beating well
  • Beat in vanilla
  • In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt
  • Add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition
  • Transfer to prepared pans
  • With clean beaters, beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy
  • Add remaining sugar, beating on high until sugar is dissolved.
  • Continue beating until soft peaks form.
  • Spread over batter in pans.
  • Bake 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean
  • Cool completely in pans on wire rack (cake layers will be thin)
  • In a large bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form.
  • Loosen edges of cakes from pans with a knife.
  • Carefully remove one cake to a serving plate, meringue side up
  • Arrange sliced strawberries over top; sprinkle with sugar
  • Gently spread with half of whipped cream
  • Top with remaining cake layer, meringue side up
  • Spread with remaining whipped cream
  • Top with whole strawberries
  • Refrigerate

Taste of Home Dessert - Home & Family

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Chocolate Banana Strudel
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Chocolate Banana Strudel
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts, toasted in the oven
  • 1/2 pound cream cheese
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/3 cup sugar, plus ¼ cup more for sprinkling
  • 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 10 sheets Athens phyllo dough, thawed
  • 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 medium bananas, peeled
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
  • 1-pint vanilla bean ice cream


  1. In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream the cream cheese, until smooth. Add the egg yolk, 1/3 cup of the sugar, vanilla extract and cinnamon, and beat until blended. Add the chocolate into the cream cheese mixture and mix until just incorporated. Set aside.
  2. Lay one sheet of phyllo dough onto a large piece of parchment paper, then another one overlapping it to make a 13” x 16” rectangle. Brush the phyllo with some melted butter all around. Sprinkle evenly with 1-tablespoon sugar and 2 tablespoons of the toasted walnuts. Repeat the steps 4 more times to get 5 layers. Reserve the remaining melted butter and sugar for the top of the strudel.
  3. Spoon half the cream cheese mixture in a long strip along the length of the phyllo, leaving 2 inches from the edges. Lay 2 bananas end to end on the cream cheese, then the 2 other bananas right next to them, so you have a double row. Spoon the remaining cream cheese mixture in a strip onto the bananas. Starting with the filled end, roll the dough tightly into a log, then put onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, brush the surface with the melted butter and sprinkle with 1-2 tablespoons sugar.
  4. Bake the strudel at 375-400 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until crisp and brown.
  5. Let cool on the pan for about 10 minutes or so. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut into pieces and place onto a plate and dust it with some powdered sugar and serve warm with some vanilla bean ice cream.
Homemade Strawberry Pie
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Homemade Strawberry Pie


  • 1 store-bought or homemade pie crust large enough to roll out a 12" crust (see recipe below)
  • 6 baskets (1 quart each) of strawberries, stems removed, gently rinsed, and patted dry with paper towels
  • 2 cups fresh orange juice
  • ½ cup agave nectar
  • 1½ Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 8 mint leaves, chopped coarsely
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon rind, chopped finely

Whipped Cream Topping Ingredients:

  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 Tbsp. agave nectar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

Very Berry" Freezer Jam Ingredients:

  • 2 cups strawberries, chopped
  • 2 cups of raspberries
  • 5 Tbsp. instant pectin
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon

Pie Crust Ingredients:

  • 2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12½ ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1½ sticks), cut into ¼-inch slices
  • ½ cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces
  • ¼ cup vodka, cold
  • ¼ cup cold water


  1. In a saucepan, mix 2 quarts of strawberries, orange juice, and agave nectar and bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 5 to 8 minutes, until the strawberries are soft. Strain the strawberries in a mesh strainer with holes small enough to catch the seeds into a pot. Use a wooden spoon to squish the strawberries. Discard seeds.
  2. Bring the pot to a gentle boil.
  3. Mix 1½ Tbsp. of cornstarch in 2 Tbsp. of water and stir so no lumps remain. Pour the mixture into the boiling liquid and stir 30 seconds to thicken. Set aside and cool for 20 minutes. Place in the refrigerator to cool for at least one hour. (The glaze can be made up to three days before and kept in an airtight container until ready to use.)
  4. Position the oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 425° F. Make sure the pie dough has been chilled at least an hour in the refrigerator in plastic wrap before rolling it out.
  5. Remove chilled dough from refrigerator. On a floured surface, roll the dough into a circle 12" in diameter and ⅛ thick. Roll the dough around the rolling pin and let it unfold on top of the pie pan. Press dough gently into bottom and sides.
  6. Line the unbaked shell with parchment paper. Fill the shell with pie weights, uncooked beans, or rice. Make sure the shell is entirely and evenly filled. Bake the crust 12 to 15 minutes. After 8 to 10 minutes, remove the weights by gently lifting the parchment and further brown the crust until golden. Remove from oven and cool completely before filling the shell.
  7. Place the remaining strawberries in the cooled pie shell and arrange them pointy sides up. Pour the glaze evenly all over strawberries. Sprinkle the mint and lemon rind over the pie. Serve at room temperature or chill in the refrigerator.
  8. Whip the heavy whipping cream with the 1 Tbsp. of agave nectar and 2 tsp. vanilla extract. Serve alongside the pie for the perfect finishing touch.

Pie Crust Recipe
This recipe comes to us from Cook's Illustrated and their secret ingredient is vodka – which burns off, leaving a tender, flaky crust (also, makes it roll out easily). The alcohol also does not add to gluten formation.


  1. Process 1½ cups flour, salt, and sugar in food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until homogenous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour). Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into medium bowl.
  2. Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Divide dough into two even balls and flatten each into 4-inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.
  3. Bake, placing a baking sheet on the rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  4. Make a egg wash with 1 small egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon of water.
  5. Divide the crust in half. Wrap the second half in plastic wrap and it put back into the refrigerator while you work with the first piece of dough.
  6. Roll out the dough to fit the pie pan and pour in the apple filling.
  7. Remove the pie crust from the refrigerator and roll it out to make the strips for your lattice. Using a pastry, brush the top of the dough with the egg wash.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes.
  9. Lower the temperature to 350° F and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the crust is nice and golden.

"Very Berry" Freezer Jam
(recipe by Nicole Sipe / "Canning & Preserving" magazine)
Makes about five half-pint (8 oz.) jars of jam

  1. Wash the strawberries and raspberries under cold water. Remove the stems from the strawberries and discard.
  2. With a wire masher, crush the washed berries. If you prefer chunky jam, crush the berries for just a few seconds. If you prefer finer jam, crush them for about 1 minute. Set the berries aside.
  3. In a large bowl, stir the instant pectin and sugar until well-combined.
  4. Add the crushed strawberries, raspberries, and lemon zest to the sugar mixture and stir continuously for 3 minutes.
  5. Ladle the jam into clean jars to the fill line. Wipe the rims with a towel.
  6. Screw on the lids and let stand at room temperature to thicken for about 30 minutes.
  7. Serve immediately, refrigerate up to three weeks, or freeze up to one year.
Cristina Cooks - Strawberry Pie & No-Heat Strawber

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Cristina's Quick & Easy Strawberry Shortcake Roll Trifle
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Cristina's Quick & Easy Strawberry Shortcake Roll Trifle

Makes 2 Servings

• 6 Strawberry Shortcake Rolls
• 2 - 5.9 Oz. Pkgs. Banana Pudding (or vanilla) • Fresh Strawberries

  1. Place carton of cakes in freezer for one hour. Freezing the cakes makes them easier to slice.
  2. Prepare pudding according to directions on package. Cover and chill.
  3. After the cakes have had time to freeze, slice them into ½" pieces. Place a layer of cakes in bottom of clear serving bowl. Top with half of pudding. Repeat. Arrange remaining pieces of cake on top and garnish with selected strawberries.

Strawberry Coulis Ingredients:
• 2 quarts strawberries
• ½ cup sugar • 1 cup fresh orange juice

  1. Bring to boil 5-10 minutes.
  2. Sift to get the seeds out.

Strawberry Shortcake Roll Trifle

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Cristina Cooks Phyllo Cups With Greek Yogurt and Peaches
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Cristina Cooks Phyllo Cups With Greek Yogurt and Peaches


  • Butter-flavored cooking spray
  • 1 (3¼ oz) package Phyllo dough
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • 3 Medium, ripe peaches, pitted, skinned and cut into 3-inch pieces
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 12 small fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Phyllo Cups with Greek Yogurt, Fresh Peaches, and Honey


  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Spray 6-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.
  3. Remove 6 sheets of Phyllo from package and cover with a damp kitchen towel until ready to use.
  4. Lay 1 sheet of Phyllo dough on a work surface, keeping the remaining sheets covered with the damp towel.
  5. Spray Phyllo sheet lightly with cooking spray.
  6. Cut the sheet into five 6X6-inch squares.
  7. Place the squares inside muffin cup and press to fit the cup.
  8. Lay the other 5 squares on top, layering them in at different angles.
  9. The ends of the Phyllo dough will be taller than the cup and should overlap.
  10. Repeat for the 5 other cups.
  11. Bake the cups for 5-8 minutes until golden brown.
  12. Remove and let cool completely.
  13. Gently lift the cups out of the muffin tin.
  14. Fill each cup with Greek yogurt.
  15. Add ½ chopped peach.
  16. Sprinkle with ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon.
  17. Add 1 teaspoon of chopped walnuts.
  18. Add 2 mint leaves torn into small pieces.
  19. Add 1 teaspoon of honey.
  20. Add 1 teaspoon chopped caramelized bacon.

For the bacon:

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Lay out strips of bacon on a rack that is placed on a cookie sheet.
  3. Sprinkle with brown sugar.
  4. Bake for 18-20 minutes until cooked.
  5. Allow to cool before chopping.

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 Recipes Mini Brownie Cakes with Chocolate Glaze
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Recipes Mini Brownie Cakes with Chocolate Glaze


1. Don’t over stir the batter because it makes the brownie dense. 2. Decorate when the brownie is cool. 3. Place brownies on a wire rack over a baking sheet.

First: pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Grease the pan with butter. ½ cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes, at room temperature, plus additional for greasing the pan 3 ounces of unsweetened chocolate, chopped 1-cup sugar 1/8-teaspoon salt 2 large eggs, slightly beaten, at room temperature 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract ¾ cup cake flour 1-cup semisweet chocolate chips 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)


Pour the warm glaze over the center of the brownies. The glaze should cover the surface evenly, spilling over the edges and down the sides, with all the excess falling onto the baking sheet. Refrigerate for 2 hours uncovered. Add the gold leaves, raspberries coulis on to the brownie and plate. You can get the gold leaves at any craft store or pastry shop. Get additional recipes from Cristina at

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Laurie Jensen's Love You Pot Pie
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Laurie Jensen's Love You Pot Pie


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 - ½ cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 1/3 cup frozen peas
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper


1. Preheat oven to 425°. On a lightly floured surface, unroll pastry sheet. Cut sixteen hearts with a floured 2-in. heart-shaped cookie cutter. Place on an ungreased baking sheet.

2. In a small bowl, whisk egg and cream; brush over hearts. If desired, sprinkle with cheese. Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

3. For filling, in a large skillet, heat butter and oil over medium-high heat. Add vegetables; cook and stir until tender.

4. Stir in flour until blended; gradually whisk in broth. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in the remaining ingredients; heat through. Spoon into four 10-oz. ramekins or bowls; top with pastries. Yield: 4 servings.

Love You Pot Pie

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