DIY Thursdays: 2 Sweet and Simple Valentine Day Treats

Strawberry Cannoli


• 1 pint (12 oz) of strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and halved
• 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
• 1 tub (15 0z) of whole-milk ricotta cheese
• 4 ounces of cream cheese
• 1 cup of confectioner sugar
• ¼ teaspoon of almond extract
• 1 box (4 or 5.25 oz) sugar cones (pack of 12)
Garnish: chocolate mini chips and slices strawberries


1. At least 1 day before serving, proceed through Step 3. Line a colander and a medium-size strainer with a sturdy paper towel. Set each in a bowl.
2. Pulse strawberries and granulated sugar in food processor until coarsely chopped. Scrape into colander, top with a paper towel and refrigerate overnight to drain well (this is important). Clean processor.
3. Put ricotta, cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar in processor; pulse until smooth. Transfer to strainer, cover with a paper towel and refrigerate overnight.
4. Just before serving: Prop cones upright in tall glasses partially filled with granulated sugar to support cones. Fold drained berries and almond extract into ricotta mixture. Spoon into a gallon-size ziptop bag. Cut 1⁄2 in. off a corner; pipe filling into cones and garnish. The sugar cones replace the usual pastry shells, which can be hard to make or find in stores.

Tip to Remember

Prepare Step 1 thru 3 at least 24 – 48 hours before. You want to make sure you don’t fill the cones until right before you are ready to serve.

Mini Red Velvet Whoopies Pies


• 2/3 cup of sour cream
• 1 large egg
• 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
• 1 teaspoon of white vinegar
• 2 cups of all-purpose flour
• 1 cup of packed brown sugar
• 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa
• ½ teaspoon of baking soda
• ½ teaspoon of salt
• 8 tablespoons (1 stick) of unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1 (1 oz) bottle of red food coloring (reserve 1 or 2 drops for filling)

• 5 tablespoons of unsalted butter, at room temperature
• ½ cup of confectioner sugar
• 1 tablespoon of light corn syrup
• ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
• A pinch of salt
• ¾ cups of marshmallow fluff
• 1 to 2 drops of red food coloring


1. Make cookies: Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment. In a bowl, whisk sour cream, egg, vanilla and vinegar.
2. In a large bowl, whisk flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt, breaking up lumps of sugar. Add butter and beat with an electric mixer on low until butter pieces are no larger than small peas. Stir in sour cream mixture and mix on low speed until moistened. Add food coloring; beat on low until incorporated, then beat on medium-high until well combined, scraping down sides of bowl periodically.
3. Using a small ice cream scoop, drop batter onto baking sheets, 2 1/2 inches apart. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until tops are cracked, 8 to 9 minutes. Remove from oven; let stand for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining batter.
4. Make filling: In a bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer on low until combined. Beat in corn syrup, vanilla and salt. Stir in Fluff and food coloring. Beat on high speed until light, about 2 minutes. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
5. Spread a rounded teaspoon of filling onto flat side of a cookie and sandwich with another cookie. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling.

Jessica Williams is Consolidated Credit’s Marketing Communications New Media Coordinator. As a member of the education team, Jessica focuses on helping consumers make better financial decisions while living debt-free. She has previously worked with Take Stock In Children, where she was a mentor and communications specialist, and, where she managed community relations, event planning, marketing, and public relations. Jessica attended both the University of Florida and the University of Central Florida where she received her B.S. in Interpersonal/Organizational Communications and Marketing. Connect with Jessica on Google+.