Friday, January 13, 2012

Perfectly Pinterest: Whipped Cream Hearts and Strawberry White Hot Chocolate

by Darla

At the risk of sounding completely broken in the brain, I have to ask, do you guys ever get distracted by things that sparkle?

I know, I sound like a three year old right now.

Seriously, though, you know those GIFs that say things like, “I don’t have A.D.D., I just… Ooooh look! GLITTER!”?

Well, I’m really like that.

Really.

Last week, when I made Kristan’s birthday cupcakes, I’m not even gonna lie, I couldn’t stop staring at them. I’d walk by and the glitter would catch the light, and I would immediately be drawn to them, all slack jawed and unfocused. I even picked one up and stood there turning it this way and that in the light, so I could watch it sparkle…for, like, 10 minutes.

Whenever I get my wedding ring cleaned, I get all distracted by it when sunlight hits it.

It’s a really good thing that the world in general isn’t especially sparkly…I’d be useless; standing around, mouth agape, staring unblinkingly at all that glitters.

I know I’m not alone. My sister is almost as bad as I am. But this does nothing to soothe my embarrassment. After all, we’re related. It’s obviously some kind of genetic malfunction.

When I made my snitch ornaments last month, there was glitter all over the table. All. Over. I decided right then and there that it was absolutely vital, my life would not be complete without it…I have to have a table that is completely covered in glitter. And I’ll install these great jewelry store spotlights over it so that it always glimmers to it’s best abilities.

Obviously, this can’t happen until I’m very old and retired, because I’ll never be able to look away from it again, but it must happen.

Clearly, I was a magpie or something in a former life. Although…that’s actually sort of a compliment because they’re considered one of the most intelligent animals.

So really, by that theory, I’m a genius. I guess I should stop worrying so much about it. And maybe start making that table.

But I should probably go ahead and share this recipe with you first. You know, just in case I get too distracted by the glitter later.

I was originally inspired by Two Peas and Their Pod’s beautiful Strawberry Sweethearts Cocoa, but I was intrigued to try to make something with fresh strawberries and white chocolate.

I made this recipe two ways. Pure and homemade, and semi-homemade. The first version using seedless strawberry puree, and the second using drink mix.

I really prefer to make things from scratch, with natural ingredients, and I think a lot of other people do, too, when they have time. But sometimes there just isn’t extra time. That’s why I made this both ways…sometimes we just don’t have time to puree a bunch of strawberries and press them through a sieve to get rid of the seeds. Sometimes we have time to stir in some strawberry mix and enjoy the time saved so that we can play Mousetrap with our kids.

The semi-homemade version gets a little help from Nesquik. Here’s the thing, though: up until I made this, I had never ever had strawberry milk before.

I mean, unless you count strawberry ice cream, which I kind of think totally counts. Except it doesn’t, because I only like homemade strawberry ice cream, which is less sweet and more tart. That is not how strawberry milk is. Strawberry milk is all sweet.

Not that it’s not good or anything, but I’m just saying.

Other than the strawberry milk mix, this recipe is made based on the Hubster’s Best Hot Cocoa. I just replaced the cocoa/sugar with the strawberry puree or drinkmix, replaced the chocolate chips with white chocolate, and omitted the vanilla.

The result is sweet, creamy, and all happy.

Besides this amazing drink, I also made some fun whipped cream hearts. I originally saw something about this on Pinterest, but upon chasing down the source for the photo, I discovered that it wasn’t actually whipped cream at all, but a marshmallow heart instead.

I’m not gonna lie, I was kind of irritated. I mean, who decided it was okay to see a photo of something, assume what it was, and make up instructions for it?? What if it didn’t actually work?? What then? I mean, that’s just not responsible. Maybe someone actually has done it before, and so they do know what they’re talking about, but I would much rather have proof of that in the form of a source I can check out; not just some random photo that someone decided use.

But you know what? It’s okay. Because I discovered just this morning that, over the last few days, a few of us decided that it really is a great idea to make these little hearts, and we’ve all tested and tried it for you.

I threw together some homemade whipped cream for mine. I think it’s much preferable to Cool Whip. Plus, I don’t really think this would work very well with Cool Whip, but I didn’t try, so I can’t say for sure.

Just place your whipped cream on a cookie sheet lined with parchment.

Spread the whipped cream evenly, so that it’s about the same thickness all the way across. Don’t worry about making it look perfect, or be perfectly smooth on top; I thought the pretttiest hearts were the ones with some of the lines across them.

If you do want perfectly smooth hearts, you can smooth the top part out be placing another sheet of parchment on top, and peeling it away once the cream is firm.

Now freeze it until firm. I actually froze mine for about two and a half hours, just to be sure, but I don’t think you have to be that extreme.

Once it’s frozen, grab a cookie cutter and cut out your shapes (I used a mini heart, but full sized shapes are fantastic, too). You can do just about any shape, although I’d recommend avoiding anything with tiny details or intricate edges. You have to push the shape out of the cutter, and I think anything too complex would break. That’s all there is to it.

When you place these in hot chocolate, using a spoon will prevent them from flipping all over and getting chocolate and stuff on them. Just place one a a spoon and lay it in the drink, it will come off on it’s own.

These were so incredibly easy, and they are absolutely adorable floating and getting all melty in a steaming cup of cocoa. Plus, they’re a fun surprise for the kiddos. :)

Throw a few into your hot chocolate, add some pretty sprinkles and a few chocolate chips, and find a quiet place to enjoy this before you have to get back to cleaning the kitchen or writing that paper.

As for the hot chocolate itself. I have to say, I prefer the homemade stuff (with the puree), but both versions are great. The semi-homemade version is sweeter and more artificial flavored (obviously), but it’s easy and fun to make, and everyone really enjoyed it. The homemade version, though, had a nice tartness to it, and a fresh flavor that the other one lacked. It’s a little more work, but it’s not too bad, and I think it was worth it. It’s like fresh, homemade ice cream…except all hot and melty. And wonderful.

However you decide to make this, it will be a great change from the usual, and it’s perfect to share with your sweetie on Valentine’s Day. Enjoy!

P.S. I highly recommend serving this with Berry Burst Ice Cream Oreos. Have you had these yet?! ohmahgawd. Have them. Trust me.

Pure Strawberry White Hot Chocolate [Printable Version]
Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

**For Vegan/dairy free, replace the milk/cream with soy, almond, or rice milk. As always, double check that all ingredients are vegan/dairy free/gluten free.**

**For a semi-homemade version, replace the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice with 1/4 cup strawberry milk drink mix, such as Nesquik. Nesquik is not vegan, but my research says it is gluten free. Please be sure to confirm this for yourself.**

1 lb. fresh strawberries, hulled
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 cups (750 ml) milk
1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream (for a lighter version, omit the cream and replace with more milk)
1/4 cup white chocolate, chopped

**If you want yours sweeter, add up to an extra half cup of sugar while the mixture is cooking.

Slice the strawberries then toss them in a medium bowl with the sugar and lemon juice. Cover and set aside for one hour.

Stir the strawberry mixture to evenly coat everything, then transfer it to a blender or food processor. Process until completely pureed, then press the strawberries through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds.

Pour the strawberries back into the processor and add the milk and cream. Process until blended.

Transfer the mixture to a small saucepan set over medium heat in the white chocolate.  Cooking over medium heat, whisking almost constantly, until it just barely begins to lightly boil, about 10 minutes; remove from heat.

Transfer to your favorite mug, top with marshmallows or whipped cream, and any other yummy treats.

Recipe by Darla

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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

1 tina January 13, 2012 at 10:27 am

I love it.. of course!

The idea with the whipped cream is pretty dang clever. I’m planning to make marshmallows (soonly) and cut with the hearts, but.. this is tempting.

But I really want marshymallows, so I guess I will still make them ;)

Btw, where did you get the mug? That. is. adorableness.

Tina

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2 Darla January 13, 2012 at 2:21 pm

I want to make heart shaped marshmallows, too, but I’ve been completely lazy about it. This was MUCH faster and easier. ;)

The mug is totally from Tarjay. Of course! :) It’s my new favorite mug.

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3 Sharly January 13, 2012 at 10:29 am

O.M.G. That is one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen! I’m so with you on the Magpie characteristics. I will never progress past the age of 11! My friend at work gave me a Christmas gift with a green glittery bow. When I opened it, the glitter got all over my desk, and I refused to clean it off. When I would find glitter in unexpected places (like on a travel claim) it would make me smile! I also took the bow and tied it around my tissue box :) So, twinkle on, kindred soul!!

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4 Debbie January 13, 2012 at 10:36 am

First of all, I love the idea of strawberry white hot chocolate AND the whipped cream hearts. Totally going to make this for my girl. Secondly, you need to meet my friend. She has glitterfied the walls in her house. Seriously. She would paint a section of the wall and then cover it in glitter before it dried. I’ve never seen anything like it.

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5 SamCyn January 13, 2012 at 11:08 am

I’m with you on the glitter distraction…You’re not alone :) This looks so inviting…I’m going to have to give it a try. Thanks for sharing!

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6 Diana January 13, 2012 at 11:14 am

Oh glitter… yes, even at almost 30 I’m obsessed with glitter. I just covered an old pair of crocs in glitter last night after I made glitter shoes for my daughter… though I live out many of my glitter (and neon) fantasies through her now.

The strawberry hot chocolate looks awesome! I’m not a huge strawberry fan but everyone else in my house would LOVE it. And I love the whipped cream hearts!

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7 nicole {sweet peony} January 13, 2012 at 12:18 pm

i loooove it! so beautiful & creative! i’m a huge fan of strawberry milk so i’m dying to try strawberry cocoa. yum! the whipped cream hearts are so cool too… thanks for taking the time to figure out how to actually make them!

anyway, totally obsessed with glitter. i won’t even share how much time i spend staring at my twinkling, sparkling ring after it’s cleaned. it’s a lot. ;)

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8 wendy January 13, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Whipped cream hearts are GENIUS.

Also, I can not live another day without that mug…where did you get it?

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9 Darla January 13, 2012 at 2:21 pm

My mug is courtesy of good ole Tarjay. Love them, and love the mug!! :)

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10 Choc Chip Uru January 13, 2012 at 12:46 pm

The presentation is beautiful and it is such a different recipe – thumbs up my friend!

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11 Maneesha January 13, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Love the whip cream idea. Definitely going to be using it!!

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12 shutterbug January 13, 2012 at 1:13 pm

i love the the whipped cream hearts! i will have to make some the next time i make hot chocolate!

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13 Megan Waltz January 13, 2012 at 1:27 pm

So excited!! My hubby LOVES strawberry milk so I can’t wait to make this for him the morning of his upcoming birthday! Thank you :)

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14 Cookbook Queen January 13, 2012 at 1:37 pm

NEVER HAD STRAWBERRY MILK?!?!

Oh my you have been missing out. It’s basically the only milk I will drink!!

I am in love with those whipped cream hearts. In. Love.

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15 sue @ Cakeballs, cookies and more January 13, 2012 at 2:46 pm

so funny, I think it turned out so cute, and I too love anything with glitter.

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16 Cluttercafe January 13, 2012 at 4:50 pm

very cute and simple.
To answer your question, I TOTALLY get sidetracked by sparkly things. I bought a pair of shoes today that make Dorothy’s ruby red slippers look like they’ve been dragged through the mud!

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17 Ashley Blossom January 13, 2012 at 4:58 pm

This is sooo beautiful that I can hardly stand it.
You are a genius.

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18 RobynR January 13, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Oh wow! I love the idea of whipped cream hearts and you’ve sold me on trying white hot chocolate too. I normally don’t bother with white chocolate at all but with strawberry it sounds so. good.
I feel you on the sparkles too. My hub can tell if we’re passing something glittery while we’re walking hand in hand because I unconciously drift toward the sparkles. Also, I have glitter polish on my toes (Fresh Frog of Bel-Aire) and spend a possibly ridiculous amount of time flexing my toes and gazing at them :)

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19 leslie January 13, 2012 at 7:07 pm

I must say the frozen whipped cream hearts are pretty much genius!!!!!!!!!

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20 Becca January 13, 2012 at 10:02 pm

Indidnt know you could freeze whipped cream and then cut it into shapes. That’s such a cute idea :)

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21 Lyka Ricks January 14, 2012 at 2:02 am

I love it! This is best for upcoming Valentines Day for my hubby and daughter. My little one will surely be fascinated with the hearts.

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22 Paula January 14, 2012 at 4:56 am

I can’t imagine a cutest breakfast!! It’s so pink!!!
And even if I also love to use fresh ingredients, strawberry Nesquick can’t be never a bad idea!!

Kisses!!

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23 Maria January 14, 2012 at 9:03 am

Love the pink! Such a fun treat for Valentine’s Day too!

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24 Dani January 14, 2012 at 10:17 am

I sat here and cackled myself silly. The way you write mirrors most of the conversations I have in my head – especially the lack of attention span. :o) If the recipe wasn’t so fantastic(which it is), I’d try it anyway due to how much I enjoyed this post.

Thanks for pepping up my weekend!

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25 Emily ~So Domesticated~ January 14, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Love the idea of whipped cream hearts… my girls will enjoy having these in their hot chocolate!

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26 Tiffany S January 14, 2012 at 8:44 pm

I love the cuteness this cup of strawberry white hot chocolate contains!
Can’t wait till Valentines Day rolls around so I can serve this drink.

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27 Benthe January 15, 2012 at 4:05 am

I love these, especially the harts are adorable :) I know the feeling you describe about glitters. I have the same. I have that as well with pink (everything pink!), harts and ballerinas.

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28 Dana @ Cooking at Cafe D January 15, 2012 at 1:23 pm

These whipped cream hearts are extraordinary.
(And, I totally think that strawberry ice cream counts!)

Please consider sharing this cool technique at our FREE-FOR-ALL!
(It’s still open.)

All the best,

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29 shelly (cookies and cups) January 15, 2012 at 4:28 pm

i saw these on pinterest too and have been obsessed ever since! SO cute!

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30 Nicole January 15, 2012 at 5:12 pm

You make me want to like white chocolate. Too bad that I don’t care too much for it for myself. Otherwise, I might try it. You’re my hero!

Nicole

http://www.bsugarmama.com

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31 Cecily January 15, 2012 at 6:25 pm

I made the whipped cream cut outs today. They were so cute, fun and easy. Thanks for the post.

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32 Kieli Heart January 15, 2012 at 7:52 pm

This is brilliant! I love hot chocolate and I love strawberry-flavored things! And it’s so cute too! I am so gonna’ try making these! Thanks so much for sharing this with us :3

~ Kieli ~

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33 Krissy {Krissy's Creations} January 17, 2012 at 1:09 am

I can’t stop starting at your beautiful pink Hot Chocolate & Whipped Cream hearts. Not only does this look incredibly delicious, it’s just so darn cute and girly. Love it!

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34 Valerie January 23, 2012 at 2:32 am

That looks lovely! I’m going to make a cup of this soon, I’m sure my boyfriend will love it and think it’s cute ;)

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35 marla August 8, 2012 at 7:23 am

Sooooo fun!!! Love the colors, perfect for Valentine’s Day!

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