Valentine's Shortbread Cookies

Valentine's Day, Valentines Cookies, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Shortbread Cookies, Royal Icing, Heart Cookies, Love Letter CookiesThere are generally just two occasions for which I will decorate cookies - Christmas and Valentine's Day.  This time, instead of the usual sugar cookie base, though, I baked a batch of buttery chocolate chip shortbread cookies, which are far tastier, in my opinion, than plain sugar cookies.

The cookies are wonderful on their own, with a cup of strong hot coffee, or dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with crushed nuts, toffee, or a bit of coarse sea salt...

A Valentines Berry Pie

Pie, Cherry Pie, Berry Pie, Valentine's Day, Valentine's Baking, Heart Cutout Pie, Rose Pie
It snowed over the weekend, a quiet, lazy-day type of snow that made everything so beautiful.  And when it snows, I love to bake, so I made a little pre-Valentine's Day pie in one of my mini pie pans.  I had originally planned on this being just a cherry pie, but with it being February, I couldn't find any frozen cherries, so I chose a mixed bag of frozen cherries, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries.

A splash of lemon juice in the filling keeps it from being too sweet, and the simple, warm spices of cinnamon and cloves really enhance the flavor of the fruit.  The pie filling reminded me of a red Danish fruit sauce my mom makes at Christmas - sweet, tart, and complex with five or six different berries and red fruits - which my family would always spoon over ice cream or pound cake...