The amazing story of two 40-something women on the path to matrimonial bliss

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sweets for the Sweet!

I am not always the world's best gift-giver--mostly because I am neither a good shopper nor a good consumer.  With the way our birthdays pile up right after Christmas and then Valentine's Day comes right on the heels of those--sheesh! I'm not afraid to admit I struggle.

This Valentine's Day, I decided to go low-key and heartfelt.  I actually MADE everything--which was pretty fun--even the card and, just so you know, cut and paste is not exactly where I shine.  What you see are two recipes I made up: Mint Chocolate Body Scrub (smells incredible and is entirely edible--just in case a gal gets a chocolate craving while in the shower) and Lavender Shortbread Hearts...

I will share if y'all would like to make your own versions!

Mint Chocolate Body Scrub:

1/4 cup or so of cocoa butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 Tbspn cocoa powder
1/4 cup sweet almond oil
1/2 vanilla bean
15 or so drops of peppermint essential oil

Melt the cocoa butter in a glass Pyrex bowl over boiling water or in the top of a double boiler (glass cleans easily).  Meanwhile, mix the brown sugar, cocoa powder, and scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean (discard the pod or, since I make my own Vanilla Extract, I just drop the pod into the jar of that).  When the cocoa butter has melted, stir in the almond oil and then the rest of the ingredients.  Add the peppermint essential oil.  Stir and cool.  That is so it!

Lavender Shortbread Hearts

1/2 cup lavender sugar (I keep a jar of sugar with a cheesecloth wrapped bundle of good lavender flowers in it--after a couple weeks, it becomes all infused with lavender yummyness)
1 cup sweet butter
2 cups flour
1 Tbspn good quality lavender flowers

Cream the sugar, lavender flowers and butter in a bowl (I use our stand mixer, but you could also do this in a food processor or with a hand mixer or even by hand.) Add the flour and mix until it almost forms a ball.  This can take a while.  You can chill the dough here if it is too soft.  Roll out and cut into heart shapes.  Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet in a preheated 300 degree oven.  I bake them for about 15 minutes or until the bottoms are just starting to brown.  They will be soft put not at all gooey so handle carefully.  Let them cool for a minute or two on the sheet before you remove them to a cooling rack. You could frost them if you like, but I think they are delicious as they are--buttery, with a nice initial taste of lavender and just the right sweetness.  They look pretty adorable too.

So, consider these my Valentine's Day offerings all around--after all, Love is meant to be shared!

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