Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that I will always feel is monopolized by card companies and a stupid reason to charge people more money for things like chocolate. I promise I don’t really hate Valentine’s Day, I just dislike people who think it’s okay to increase the price of chocolate (because it’s not). You could argue that the price of chocolate actually decreases thanks to Valentine’s Day as long as you go to the store on February 15th but it’s just the principle. Also, who wants to make reservations for a restaurant months in advance when you could just go any other normal day of the year without all the fuss?
Now to the important part.
PINK OREOS. Need I really say more? These strawberry sandwich cookies (pink oreos) are the perfect treat to whip up for the special people in your life this Valentine’s Day. The secret to this perfect millennial pink frosting is freeze dried strawberries, which give the frosting a delicious flavor and beautiful color. You could also substitute for freeze dried raspberries. The cookies get their rich bold flavor from my favorite ingredient, black cocoa and dutch processed cocoa. If you’re not feeling the pink and want to make something dark like your soul I would suggest these mocha oreos which are another variation of this recipe. I’m sure everyone is saying millennials have ruined pink these days anyway.
I’ve been trying to be a lot more present in my everyday life (along with everyone else, I know). Honestly, I’ve been feeling super unmotivated to experiment in the kitchen the last couple of months and maybe I associate food with social media – because I have a food blog obviously.
I broke up with my boyfriend in September and didn’t really talk about it. I just decided I needed time to grow and challenge myself and that I needed to do it alone. My alcohol tolerance is a lot higher than it was 6 months ago though…
My brother and I went to Austin, TX a few weekends ago and it was a blast! We went for a quick weekend (Friday morning through Sunday night) and it was exactly what I needed. The weather wasn’t the “best” but it was sure better than Minnesota. We ate all the tacos, waited in line for BBQ forever (yes, I eat meat now), and saw all the cute doggos.
I eat meat now (see mention of BBQ above). I still eat plant based meals the majority of the time but I found myself exhausted during work trips and having a difficult time recovering from hard workouts. No, my blog content is not changing and my recipes will still be centered around a dairy free lifestyle. Diets are different for everyone and I just ask that you respect that.
I joined a new bike team in 2018. All the girls are amazing and my foot pain has finally turned into something I can manage. This time last year I was CRYING during workouts so I’m just glad to be able to ride my bike with minimal pain.
I’ve been eating dates and peanut butter like it’s nobody’s business.
I’m SO happy. Life is so hectic and work is exhausting most of the time but I love what I’m doing and have the best friends and I can’t wait to ride my bike this year.
STRAWBERRY SANDWICH COOKIES
Author: Dana Zychowski
Active Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 12 cookie sandwiches
Recipe Type: Snack, Dessert
for the cookies:
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 TBSP black cocoa
- 1 cup vegan butter, softened to room temperature
- 2/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
for the filling:
- 1 cup non hydrogenated vegetable shortening
- 1 oz freeze dried strawberries, blended into powder (about 1 cup)
- 2 1/2 cups organic powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the cookies, start by preheating the oven to 325 deg F. In a medium sized bowl, combine flour, cocoa, cocoa powder, and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside. In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter until it is nice and fluffy. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and mix again for a few extra minutes on high speed. Turn the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture in 1/4 cup increments until combined. Remove the dough from the mixer and use your hands to work in any extra crumbles.
Split dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out until it’s about 1/4″ thick. Use circular cookie cutter (or something like a jar lid!) to cut out circles of dough. Gather “scraps”, roll out, cut dough, and repeat until you’ve used up all your dough. Bake cookies for about 16-18, or until the tops aren’t shiny. For a crunchier cookie, bake for up to 20 minutes but I recommend 18 because they are still nice and soft. Allow to cool on the pan for a few minute before transferring to a cooling rack. Repeat with the second half of dough and allow cookies to cool completely before filling.
For the filling, mix the shortening on high speed using a hand mixer or stand mixer with whisk attachment. If you haven’t blended your strawberries, now is the time to do so. Simply put them in a food processor or blender until they are ground into a fine powder. Add the strawberries, vanilla, and powdered sugar to the mixer. Start blending on low to medium speed for a minute or two until the mixture comes together. Then mix on high for 1-2 minutes to fluff it up.
Place a plastic bag inside a wide mouthed jar and fold edges over the mouth of the jar. Using a spatula, scoop the frosting into the bag. Remove the bag from the jar and use a scissors to cut a triangle at one end (tada, lazy man’s piping back). You can also use a real piping back if you want. Flip all the cookies onto their tops and pipe half of them with a little mountain of frosting. Place a cookie without frosting on the top and press down gently. Once all the cookies are filled, place them in an air tight container for up to one week. If you are making these cookies ahead of time, make only the cookies and freezer for up to one month and fill separately before serving.