The Best Valentine’s Cookie Cake Ever

This post on The Best Valentine’s Cookie Cake Ever was sponsored on behalf of H-E-B. All opinions stated are my own.

Want to surprise the love of your life with a fun dessert for Valentine's? This is the Best Valentine's Cookie Cake Ever and one that will win over the heart of anyone that you are looking for cupid's arrow to hit!

You know the old saying, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”? That is the case when it comes to my husband, Mathew. I swear that man married me because of my cooking. I reeled him in in our dating days with my creamy chicken alfredo and my “oatstanding” oatmeal crasin cookies. Over the years, I’ve cooked a lot of delicious desserts, but there’s one thing he loves that is his love language- cookie cakes. I love baking cakes for my family’s birthdays and Mathew would always rather have a cookie cake instead! I never have been one to really enjoy cookie cakes, but this Valentine’s I was determined to make a cookie cake that not only he could enjoy, but that I could take a bite or two of and not want to spit out. So…I went through some of my favorite cookie recipes and am bringing you the Best Valentine’s Cookie Cake Ever!

Want to surprise the love of your life with a fun dessert for Valentine's? This is the Best Valentine's Cookie Cake Ever and one that will win over the heart of anyone that you are looking for cupid's arrow to hit! #heb #sponsored

I’ll tell you, there’s a secret to making the Best Valentine’s Cookie Cake Ever- it’s to not over bake it. I like to err on the side of caution and set my timer for a couple minutes less than I usually would with typical cookies to make sure that it’s not overdone. In combination with my cookie recipe, it makes for seriously THE Best Valentine’s Cookie Cake Ever.

Y’all know I love shopping at H-E-B, and they always have some great deals. I spotted one in particular, and found it was perfect for this recipe! If you buy the Handi-Foil Cook-N-Carry Heart Pans & Lids 2 pk for $3.97, you get 2 Pillsbury Cake Mixes and a Pillsbury Frosting FREE in store with your coupons! Of course, I needed the heart pans and frosting for the Best Valentine’s Cookie Cake Ever, so it was a no brainer to grab my coupons and get some free goodies. If you’re planning on making this, go get yours while they’re available! I also grabbed this cute little dutch bouquet in the floral department of H-E-B to put on my kitchen table. It’s so pretty and festive, and the perfect size for a little pop of color.

Want to surprise the love of your life with a fun dessert for Valentine's? This is the Best Valentine's Cookie Cake Ever and one that will win over the heart of anyone that you are looking for cupid's arrow to hit! #heb #sponsored

5.0 from 1 reviews
The Best Valentine's Cookie Cake Ever
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Want to surprise the love of your life with a fun dessert for Valentine's? This is the Best Valentine's Cookie Cake Ever and one that will win over the heart of anyone that you are looking for cupid's arrow to hit!
Ingredients
  • 1 c Butter
  • ¾ c Sugar
  • 1 c Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3 c H-E-B Select Ingredients Baker's Scoop All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp Baking Powder
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • 2 c Semisweet Chocolate Chips
  • Pillsbury Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Sprinkles
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Cook until butter is light brown in color and smells nutty. Then remove from heat.
  3. Combine sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Stir in browned butter.
  4. Carefully mix in eggs until just combined.
  5. In another bowl, sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. Fold into other bowl until well combined but not over mixed.
  6. Fold in chocolate chips.
  7. Press dough into greased Handi-Foil Cook-N-Carry Heart Pan into a nice, even layer.
  8. Bake 10-15 minutes. Start your timer with 10 minutes and add time as needed until you achieve a light brown cookie.
  9. Cool completely and decorate with frosting and sprinkles.

Want to surprise the love of your life with a fun dessert for Valentine's? This is the Best Valentine's Cookie Cake Ever and one that will win over the heart of anyone that you are looking for cupid's arrow to hit! #heb #sponsored

When I made this for Mathew, you should’ve seen how big his eyes got! He loves cookie cake so much! I used cream cheese frosting to give a little tang and offset some of the sweetness from the cookie. I don’t like desserts to be sickly sweet, and the cream cheese was a perfect pairing. I love making goodies for him and cookie cakes always seem to make him smile. Even better? He proclaimed, “This is the Best Valentine’s Cookie Cake Ever!” and it completely made my day.

Plan on making the Best Valentine’s Cookie Cake Ever? Head to your local H-E-B then tell us what you thought in the comments!

Braised Balsamic Short Ribs and Creamy Polenta

This post on Braised Balsamic Short Ribs and Creamy Polenta was sponsored on behalf of H-E-B. All opinions stated are my own.

Looking for a stick-to-your-ribs winter dinner recipe? These Braised Balsamic Short Ribs and Creamy Polenta are SO good, you'll want to make it over and over again! So grab your Cocinaware Dutch Oven, and get cooking!

It’s finally starting to feel somewhat like winter here in Texas and I couldn’t be happier. Winter brings so much nostalgia to me. I recall the first time I came to Waco and met Mathew’s family one special New Years day, I think of our wedding and how we just celebrated 5 years last week, I think of numerous skiing trips to New Mexico with my family, and baking cookies with my cousin Monica and my Aunt Gloria. Winter not only brings nostalgia for fond memories, but excitement for stick-to-your-ribs kinds of foods. Sometimes though, as much as I love them, I get sick of chili or soup. I’m not alone in this, right? I stumbled upon a recipe for Braised Balsamic Short Ribs from H-E-B with creamy polenta and was so excited for a change in our usual recipe rotation.

Looking for a stick-to-your-ribs winter dinner recipe? These Braised Balsamic Short Ribs and Creamy Polenta are SO good, you'll want to make it over and over again! So grab your Cocinaware Dutch Oven, and get cooking!

In order to make my Braised Balsamic Short Ribs, I went to H-E-B and grabbed all my groceries. Guys, I go to H-E-B so much that the cashiers jokingly give me grief (especially when I get the tiny basket and play Tetris to see if I can make all my groceries fit.) This recipe calls for:

Grapeseed oil
All purpose flour
Kosher salt
Black pepper
Bone‑in beef short ribs
Shallot, minced
Fresh garlic, minced
Fennel, medium dice
Organic beef stock
Barefoot Cabernet Sauvignon
H‑E‑B Pepper Toppers Jalapeno Sweet Balsamic Reduction
Fresh thyme
Bay leaves
Lamb’s Stone Ground Yellow Corn Meal, Original Coarse Grind
Looking for a stick-to-your-ribs winter dinner recipe? These Braised Balsamic Short Ribs and Creamy Polenta are SO good, you'll want to make it over and over again! So grab your Cocinaware Dutch Oven, and get cooking!
…and to cook it all in? a Cocinaware 5.2 quart Enamel Cast Iron Dutch Oven from H-E-B. This dutch oven is magical. I absolutely love it and it’s the perfect pot for this meal. If you don’t have a dutch oven, it’s time to invest in one- particularly this one from Cocinaware. I got mine in a gorgeous Aqua and it matches my Kitchenaid mixer! The Cocinaware Dutch Oven is great for any recipe that requires braising, soups, stews, casseroles, beans, or your favorite Texas chili recipe. I say that it’s “magical” because it can cook on the stovetop, on a grill, and even in the oven. Plus, it’s so pretty from the enamel coloring, that you can put it straight to the table for a beautiful serving piece.
Looking for a stick-to-your-ribs winter dinner recipe? These Braised Balsamic Short Ribs and Creamy Polenta are SO good, you'll want to make it over and over again! So grab your Cocinaware Dutch Oven, and get cooking!
After making the Braised Balsamic Short Ribs from H-E-B, Mathew proclaimed it was the “best meal ever” and licked his plate clean. I’ve never had braised short ribs before, and I will never try another recipe for one because this one is tried and true! The H‑E‑B Pepper Toppers Jalapeno Sweet Balsamic Reduction give these short ribs an unexpected spicy kick, while the wine brings sweetness to it. Although the recipe called for transferring to a slow cooker, I actually just kept my short ribs in my Cocinaware Dutch Oven the entire time (from searing all the way til they were done.) Less mess is best, right? If you keep your Braised Balsamic Short Ribs in the dutch oven, just put it on low/medium-low for 6-8 hours so those deliciously sticky, spicy, and sweet ribs can fall off the bones.

I bet you’re dying for the recipe now, right? You can get the recipe for the Braised Balsamic Short Ribs right here!

If you try it, come back and tell us how much you loved it! Now go grab yourself a Cocinaware 5.2 quart Enamel Cast Iron Dutch Oven and get to cooking. You won’t regret it!

Low Calorie Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pasta Bake

This Low Calorie Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pasta Bake is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group®  & La Moderna but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #MyExceptionalPasta #GoldenHarvest  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Looking for a pasta bake that'll blow your mind? This Low Calorie Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pasta Bake is so delicious and perfect for Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, or just a crazy week! #MyExceptionalPasta #GoldenHarvest #Pmedia #ad

This week I’m super excited for an annual party of mine- Friendsgiving. It’s something I started last year for my Young Living team and I plan on doing it every year. Cooking for people has been a love of mine since I was in high school. My best friend, Sarah, introduced me to the Food Network in the early 2000’s and I’ve been hooked ever since. I love taking unique spins on recipes or changing them up so they’re “fancy” while still being easy. One of my newest dishes that has become a fast favorite? My Low Calorie Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pasta Bake with La Moderna Golden Harvest Penne Rigate!

Looking for a pasta bake that'll blow your mind? This Low Calorie Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pasta Bake is so delicious and perfect for Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, or just a crazy week! #MyExceptionalPasta #GoldenHarvest #Pmedia #ad

There’s something about cooking that has always fascinated me. As a little girl, I would go to my Memaw and Pepaw’s house after school and I’d help make homemade flour tortillas. I had such joy rolling out the tortillas in different shapes! My Memaw and I would make the dough from scratch and would eat homemade macaroni and cheese while we waited for the dough to rise. I had the best memories at their house just cooking away. I loved watching my Memaw add freshly ground comino (that’s Spanish for cumin!) and garlic to her recipes, and how everything she made was amazingly delicious.

Looking for a pasta bake that'll blow your mind? This Low Calorie Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pasta Bake is so delicious and perfect for Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, or just a crazy week! #MyExceptionalPasta #GoldenHarvest #Pmedia #ad

During the holidays, I remember cooking with my mom, my aunt, and my Grandma for Thanksgiving. Ruining Thanksgiving cornbread was a talent I once had (ha!) but I redeemed myself by making the green bean casserole. For Christmas, my Aunt Gloria would invite me to her home to make homemade Christmas cookies with my cousin Monica. It was always such a fun time and I looked forward to it each year.

Looking for a pasta bake that'll blow your mind? This Low Calorie Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pasta Bake is so delicious and perfect for Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, or just a crazy week! #MyExceptionalPasta #GoldenHarvest #Pmedia #ad

There was just something about cooking that always fascinated and inspired me. I’m also really competitive so cooking was a way to compete with myself. How can I get the most reaction out of people that I feed? How can I get this meal to top the last one? Honestly- this Low Calorie Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pasta Bake made with La Moderna Golden Harvest Penne Rigate takes the cake! Not only that, but since I’m working out with Camp Gladiator right now, I really am watching what I eat and I track my macros. I challenged myself to make this as lightened up as possible without sacrificing any flavor. I think you’ll agree with me that this dish is a perfect one to make during the holidays, for Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, or even a Christmas Eve meal.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Low Calorie Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pasta Bake
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 8
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Looking for a pasta bake that'll blow your mind? This Low Calorie Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pasta Bake is so delicious and perfect for Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, or just a crazy week!
Ingredients
  • Coconut oil cooking spray
  • 20 oz uncooked butternut squash, fresh, peeled and cubed
  • 1 box La Moderna Golden Harvest Penne Rigate
  • 2 oz Pancetta, chopped
  • 1¼ cups 2% milk
  • 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme, fresh
  • 2 Tbsp Sage, ground
  • ½ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup Shaved Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Thinly coat a baking sheet with coconut oil cooking spray. Thinly coat a 9x11 glass baking dish with coconut oil cooking spray.
  2. Place butternut squash onto the baking sheet. Salt squash with 1 tsp salt. Roast about 20 to 30 minutes. Mash the butternut squash on the baking sheet and put to the side.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. After the butternut squash has been roasting for about 10 minutes, cook the La Moderna Golden Harvest Penne Rigate for 7 minutes; drain and return to pot. Penne will be very al dente.
  4. In a medium saucepan, whisk together milk, flour, garlic, salt and pepper. Bring this mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer, whisking until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove the sauce from heat, stir in mashed butternut squash, thyme, and 1 tbsp sage. Add the sauce to the penne and mix with a silicone spatula.
  5. In a small pan, cook chopped pancetta until brown and crispy. Drain grease, set aside.
  6. Transfer the penne mixture to your oiled baking dish. Dot the top with small spoonfuls of ricotta and then sprinkle with parmesan and pancetta. Sprinkle remaining sage and bake until top is lightly browned in a few spots, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 329 Fat: 5.1 Carbohydrates: 51.1 Protein: 13.5

This Low Calorie Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pasta Bake is definitely one of our newest meals for the Fall and Wintertime. It’s hearty and makes you feel like you’re being “bad” and eating comfort food, but it’s actually low in calories! The sage and thyme in the Low Calorie Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pasta Bake are really what make this meal taste like the holidays, and honestly, the taste is so delicious, you won’t think it’s low calorie at all. Because I count my macros, I was able to eat a portion and have seconds- and I didn’t feel one bit guilty! I grabbed the La Moderna Golden Harvest Penne Rigate at Walmart. To find La Moderna where you live, check out their product locator.

Looking for a pasta bake that'll blow your mind? This Low Calorie Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pasta Bake is so delicious and perfect for Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, or just a crazy week! #MyExceptionalPasta #GoldenHarvest #Pmedia #ad

I want this Low Calorie Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pasta Bake to become a staple in our home for the holidays. I want it to be that one meal that people remember years from now as being so delicious that they couldn’t get enough of it, just like I used to do with my Memaw, my Grandma, and my Aunt’s recipes. I want them to say, “Remember that pasta bake Stephanie made that one Friendsgiving? Oh man I really want some of that right now!” There’s something so wonderfully satisfying knowing that a recipe has left a mark on someone’s heart!

Looking for a pasta bake that'll blow your mind? This Low Calorie Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pasta Bake is so delicious and perfect for Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, or just a crazy week! #MyExceptionalPasta #GoldenHarvest #Pmedia #adI’d love to know: What occasion will you be making the Low Calorie Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pasta Bake? What’s one holiday recipe that’s left a mark on your heart?