On this day back in 1974, my college friends and I decided we were sick of seeing lucky girls getting roses delivered to them willy-nilly, while we got nothing. So we held a Valentine’s Day Sleep-A-Thon.
My friend and resident artist, Dawn created fabulous posters for our doors that said anyone could participate, in the VD Sleep-a- Thon. All you had to do was sleep through the day so you didn’t have to witness the floral onslaught. Only problem was, we had to miss class to participate, and we were good girls, so it never quite took hold the way we imagined.
Now, that I’m older, still alone, but much wiser, instead of coveting someone else’s roses, I go buy myself flowers and chocolate. Why wait for something I’m perfectly capable of buying myself?
In fact, now I celebrate Valentine’s Day with abandon. I even bake for it, and one of my favorite things to make is a Danish Pastry Puff. I usually make it as a breakfast or brunch item.
It’s a buttery pastry crust topped with another layer that’s almost like a cream puff in texture but flavored with almond extract, then covered in icing and sprinkled with almonds.
It’s an easy recipe I got from my brother, Bernie, who had a food column years ago called Top Fork. He used to go around sampling food at different restaurants then write about it.
(It’s a sickness — Tunno’s can’t help it, we’re always either eating, cooking , or talking about food.)
I saved his clipping from all those years ago and every time I make a Danish Pastry Puff, I use it. It’s easy, buttery deliciousness!
Here’s the original recipe for Danish Puffs, handed down via my brother, who got it from his ex-neighbor Martha May, who got it from her eighth grade Home Economics teacher, Wealthie Crawford, who entered it in a national bake-off and won a prize. I love how recipes make the rounds. And let’s hear it for one nationality embracing the food of another. It’s what makes the United States so totally cool. I swear food is the true route to world peace.
I tried a variation on it with Brown Butter Frosting and it was very good, but I like the almond too. Usually Puffs take the form of rectangles, but for Valentine’s Day you can shape them like hearts. Enjoy them and have a Happy Valentine’s Day whether you’re alone or a couple!
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
3 Tbsp. cold water
Mix together ingredients and spread into two rectangles (or hearts) on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Filling or Topping
1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1 tsp. almond extract (for the brown butter puff, delete the almond extract)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup flour
3 large or extra large eggs
Put 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup of water in a medium size sauce pan and bring it to a boil. Add 1 tsp. of almond extract and 1 tsp. vanilla. Then remove from heat and add 1 cup flour immediately. Beat by hand until smooth, then beat in three eggs, one at a time until smooth. Spread on top of crusts and back at 350 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool.
Vanilla Frosting for Puffs with Almond Flavoring
2 Tbsp. butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp. half and half
Dash of salt
Melt the butter and add the powdered sugar. Add the vanilla, the half and half, and salt, to taste. Pour over the cooled puff and sprinkle with nuts. You can use sliced almonds or chopped walnuts.
Brown Butter Frosting (You will see God when you taste this)
1/2 cup butter
3 cups powdered sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp. half and half
Melt butter over low heat in a saucepan until melted. Continue stirring until butter turns a golden to medium brown. Be careful not to burn it. It should smell wonderfully fragrant. Once browned, remove it from the heat and add the powdered sugar and half and half, stirring with the whisk until smooth. Then drizzle over the cooled puff and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.
bernie TunnioFebruary 15, 2018 at 7:31 pm
Great column Bruny! I can’t tell you how many people cut that column out and use it and continue to tell me about it! Thanks for the moment of past history.
Fran TunnoFebruary 16, 2018 at 3:34 pm
Happy to give you the credit. This is a fantastic recipe. I remember the first time I made it. I helped you and Donna make it at your house and it was divine.
lafridayFebruary 15, 2018 at 12:00 am
Oh, if I were eating such things, this sounds divine. Happy VD Day, my beloved friend!
Fran TunnoFebruary 16, 2018 at 3:33 pm
Awww, thanks Linda! It’s great for guests. They get very excited.
JoAnn JonesFebruary 14, 2018 at 4:28 pm
Love your recipes , Fran, and your blogs. Hope you had a great Valentine’s Day !!! 😘😘😘❤️ You are loved 😊 JoAnn
Fran TunnoFebruary 14, 2018 at 10:11 pm
I did. I worked but handed out chocolates and hugs then met a friend for coffee and conversation, it was all good! Hope yours was wonderful too. Give my best to the whole family! xoxoxo
Cousin JaneFebruary 14, 2018 at 11:52 am
Happy Valentines Day, Fran! Xxoo
I have that recipe of Bernie’s and use to make it! Weird because I have no idea when I got it, perhaps you passed it along to me when we lived in California!?
Glad you wrote about it because I’m going to dig into my recipes and make it.
Fran TunnoFebruary 14, 2018 at 10:10 pm
I may have done just that, it sounds like me. This is one of my all time favorites. I hope you and Duke had a fabulous Valentine’s Day!
Chas MadonioFebruary 14, 2018 at 10:16 am
Happy Valentine’s Day to my favorite Californian! I was going to send you a dozen roses, but wouldn’t you know it, my carrier pigeon broke his wing. Maybe next year. Have a good day anyway.
Fran TunnoFebruary 14, 2018 at 10:09 pm
It’s OK Chas, I know your heart was in the right place. Stupid carrier pigeon! I hope you and Nancy had a wonderful Valentine’s Day!
NicolFebruary 14, 2018 at 8:03 am
You always have my heart, Fran! Love you xo
Fran TunnoFebruary 14, 2018 at 10:08 pm
Bless you Nicol, it was great seeing you tonight! Happy VD!