I know this sounds un-American, but while most of the country was preparing for the Super Bowl, my children and I spent Saturday creating Valentine treats. Some things were inspired by Pinterest, but others were my traditional sweets. Everything is super simple to make and requires little time and few ingredients. All of it was well-received.
Valentine Pretzel Treats
This is one I did find on Pinterest and was a huge success because it is colorful, bitesized, and only requires 3 ingredients. Simply put square pretzels (I used the butter flavored ones) on a cookie sheet, and top each one with a Hershey's Hugs chocolate. Place in a 300 degree oven for about 2 or 3 minutes until the Hugs have softened, but not completely melted.
As soon as they come out of the oven, place a dark chocolate Valentine colored M&M in the center. I couldn't find a good way to do this without getting messy. It was a bit too tedious for my smaller children. Maybe using a pair of tweezers would be a good idea.
Just look how cute these turned out. The Hugs eventually firm up once cooled and the treat is no longer gooey. Perfect for classroom parties or just to have at home.
Raspberry Filled Sugar Cookies
These heart shaped cookies are something I've been making for years. Sometimes I fill them with creme frosting, but this time I used Smuckers Natural Raspberry Fruit Spread. Simply roll out your favorite sugar cookie dough and cut out with heart shaped cookie cutters. For the top cookie, cut a smaller heart out of the center and bake everything in the oven according to the directions. I used refrigerated Pillsbury sugar cookie dough and baked them in a 350 degree oven for 11 minutes. After they come out of the oven, let cool for a minute. Then spread the jam on the solid hearts and sprinkle powdered sugar on the cookies with the center cut out. Place the tiny heart shaped cookies aside.
Then, place them together like a sandwich, and you've got pseudo healthy Valentine sugar cookies. Yummy!
All those little heart shapes you cut out of the cookies above can be covered in frosting and decorated by the kiddos. Our favorite butter cream frosting can be found here at my blog post from last July.
Some easy treats that aren't sweet are these Town House heart shaped pretzel thins with a piece of cooper cheese on top---in the shape of a heart, of course. Cucumbers are also easy to slice and push a small metal heart shaped cookie cutter through. Somehow even raw veggies are more appealing to children if they're in a different shape.
To make some pink non-alcoholic beverages, I used some vanilla ice cream, cranberry Sierra Mist, whipped cream, and maraschino cherries to create Cranberry Floats.
Just put a couple of scoops of vanilla ice cream in the bottom of each glass, add the soda, and top with whipped cream and a cherry and straw.
The only problem was that the whipped cream and maraschino cherries kept sinking into the foam before I could get a good picture taken. Didn't change the flavor though. The kids definitely want me to make these more often.
Finally, since I've gotten into seasonal chalkboard art on my front porch, the snowman was erased, and a Valentine theme was created. Although, it's looking like we might get more snow here in a few days.
Now doesn't this look like more fun than watching a football game?