Valentines Day Gifts and Treats

I’m so ready for another holiday!  Bring on the valentines!  Here are 6  picks for you to do for your valentine.

Cookies  

So many cookie choices but the Hershey kiss cookie is a classic valentine treat.  I cheated and used chocolate chip refrigerated dough, sliced it into 16 slices and then sliced each slice in half sideways .  I rolled each sliced section into a ball and rolled it in sprinkles, chocolate of course, but I also tried pastel pink sprinkles.

    I baked them at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes.   While the cookies baked, I unwrapped the kisses so they were ready to push into the middle of the warm cookie, after a few minutes  transferred them to a wire cooling rack.

Another valentine choice is a Spritz cookie, which are cute but much less time to make than the usual cut outs.  Theses were made from a Better Homes and Gardens recipe I’ve had for years.

valentines spritz cookies (Spritz blossoms)

valentines spritz cookies (Spritz blossoms)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • for decorating - icing, colored sugar, dragees

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar and baking powder beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, vanilla and almond extract until combined. Beat in a s much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Sir in any remaining flour.
  2. Force unchilled dough through a cookie press fitted with a flower (or your choice) disc onto an ungreased cookie sheet. (I sprinkled mine with colored sugar here) Bake in the preheated oven for 7 to 9 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. /transfer to a wire rack and let cool.
  3. Decorate as desired. (I added a dragee for the center of my flower)
http://grannienannie.com/2017/01/21/valentines-day-gifts-and-treats/

But all valentine cookie gifts do not need to be valentine cute as long as they are packaged with a valentine theme.  These rolled cookies are not traditional valentines day cookies but a whimsical cookie, wrapped in valentine paper or a box or bag will look just as lovely.  

These are impressive but so simple.  I cheated again and used refrigerated cookie dough.  It’s so sticky to work with so I added 1/2 cup of flour to peanut butter cookie dough with a mixer and 1/2 cup of cocoa powder to sugar cookie dough, this helps with the stickiness and also makes the color contrast with the peanut butter layer.

I divided each batch of dough in half.  Then rolled each of the 4 pieces separately:  Put one of the balls of dough on a piece of wax paper, pushed it down a little and added another piece of wax paper, then roll into a 12″ x 9″ rectangle.   It will be pretty thin so be sure to use the wax paper so you can move it.

Remove the top wax paper from a peanut butter cookie rectangle and a cocoa rectangle.  Turn one over on top of the other.  Remove the top wax paper.  and roll one long side tightly and evenly all the way to the other long side.  Wrap it up in plastic wrap or the wax paper and refrigerate about an hour or until the next day.  Repeat stacking and rolling with the remaining two balls of dough.

(I rolled the cocoa on the outside and then the peanut butter on the outside with the other roll, I like the cocoa on the outside best)

Heat the oven to 350 degree F.  Slice the rolls of dough 1/4″ inch thick and bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 10 minutes.

I packaged mine with tissue paper from Victoria Secret (Don’t they have the cutest tissue?  I always save it)

 

Another idea for a valentine cookie gift  is their favorite cookie packaged in a jar with a red ribbon.  These are Cardamom Snaps I made from a Better Homes and Gardens recipe. http://bhg.com/cardamomcookie

 

Chocolate spoons

These are disposable spoons that I found in a rose gold color.  A real spoon would be even more special since they would have the spoon to keep.

The spoons can be used for stirring a hot beverage to make it extra decadent!

I had just cleaned out my pantry and knew I had several partial packages of various chocolates so when I saw these pretty plastic spoons I knew I could use up my bits of chocolates and make pretty stirrers to give to my Bible study group as a little valentine.  I melted the chocolate in the microwave in a rubber bowl so i could bend it for easy pouring into the spoon.

Also notice I put the ends of the handles on a book to hold the bowl of the spoon at the right level to be able to fill the bowl of the spoon.  Most of my chocolate was melting discs, chocolate for making candy so it melted nicely.  For two of the spoons I used chocolate chips so I added a tiny bit of shortening to the chocolate so it would be smooth.  The melting discs and candy-making chocolates were much smoother than the chocolate chips.  I put the spoons in the refrigerator to harden the chocolate.

After the spoons were set, I melted a bit of white chocolate, put it in a sandwich bag and snipped off the corner, (just the tip, you don’t want the hole too big).

I was too unsure of making a heart so I went with a ‘more likely to turn out’ zig zag.

Then back into the fridge with them.

When the white chocolate was set, I put them in little bags (from the candy making section of a store that sells baking supplies)  and tied them with a red ribbon.  

HAND PRINT HEARTS

I made these hand and footprint hearts with my grandkids for their parents.  Brinley was not so into it so her footprint is smudged but I’m sure Mom and Dad won’t mind!

TEA PARTY

Have a Valentine Tea Party with your kids/grandkids.  We spread a blanket indoors for our picnic since it was rainy outside.  Invite their favorite stuffed animal or plastic dinosaur etc.  They  put cereal in teacups and used a spoon to eat them but do whatever your kids like.  They liked refilling their teacups.

                                                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

QUICHE

A Quiche makes a special valentine brunch and this one is easy enough for kids to make.  My 9-year-old boys I nanny made and ate this Quiche all by themselves, except the actual oven part, which I don’t let them do yet.

We used a frozen pie crust.  They had sliced havarti cheese in their fridge so they layered a few slices of that on the bottom of the thawed crust.  They whisked 2 eggs, which they are pros at cracking now, and salt, pepper and one cup of milk and poured it in the crust, on top of the cheese.

Then I put it in 400 degree F oven for 30 minutes.  I chopped some tomato while it was cooling (about 10 minutes)

CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRIES

In my opinion, it can’t even be Valentines Day without these little gems.   These were made by the 9-year-old boys I nanny.

We started by washing and drying these beautiful strawberries.  They already look like valentines!

We melted 6 oz of dark chocolate chips and 1/2 teaspoon of shortening in mugs, in the microwave.  Medium power 3 minutes, stirred and 2 more minutes on medium power.

They dipped and also used a spoon to pour and hold the strawberries.                  It took a bit of coordination to not use their fingers.

            Licking the spoon!

   A delicious Valentine snack and some to give away.

Happy Valentines Day!

 

 

 

 

 

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