Monday, February 8, 2021

Treats from the Heart for Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is fast approaching and many preparations have already been made.  It is hard to believe that there is anything more than just frigid cold in the air.  The temperatures have been wicked these last few days.  So it is time to stay cozy and celebrate love and romance with something created from the kitchen.  The table has been set and now there is the opportunity to work on some treats for energy, warmth and comfort and to make as gifts. 

If you missed The Warm and Woolly Valentine's Day Tablescape, you can view it at this link:   A Warm and Woolly Valentine's Day Tablescape.  It was one of many other Valentine's Day tablescapes from the Valentine's Day Blog Hop hosted by Chloe Crabtree.  All of these fine tables are still available for viewing and will have you at awe.  Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the article and visit all of the blogs listed. You will be thrilled to see so much creativity and charm.

This week was spent in preparation for Valentine's Day by putting together some heart-shaped hot chocolate bombs and delicious heart-shaped sugar cookies.  With the severe cold and snowy weather this week, hot chocolate is the perfect choice to warm both the body and soul.  Fun and simple to make, these rich chocolate bombs were made by melting down bulk milk chocolate into silicone heart shaped molds.  The trick was to spread the melted chocolate thickly and evenly throughout and up the sides of each heart.  

After they are completely solidified in the refrigerator, they can be easily popped out of the mold without breaking.  (If they were made thick enough and completely cooled in the refrigerator.)  Before I filled the heart, I wanted to even out the edge of each heart used as the bottom piece and where they will be sealed with the top.  One at a time, each bottom heart was placed on a slightly warm coated pan until it melted a bit and the edges were evened out for each heart.  They were then cooled.  Afterwards, they were ready to be filled.

In the bottom heart, a teaspoon of hot cocoa powder was added, three miniature marshmallows and a variety of Valentine's Day sprinkles, such as red hearts, white pearls and dark chocolate jimmies.  Once again with a warm pan, the top heart edges were slightly melted, but with enough chocolate melted to form a seal when it is placed on top of the bottom heart.  If there is a bit of excess chocolate on the seal, just use a little brush to smooth it over.  Return the hearts to the refrigerator to completely seal.  Decorate with melted white chocolate and more sprinkles.

Add one heart to a mug and add about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of hot, steamy milk, coffee or almond milk (depending on how sweet and chocolaty you wish to enjoy it).  After the chocolate bomb is dissolved in the hot milk, just add some whipped cream, sprinkles and more marshmallows.  Now sit back, grab a sugar cookie and let the snow fly outside your window.   



























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With this cup of rich, creamy and chocolaty hot chocolate, a sweet, colorfully frosted, heart-shaped sugar cookie is the perfect pair.  I just had to add some pink with the frosting on some of the cookies for this occasion.  Although they are simply decorated with just a single heart sprinkle, edible glitter and a single Ghirardelli double heart chocolate, they are pretty enough to be displayed in this tray filled with gold and white crinkle paper shreds and pink glitter cut-out hearts.  























I am thrilled with sugar cookies.  They are so delicious and can be shaped and decorated in limitless ways.  This time I added almond extract instead of vanilla extract to flavor the frosting.  It is my absolute favorite!  





Here is the recipe for the sugar cookies, if you are excited to give it a whirl:


Amazing Sugar Cookies

(Also known as First Grade Class Sugar Cookie)


3/4 C soft butter (not runny or whipped)
1 C sugar (or 3/4 C)
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 3/4 C flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Beat butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in dry ingredients until smooth. Chill in balls for 1 hour or until firm. Roll out on floured surface to at least 1/8 or 1/4 inch thick. If you need to add more flour, you may do so as you roll out the dough. Keep remaining dough chilled until ready to use. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters.
Put on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 7 to 10 minutes. Cookies should not be brown on top if you like soft cookies. They may be lightly brown around the edges or bottom. Let cookies sit on pan for a minute or two before removing them the cookie sheet to retain their shape. Remove and place on cookie rack to completely cool. Makes about 4 dozen.

Sugar Cookie Icing

4 C powdered sugar
1 T corn syrup
2 T water (more if needed)
1 tsp. vanilla extract or flavoring of your choice)
Few drops of food coloring of your choice

Mix together until smooth and slightly dip cookie front onto icing and let excess drip off. Let set until dry and hardened onto cookie.
 
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One other point to mention.....with a little experimentation, I also made some creamy petit fours-size chocolates with some of the remaining hearts.  Instead of adding the powdered cocoa and the other ingredients for a hot chocolate bomb, I added a creamy filling before sealing it with the top.  Just whip a pint of heavy whipping cream and add one or two tablespoons of vanilla pudding to it until it becomes thick.  Place a tablespoon full into the center of the bottom piece and seal with the top.  When biting into this chunky piece of chocolate, there is a light creamy vanilla center.  A smooth, melt-in-your-mouth indulgence.  

Here is a photo of one cut in half.  




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I hope you all have a sweet and lovable Valentine's Day!











10 comments:

  1. They all look so good! I have been drooling over the hot chocolate bombs, they sound amazing!

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  2. Wow I’m drooling! You come up with such interesting desserts! Wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day!

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  3. Lovely valentine treats#alittlebitofeverything@_karendennis

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  4. Every single image is just amazing!

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  5. Those beautiful photos have my mouth watering! Pinned.

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  6. Looks great 😊 perfect for Valentine’s Day saw this at this weeks link-up at fortheloveto

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  7. Perfect - and so pretty. I want one of each. Happy Pink Saturday. Thank your for joining us and for sharing.♥

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  8. These all look yummy, and the edible glitter is great. Wondering if the glitter a special order?
    Thanks you for sharing your post at Friday with Friends link party.

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  9. Beautiful and so perfect. I bet they are yummy too. I am always catching up on my commenting. I also am new following you and came over from How Sweet the SOound and Pink Saturday. Have a wonderful day.

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