Valentine’s Round Up

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While my husband will tell you that every day is Valentine’s Day, I would beg to differ!  That aside, I do enjoy having fun with the kids for Valentine’s and this year with 60″ of snow and still counting, it’s the only thing keeping us sane!  So here are some of my favorite Valentine’s ideas, crafts and goodies.  Enjoy!

BounceThese were Zain’s Valentine’s from first grade with bouncy balls…Valentine, You Make My Heart Bounce!  It’s safe to say, they were a huge hit all round.  I used clear cello bags from the craft store’s candy aisle.  I trimmed the bag to make it shorter and then folded the card over the opening and stapled it.  These are formatted to be 3.75″ wide by 4″ tall (2″ tall when folded) to fit the bag size that I had.

ZainThese are Zain’s Valentine’s for this year.  For New Years this year we got the Ultimate Set of Crayolas to kick off our year (here is a link to our story), so we decided to recycle our “old” crayons.  We picked out all of the good crayons and sent them with Mir for his classroom and then took all of the mish mash crayons that you pick up along the way at restaurants and in gift packs and peeled all of the wrappers off and sorted them by color.

CrayonsSortWe broke up all of the crayons into smaller pieces and then took a silicone mold that we picked up in the candy aisle at the craft store and put some of each color in each cup.

CrayonsInWe decided to do multi-color crayons, but you could also do all variations of one color in each cup.

CrayonsDoneWe set the mold onto a backing sheet so that it stayed rigid when we took it out of the oven.  We then baked them for about 10 minutes at 275 degrees.  I would start watching after 8 minutes.  The majority were melted by then, but we had a few big chunky ones that took a bit longer.  Then you just let them cool and then pop them out of the molds.  We are instant gratification kind of folk here, so we popped them into the freezer for about 30 minutes to speed up the process.

ZainsWe made a card the same size as the “Bounce” valentine, but Zain did an original piece of art for his.  I then overlaid two white boxes–one for the tagline “You Draw My Heart!” (my vote was for “You Color Me Happy”, but I was overruled) and the friends’ names and one for his name on the back.  We used the same treat bags.Mir1You can see I have a formula for Valentine’s–treat bags with cards on top.  When something works, you stick with it!  These are for Mir’s class this year–You Make My Heart Race! with Hot Wheels in each.  Mir loves anything with wheels!  Mir2Since he is in Preschool he doesn’t have to write the names on them for who they are for but I did make him sign each of them.  He did a great job in my book!

You can’t have Valentine’s Day without treats!  Here are a few of our favorites.  They go over so well and are crazy easy.  That’s how we roll here.  Typically because I remember to do the ones for teachers the night before.

Hearts1Recently, during my Pile a Day Challenge, I found this Nordic Ware heart shaped pocket pie press in the way back of my loose utensil drawer.  I have absolutely no recollection of purchasing this, but was pleasantly surprised to find it!  I had some pie crust left over in the refrigerator, so I mixed up 1 1/2 diced, peeled apples, 1/3 cup sugar, and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon for the filling.  You could use Nutella or any pie filling of your choice.  You use the back side of the press to cut the heart shapes and then lay one in the bottom, top with your filling, and then lay another on top and squeeze the bad boy together!  I then brushed the top with a beaten egg and sprinkled with with Sugar in the Raw.  I baked them for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees.  It’s until they are golden brown with a bit of the filling oozing out

Hearts2We enjoyed ours warm with ice cream of course!

ValentinesMixWhile doing Valentine’s for the kids seems “easy” we are always for a loss with the teachers.  So last year, I “Valentinized” (yes it’s a word) our White Party Mix with chocolate bear crackers, Valentine’s M&Ms, and a sweet crispy cereal.  That’s the beauty of that recipe–you can mix it up with the contents.  It’s really all about the white chocolate coating that is a must!

TeachersTwo years ago, I completely spaced on the teacher’s gifts for Valentine’s so I whipped up a batch of the Ultimate Chocolate Chip cookies with Valentine’s M&Ms and white chocolate chips in a 9×13 pan.  These are what my mom would have called “blonde brownies”.  I then cut them up and drizzled them to make them look “jazzy” and wrapped them in cello with a bow.  Saved in the nick of time!

HeartMuffinsThis isn’t a stellar photo, BUT they taste awesome!  I made my Mom’s Quick Coffee Cake as muffins, and once the batter and topping had been layered into the muffin cups, I placed a marble in the tin to push in the muffin cup to make the indent in the top to make it a heart.  Easy peasy and the kids loved it!  Great for Valentine’s Day morning!

ConversationHeartsLast year I had a chocolate swap for my friends based on my cookie swap that I have in December and this is what I swapped!  This is our Thousand Dollar Fudge and once the fudge was cooled a bit, I lightly scored it where I was going to cut it, and then pressed a conversation heart into each piece.  Once it was cooled I cut it into individual pieces of goodness.

OreoBonBonsAnd last, but not least–the Oreo Bon Bon!  These I dipped in white chocolate and while the chocolate was still wet, I sprinkled it with red and pink nonpareils.  This look would work for any cake ball/pop you have.  I have also done Nutter Butters with cream cheese, and frosted animal crackers with vanilla frosting for alternate fillings.  The key is to get them into a ball and freeze them for at least 30 minutes and then dip.  I also use the chocolate melts from, you guessed it, the craft store candy aisle.  I swear no one will know the difference and you will not pull your hair out from chocolate freezing up over a double boiler!

Hope you have a sweet, love filled Valentine’s this year!  And by making these treats all the time, you could make every day Valentine’s Day!

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