Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Little Sweethearts – Valentine Treats Kids Will Love

Chocolate Chip Heart Waffles
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, separated
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Special Equipment – Heart shaped waffle iron

Preheat waffle iron and grease with cooking spray, if necessary. Stir flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk in milk, butter, vanilla, and egg yolk into the flour mixture just until blended. Beat egg white and sugar with a mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form. Carefully fold into flour mixture. Spoon batter onto hot waffle iron, using the same amount you usually fill the iron and sprinkle chocolate chips over the waffle before closing the iron. Cook each waffle about 3 to 5 minutes or until done. Serve topped with whipped cream, chocolate syrup and sprinkles, if desired.

Sweet Cinnamon Valentine Cookies
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 drops red food coloring

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cream powdered sugar, butter and vinegar in a large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients, except food coloring. Divide dough in half. Mix food color into one half and leave the other half as is. Roll dough to about 1/8 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut dough into heart shapes with cookie cutters. Mix and match sizes and colors as desired. Place cookies about two inches apart on a non-stick cookie sheet. Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until set and very lightly browned. Cool slightly in pan, then transfer to cooking racks.

Valentine Brownie Hearts
5 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2/3 cup butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts, if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a jellyroll pan with parchment paper. Lightly spray the paper with cooking spray. Heat chocolate and butter in a double boiler, stirring frequently, until melted then remove from heat. While chocolate is cooling, cream sugar, vanilla, and eggs in a large mixing bowl on high speed for 5 minutes. Turn mixer speed down to low and slowly pour in chocolate. Stir in flour and chocolate chips until blended. Add nuts, if desired. Pour brownie batter into lined pan and bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Cool in pan then remove parchment to counter top and cut brownies with a heart-shaped cookie cutter. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.

Sandwiches with Strawberries & Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
1 1/2 cups chopped hazelnuts
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 to 2 tablespoons canola oil
6 to 8 cleaned and sliced strawberries
Whole wheat sandwich thins

Place the hazelnuts in a dry skillet and toast over medium heat 2 to 4 minutes or until just starting to brown. Place the hazelnuts and the chocolate chips in a large food processor and blend until smooth, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add in one tablespoon of oil to chocolate and hazenuts while processing. Add another tablespoon of oil, if needed, until the mixture becomes smooth and easy to spread. Cut sandwich thins into heart shapes with a cookie cutter and spread the bottom piece with about one tablespoon of chocolate hazelnut spread. Top with strawberries and the top piece of the bread and serve.

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