Kids love to cook, and it’s always recommended to get involved with the children in the kitchen. It’s a great way to learn plenty of important like skills, but it’s also a fun way to enjoy a few hours together as a family. This Valentine’s Day, why not spend that time making something heart-shaped so everyone can enjoy the holiday together? Whether you’re looking for something sweet to surprise your family with, or you would like a kid-friendly way to cook something together on Valentine’s Day, here are five different ways to show your love with some heart-shaped foods.
Say good morning to your sweethearts with some tasty heart pancakes. Use your favorite pancake recipe, but instead of trying to cook your pancakes in the shape of a heart, simply use cookie cutters once the pancakes are already cooked through. For even more impact, try adding in a little red food coloring for the perfect Valentine’s Day breakfast treat. Make a whole batch of different colors and show your sweeties that you love them with pink, purple, red and blue heart-shaped pancakes.
When it’s snack time at home, keep the love theme going with some heart-shaped fruit for your sweet little ones. Simply use those same cookie cutters from before (or smaller ones) to cut heart shapes out of honeydew, cantaloupe, watermelon, pineapple or any other fruits that your children love. A little yogurt for dipping and you’ve got a perfectly healthy and still holiday-friendly treat that the kids will love.
Conversation Heart Cookies
Everyone is familiar with those sweet conversation heart candies that seem to be everywhere the minute Christmas is over. You can make similar-looking cookies that will taste far better, and are a perfect place for your own special message. Simply use your favorite sugar cookie recipe, then divide the dough into equal parts. Add a few drops of food coloring to each ball of dough and mix well. Once you have multiple colors, use your cookie cutters to make hearts and bake as usual. Then use a red frosting pen to write anything you’d like on the cookie.
If you have a babysitter for the Valentine’s holiday, or if you’re just looking for something fun to make, why not set up a heart-shaped pizza bar for the kids to enjoy while you’re gone? All you need to do is pick up some canned pizza dough, roll it out and cut it into hearts with a cookie cutter or knife, then top with all your favorite pizza toppings and bake as usual. The kids will love getting in on the cooking as they create their own heart pizzas and the tasty treat will make the holiday even more special.
Peekaboo Heart Cookies
These sweet treats are made from ready-to-use pie crust and your favorite jam. You can make several varieties with a few different flavors of jam, and the peekaboo hearts are perfect for showing your love for the holiday. Package a few in a pretty bag and send them off to school for your kids to enjoy a special holiday treat, or have a warm plate waiting when they get home for an after school love-fest.
- One roll ready-to-bake pie crust
- One large egg, beaten
- Four tablespoons fruit jam
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Unroll the pie crust and cut into hearts using a cookie cutter.
- Use a smaller heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out a smaller peekaboo heart from half of the pieces.
- Brush the edges of your pie crust pieces with egg.
- Spread one teaspoon of your favorite fruit jam onto the heart shapes, then put the peekaboo hearts on top of the other hearts so the fruit shows in the heart cut out.
- Seal the edges with a fork by crimping around the sides.
- Transfer to the prepared cookie sheet.
- Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown, cool completely before serving.
Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.