Valentine’s Day Almost Homemade Sweet Treats

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Red and pink and everything sweet, Valentine’s Day is almost here.

Evening plans with your main squeeze are already in the works, but what about all of the other sweeties in your life? Like your best friend since 7th grade, or your awesome office team at work? Mom has been your original Valentine ever since you can remember, so of course we cannot forget your kiddos. The tradition continues.

Bulk boxes of V-Day cards have been done, and taping a little chocolate heart to the inside is no longer considered thoughtful nor is it creative. Roses are over the top for coworkers – not to mention pricey, but $5 Starbucks gift cards aren’t exactly heartwarming either.

What about a raspberry hot cocoa kit? Or a pink Chinese takeout box full of the recipients favorite goodies? Baking mini heart shaped sugar cookies for your son or daughter’s class is a great bonding activity. You can even dress them up by putting the cookies in a cellophane bag tied with an adorable red ribbon. Spell out your besties’ name in chocolate chips on a giant cookie. When you think outside of the box, and put a nontraditional twist on a traditional holiday, the possibilities are endless.

Valentine’s Day is the perfect occasion to express just how much you love and appreciate all of those special people in your life. These super simple sweet treats are sure to express just that.

Mini Hearts of Sugar- Cookies

You’ll need:

  1. Heart shaped mini cookie cutter and a baking sheet or mini cookie baking pan
  2. One or more packages of slice and bake refrigerated Sugar Cookie dough
  3. Can Whipped Vanilla frosting
  4. Bottle heart shaped baking sprinkles
  5. Small cellophane bags
  6. Spools of festive colored ribbon

To create it:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If using a cookie cutter, roll out the ready to bake dough onto wax paper generously dusted in flour. Use the cookie cutter to cut out as many heart shaped cookies as you can and place them on your ungreased cookie sheet. If using a mini cookie baking pan, simply fill each crevice 2/3 of the way with the cookie dough. Bake as instructed (usually 8-10 minutes) or until the cookies are lightly golden.

Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool. Once cool, use a knife to spread vanilla frosting over each cookie and place a heart shaped sprinkle right in the middle of the cookies. For a little more fun and a little less formality, decorate each cookie differently with the sprinkles. Let the cookies rest on a plate overnight so that the frosting has a chance to harden. Bag a few cookies together in each cellophane bag, and finish with a bow out of that pretty little ribbon.

Winter Warm Bakery Basket

This super simple homemade gift is sure to wow.

All it takes:

  1. A small wicker or woven basket in your special someone’s favorite color
  2. Oversized ceramic mug
  3. 3 individual packets of hot chocolate or hot chocolate K-Cup pods
  4. Bottle of raspberry syrup (best found at your local coffee shop)
  5. Small ornate bottle with a sealable lid
  6. Cellophane bag full of fluffy mini marshmallows (can’t let the rest of those bags go to waste!)
  7. Small blanket or throw
  8. Any little bags of cookies you may have left

To arrange:

Begin by positioning the throw and the mug in the basket. These items will not only take up the most space, but will also serve as a display base for the rest of the goodies. Next, arrange the cocoa packets or K-Cups pods in the mug, and top it with the bag of mallows.

Pour the raspberry syrup into the small ornate bottle. Cap, and lean against the throw. Place the bags of cookies wherever there may be excess space or empty holes. Finish it off with flowers or a few decorative hearts to add an elegant touch.

Nichole Jones is a Staff Reporter for Living Out Loud - LA, covering lifestyle, entertainment and sports. Follow her on Twitter: @Cinnam0nBun
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