I’ll admit, it put a smile on my face to see the 4-year olds in my son’s preschool class delightedly ogling the Valentine’s Day treats we brought for their party today. Better yet — I was able to pull them all together in just a few hours (and most of that time was spent waiting for the Jello to set). If you need some last minute ideas for Valentine’s Day, may I suggest to you the four easy treats I just made in the past day.
Valentine Jello Hearts
This (pictured above) is definitely one of those eye-catching treats that look like they involve a lot of technique, but they’re actually pretty simple. If you can boil water and stir, you can make them. The white part, in case you were wondering, is sweetened condensed milk mixed with unflavored gelatin. Get the recipe from The Hungry Housewife.
I just made this one within the past hour (trying to post more real-time with this blog!). I usually pop my own popcorn on the stovetop, but this time I just took regular bagged popcorn from Target (the lightly salted kind), drizzled melted Wilton Candy melts over the top (you can get them at craft stores like Michael’s — I have to stop going to Michael’s every week!), stirred it all until the popcorn was coated and stuck the bowl in the fridge for a little while to help solidify the candy. I also tossed in some Valentine’s sprinkles in there for a little extra festive-ness. What you see in the picture above is two batches — one pink, one red — mixed together. Careful — this sweet and salty combo is addictive!
We’re now moving into the healthier portion of this post. 🙂 I modeled these after my friend Catherine’s Fourth of July Wands on Weelicious. Both of my kids love wands of any kind — these definitely piqued their interest when they saw them in the fridge. An important tip: be sure to use wooden sticks for these, rather than paper ones. The liquid from the fruit will disintegrate paper lollipop sticks (seems obvious now, but you know, I had to learn that the hard way a few summers ago!). You can pick up wooden ones at Michael’s, along with your candy melts for the popcorn.
Cheddar Heart Cutouts
This is the simplest one of the bunch, yet it turns out heart-shaped cheese is just a whole lot cuter than regular square and therefore worth making. Get a sleeve of “snack cut” cheese (at my grocery store, this entailed 30 little rectangles sliced about 1/8″ thick) and a similarly-sized heart-shaped cookie cutter (again, Michael’s). It took maybe 10 minutes to do the cutouts, then I saved the scraps (the one’s I didn’t pop into my mouth) for my son’s grilled cheese sandwiches.
Have a lovely Valentine’s Day!!