Thursday, February 11, 2010

Valentine Special: Sharing the Love


I've been enjoying a virtual sugar high from all the Valentine treats floating around online, and wanted to share a few of my favorites.

I had to make these brilliant Secret Message Decoder Cookies, posted at FamilyFun. The idea is simple: Cut out the center of a sugar cookie, fill with crushed red candy, and bake. Write your message on paper with blue ink, scribble over it with red, pink, and orange, and magic! You can read the message through the candy "window."

Two tips: Use Jolly Rancher-type candies, and don't overload your cookies. Rather than sort out the red candies from a mixed bag of Jolly Ranchers, I bought those candies wrapped like strawberries. Too gummy. Don't use them. I filled the cookies to the brim, but the candy was a bit thick -- the secret messages were easier to read where the candy was a little thinner. (The ones at the top? Too thick, too difficult to decipher.)

If secret message cookies aren't cool enough for you, check out these gorgeous treats:

Clockwise from top left: Valentine's 5-Layer Finger Jell-O, Red Velvet Cake Balls, edible Valentine cakes, and Tickled Pink Bread

I'm going to make a variation of layered Jell-O, beautifully demonstrated by the Food Librarian, for my son's kindergarten party this week. The Red Velvet Cake Balls from Bakerella look perfect for a playdate or Valentine goody bag. The Giver's Log made me swoon with her use of wafer paper -- I love the idea of kids decorating a cake with their own drawings! I have to get my hands on some of that stuff And finally, bread bakers could have some fun with Gourmet Mom on the Go's Tickled Pink Bread.

What treats are you planning for Valentine's Day?

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