Sweet on you

By Staff
The Valentine's Day season is a great time to express appreciation to people who are special to you or have shown kindness to you and your family during the year. It could be anyone who has touched your life by bringing a smile to your face or given a helping hand when needed.
Showing your affection can be as simple as having some ready-made cookie and cake mixes on hand and several bags of colorful Valentine's Day candy for decorating. Involve the entire family and give everyone a part in creating handmade tokens of affection. Be sure to include a handwritten note with your gift and use some colorful gift-wrap to express your affection. It is often the heart-warming thoughts of a handmade gift that say, "You are special to me."
For more Valentine's recipes, decorating, gift ideas and family fun activities, go to www.marsbrightideas.com
Puzzle of Love
1 package (18 ounces) refrigerated sugar
cookie dough
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1 container (16 ounces) ready-to-spread
vanilla frosting
Red food coloring
1/2 cup pink decorating sugar
1 bag (14 ounces) M&M'S Milk Chocolate
Candies for Valentine's Day
2 bags (14 ounces each) M&M'S Peanut
Chocolate Candies for Valentine's Day
1. Fold 12-inch square construction paper or card stock in half. Draw large half-heart along fold-line. With paper folded, cut out heart and open. Set template aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350¡F. Knead cookie dough and flour together until smooth. On aluminum foil, roll dough to 12-inch circle, 1/4-inch thick.
3. Place template on dough. With tip of paring knife, cut out heart through to foil. Gently slide foil-backed heart onto cookie sheet.
4. Bake 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Randomly press three different sized heart-shaped cookie cutters into hot dough, leaving 1/2-inch rim. Leave smaller heart cookies in dough.
5. Return to oven. Bake additional
5 minutes or until golden brown. Slide foil-backed cookie heart onto cooling rack. Cool completely. Gently transfer to serving platter.
6. Divide frosting among three bowls. With red food coloring, tint one bowl bright red. Tint second bowl pink. Leave third bowl white.
7. Carefully remove small heart cutouts; set aside.
8. Spread white frosting over large heart cookie. Sprinkle with pink sugar; brush away excess.
9. Decorate smaller hearts with frostings and sugar and top with chocolate candies. Place smaller hearts back into large heart.
10. Fill resealable plastic bag with white frosting, close bag and snip off 1 corner. Pipe line of frosting around outside of large heart. Place white peanut candies on frosting.
Makes 8 servings.
Valentine's
Wild Hearts
1 box yellow cake mix
1 container (16 ounces) ready-to-spread
vanilla frosting
Red food coloring
1 bag (11 ounces) Dove Milk or Dark Chocolate Hearts
1 bag (14 ounces) M&M'S Milk Chocolate
Candies for Valentine's Day
1. Make cake according to package directions.
2. Pour into 13-inch x 9-inch pan; bake until done.
3. Allow cake to cool, then cut in half, lengthwise into 2 layers.
4. Create pink frosting by placing white frosting in bowl and adding red food coloring until desired shade of pink is achieved.
5. Spread frosting on 1 layer. Sprinkle with candies, then top with remaining layer of cake.
6. Using heart-shaped cookie cutter, about 2 1/2 to
3 inches, cut hearts out of cake and place on wire rack.
7. To melt Milk or Dark Chocolate Hearts, microwave approximately 3 to 4 minutes on medium power, stirring every 20 to 30 seconds, being very careful not to burn.
8. Pour melted Milk or Dark Chocolate Hearts over the cakes. Decorate as desired.
Valentine Crispy Heart
1 bag (10 ounces) large marshmallows
3 tablespoons butter
6 cups crispy rice cereal
2 bags (14 ounces each) M&M'S Milk
Chocolate Candies for Valentine's Day
Heart-shaped cake pan (approximately
9-inch x 2-inch). Alternatively, use heart-shaped cookie cutters and a baking pan (approximately 11-inch x 13-inch) for individual sizes.
Nonstick spray
1 container (16 ounces) ready-to-spread vanilla frosting
10-inch flat plate
1. Mix marshmallows and butter in microwave bowl. Cover bowl with a piece of plastic wrap. Poke several holes into plastic wrap. Microwave 2 minutes or until melted. Add cereal and blend.
2. To make 1 large heart: Spray cake pan with nonstick spray. Press cereal mixture into cake pan, pressing firmly into corners of pan. Cool 20 minutes. To decorate: Unmold heart and set it in center of plate. Spread top of heart with frosting, leaving 1/2-inch rim around the edge. Make a single layer of candies on top of frosting.
3. To make small hearts: Press mixture evenly into baking pan coated with nonstick spray. Using heart-shaped cookie cutter (any size), press out cookie hearts. Decorate cookies with white or tinted frosting. Then, cover the surface with Milk Chocolate Candies for Valentine's Day.
Cupid's Tarts
1 bag Snickers Brand Miniatures, unwrapped
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
2 packages (6 per package) graham crust tart shells
1 1/2 cups whipped topping or whipped cream
Pink decorating sugar
1 bag Dove Chocolate Hearts
(11 ounces) or M&M'S Brand Chocolate Candies for Valentine's Day (14 ounces)
1. Preheat oven to 350¡F. Chop Miniatures and put them in bowl. Place bowl on top of pot with simmering water until chocolate has melted, stirring occasionally.
2. In another bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar until thick and creamy.
3. Stir melted Miniatures into egg and sugar mixture. Mix in heavy cream.
4. Place tart shells on baking pan. Spoon mixture into tart shells, scooping from bottom of bowl.
5. Bake 25 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and cool.
6. Decorate or pipe top of tart shells with dollop of whipped topping or whipped cream. Sprinkle with sugar and either place a Chocolate Heart on top of each one or sprinkle with Chocolate Candies for Valentine's Day.
Makes 12 tarts.

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