Valentine ideas for kids

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By Deanna Godman

Valentine’s Day can celebrate all kinds of love, not just the romantic kind. It is just a few days away, but there is still time to make plans for making the day special. These are just a few of the ways that Spencer County moms remind their families of their love.

“We always get a heart shaped pizza,” said Terri Cooper, mother of five. They get their specialty pizza from Bearno’s Pizza.

Valerie Tong remembers that her mother would send flowers or a teddy bear with a balloon to her at school for Valentine’s Day before she was too old to be embarrassed.

Sherry Young likes to present her children with their Valentine’s gifts early. The gifts are waiting on their beds when her children wake up in the morning.

“I don’tt like stuffed animals,” said Young, adding that her children have allergies. Instead, she gives them things like new outfits, candy in heart-shaped boxes and handmade Valentines.

Last year, Cooper and her kids made a special gift for the teachers. They gathered up all of the broken and left over crayons lying around their house and melted them in silicone heart molds. When the wax dried, they were left with heart shaped crayons.

When Young worked at a daycare, she had the children decorate large glass jars and then fill them with homemade Valentine cards to give to the teachers. This idea is easily adaptable and could be presented to a parent, grandparent or close friend.

Cookies make wonderful Valentine’s gifts for children to get or exchange with one another. Simple sugar cookies can be decorated with each child’s name or simply iced and covered with red and pink sprinkles.

The cookies themselves can be red, too. Red velvet cake is a southern delicacy that in recent years has seen innovations such as red velvet cupcakes. Red velvet sandwich cookies are a perfect sweet treat to share for Valentine’s Day. The recipe originally appeared in Taste of the South magazine and has become a favorite dessert at the assisted living home where my mother is the head of dietary.

Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Red gel food coloring
Cream Cheese filling

In a large bowl, beat butter and 1 cup sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer. Add egg and vanilla, beating until well blended. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time to butter mixture, beating well after each addition. Add desired amount of red gel food coloring, stirring well. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using your hands, roll dough into 1 1/2-inch balls. Roll balls in remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets; flatten slightly with a spatula. Bake until slightly soft, 7 to 9 minutes.

Let cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks, and let cool completely. Spread cream cheese filling on flat side of 1 cookie. Top with another cookie, flat side toward filling. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling.

Cream Cheese Filling
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until creamy. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla, beating well.

If you have an idea for a future At Home article, please contact Deanna at ideas@funmama.net.