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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Valentine's Day Cookies

by Tonya

This year I made a couple kinds of treats with a Valentine's Day spin. These are Peanut Butter Blossoms with Dove hearts instead of Hershey's kisses. I could eat about 100 of these, and they were pretty popular with my husband and daughter, too. 

I have a few memories of my grandma making these (with Hershey's kisses) when I was very little. I loved them then, but had forgotten all about them until a few years ago. I don't make them too often since I find them to be very addictive.



Here is the original Peanut Butter Blossom recipe:

Ingredients

48 Hershey's kisses
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 Tbsp milk
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup shortening
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
Additional granulated sugar

    Directions

    1. Heat oven to 375 F. Remove wrappers from chocolates.

2. Beat shortening and peanut butter in a large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture. 

3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.

4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate into the center of each cookie. The cookie will crack around the edges. Move the cookies to wire racks and cool completely.

Makes about 48 cookies. 


You can replace the vegetable shortening with room temperature butter if you prefer. If you do, chill the dough for 30 minutes before baking (otherwise they might melt too much in the oven).

I think these are best when they're still a little warm and the chocolate is melty, so I usually don't bake them all at the same time. I freeze some of the dough to bake later. I roll it into balls, coat them with sugar, and place them on a baking sheet. Then I put the baking sheet in the freezer for about an hour.  I write the baking instructions on a freezer zipper bag, transfer the dough balls to the bag, and keep it in the freezer for when I need a treat. You only have to bake them for a minute or two longer than the original instructions.





The other treat I made was at my husband's request: Yabba Dabba Doo bars. He had to explain that they are like Rice Krispie treats but made with Fruity Pebbles instead of Rice Krispies. Just as cute, and even more Valentine's Day colored.

Just follow this extremely easy recipe to make the treats, let them cool, and cut with cookie cutters. 

Ingredients

3 Tbsp butter or margarine
10 oz. regular marshmallows
 6 cups Fruity Pebbles (or Rice Krispies)

Directions

1. In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.

2. Add cereal and stir until well coated.

3. Using a buttered spatula or parchment paper, evenly press mixture into a 13 x 9 inch pan coated with cooking spray or lined with parchment paper. Cool. Cut into heart shapes with a cookie cutter. 

They were not my favorites since they don't contain any chocolate, but my husband seemed to enjoy them a lot. My daughter thought they were very fun to look at, but after tasting one, she just fed them to her dad rather than eating them.  In the future I would like to try regular RKT dipped in melted chocolate and also this Peanut Butter RKT recipe.  


Are you baking anything special this week? What are your favorite Valentine's Day treats?

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