Sweet and Simple

by Giovan J. Michael
February 2020

Kid-Friendly Valentine's Day Recipes the Whole Family can Enjoy

Valentine's Day is about love, but that doesn't always mean dressing up, a fancy dinner, a dozen roses, and champagne. Sometimes it just means creating something sweet with the people you love the most.

We've assembled some delicious and kid-friendly recipes for this Valentine's Day that are easy to make and will keep the whole family entertained. So grab your loved ones, get in the kitchen, and end the day on a sweet note.

"Three things will last forever -- faith, hope, and love -- and the greatest of these is love."

--? 1 Cor. 13:13 NLT


Sugar Cookies

Is there anything more fun than playing with cookie dough and decorating it with crazy colors? Making these sugar cookies could be an amazing first-time experience for your younger kids, and bring back plenty of fond memories for parents.INGREDIENTS

Cookie Dough

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup of sugar

1 egg

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract icing

2 cups confectioners sugar

2 Tbsp and 2 tsp warm water

1 Tbsp light corn syrup

2 or 3 drops food coloring (optional)

Colored sugars, sprinkles, and/or candies for decorating

PREPARATION

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the butter and sugar on medium speed, about 3 minutes. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on medium speed until blended. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until blended. The dough will look lumpy, like moist pebbles.

Place the dough onto a work surface and work together into a solid mound. Divide in half. Press each pile into a flat disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, about 1 hour.

Sprinkle a work surface with flour. Unwrap 1 chilled batch of dough and place on the floured surface. Sprinkle the dough with a little more flour. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle more flour under and over the dough as needed so it doesn't stick. Cut shapes out of the dough with a round cookie cutter and set on a greased baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Bake in an oven preheated to 350?F until light brown around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

In a bowl, use a whisk or an electric mixer on medium-low speed to beat the confectioner's sugar, warm water, and corn syrup until smooth. Add the food coloring. You can divide the icing among 2 or 3 small bowls and make each one a different color by adding a few drops of food coloring to each bowl. Decorate the cookies using colored sugars, sprinkles and/or candies. Makes about 36 cookies.


Apple Pie Mug Cake

This one is perfect for a cold February day. The warm cinnamon apple smell of these mug cakes fills the room as soon as you take them out of the microwave.

INGREDIENTS

For the crumble

1/4 cup margarine or butter (melted)

1/2 cup quick oats

2 Tbsp brown sugar

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

For the filling

2 apples, cut in small cubes

1/4 cup graham crumbs

1/4 cup walnuts

1 Tbsp cinnamon

1 Tbsp flour

2 Tbsp brown sugar

A drop of lemon juice

PREPARATION

Combine the crumble ingredients and mix well. In a separate bowl, mix the ingredients for the apple filling. Divide the apple filling mixture among two mugs, and then top with the crumble. Microwave for 3 minutes.For a final touch, top the mugs with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream and it's ready to eat!


Fudgy S'mores Brownies

Is it even Valentine's Day without chocolate? These delicious treats combine the flavors of s'mores and brownies to give you one irresistible snack.

INGREDIENTS

18 graham crackers, finely crushed

1 3/4 cup butter

2 cups and 2 Tbsp sugar

4 eggs

4 ounces semisweet chocolate squares melted

1 Tbsp vanilla

1 cup of cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1 cup mini marshmallows

1 cup chocolate candy melts

PREPARATION

Melt 3/4 cup of the butter in a small saucepan. Add the graham crackers and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Stir until combined. Press the mixture into a parchment-lined 9x9-inch pan. Bake in a 350-degree oven for approximately 8 minutes.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the remaining butter and the 2 cups of sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing as you go. Add in the melted chocolate squares and mix. Add the vanilla. Slowly add cocoa powder, flour and salt, continuing to mix. Add the chocolate chips. Pour the batter on the graham cracker crust. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 50 to 55 minutes. Add the mini marshmallows on top for the last five minutes of baking time. Remove from the oven.

Melt the candy melts according to package directions. Place them in a piping bag and pipe them over the brownies.

 


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