Happy Valentine’s Day!
It’s a holiday, which means there’s been an excuse to try some different ideas that I’ve seen floating around.  Here are some of the results.  
We had a home teaching visit scheduled, and the last time we visited this particular family they mentioned that we didn’t need to bring a treat every time, so I wasn’t going to this month. However, as he was walking out the door in the morning, Wayne mentioned it would be nice to take a Valentine’s Day treat to the kids.  As usual, I tried to fit too much into one day and there wasn’t going to be any time to do something fancy.  Fortunately, there were already-baked sugar cookies in the freezer and some leftover frosting in the fridge, and although there were only six cookies, there were only five kids, and I decided if I packaged them individually it would be just perfect.  I just had to come up with a quick and easy way to “beautify” them enough to be a holiday treat.  As you can see, placing the heart-shaped cookie cutter on the frosted cookie before sprinkling on the sugar did the trick.  And the expression on the youngest boy’s face as we gave his to him was priceless.  (One bonus of having them wrapped individually was their mom/grandma could say, “Don’t eat that now; save it for tomorrow!” and they weren’t quite as tempted to be disobedient.)

There wasn’t time to bake fresh cookies, because I was busy making fresh doughnuts, following this recipe here, to take to seminary the next morning.  I thought it would be fun to try making heart-shaped ones.

It was a good idea, but they didn’t hold their shape during the rising process.  Oops!

Yes, observant folks, there are more in this picture because this tray was made with a smaller cookie cutter.
I couldn’t decide whether to top them with glaze and sprinkles or butter and cinnamon-sugar, so I did some of each.

The “sprinkled” ones looked much prettier as soon as they were made.

However, they did not do well at all keeping overnight.  So, I learned that in the future if I’m serving them right away, I’ll glaze them; if they have to wait a bit, we’ll use the cinnamon-sugar.  Now you don’t have to learn that the hard way.  This particular dough was fine, but some day I’m going to try them using our favorite cinnamon roll recipe.

I also had the excuse to try making some little “monster” finger puppets – idea found here

and a little monster, or jelly fish, toy – idea found here – using pieces of Glad Oven Bags to make the crackly noise.  However, soon afterwards we finished off a box of cereal; I washed out that plastic bag to use the next time because I liked the sound it makes much better.

Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be complete without chocolate, so here’s a yummy recipe for you.  I was going to link to our favorite Four Layer Dessert, but I have never added it to our recipe blog! (Now I have.) Here’s the recipe from food.com. On Pinterest I saw the idea to make the crust out of chocolate chip cookie dough instead of nuts, flour and butter, and that made me wonder if using our favorite brownie recipe as the bottom layer would work.  It does!  I used half the recipe and baked it in a 9×13″ pan.  There’s not the crunchiness factor that that’s provided by the nuts, but it’s still quite delicious!

Finally, last year I stuck my version of this simple Valentine on Wayne’s mirror.  Since he never removed it, I didn’t have the heart to, and it’s been up for an entire year.  However, I figure we’ve gotten good use out of it, and this year’s Valentine surprise is to actually “finish” our master bath, so down it comes.  I think he’ll remember I love him without a card on the mirror, don’t you?

We’d all love to hear what you did to make Valentine’s Day special.  It’s always nice to have new ideas to try in the future.  Have a wonderfully, Happy Valentine’s Day!!!