Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Homemade Chocolate Kiss!

I love chocolate kisses. I love to eat them right out of the bag, or sneak one off the top of a Peanut Butter Blossom. I love that they come in flavors and colors to match all the holidays. This Valentine's Day is a special one to me. My husband and I got engaged 30 years ago this Valentine's Day! So I make him this chocolate kiss with a special message that I hope he likes. This is easy to do, and I love the personalization. These would be great for a wedding, a wedding or baby shower, or a birthday. By designing the message you can express how you really feel!

Homemade Chocolate Kiss
12 ounces Milk Chocolate 
Vegetable Oil
Pan Spray
Medium Size Funnel
Aluminum Foil
Message Printed on White Paper

Melt the chocolate over low heat,
Add vegetable oil as needed to make the chocolate smooth.
This is the funnel I used. This is the middle one in a set of three.
I covered the bottom with foil and taped it on.
I sprayed the inside with pan spray.
 Then I set it in a glass measuring cup. The measuring cup
is a stable holder for the funnel.
Pour the melted chocolate into the funnel.
Set it in the freezer until it has set, then
flip over and release it from the funnel.
Cut the top down. The marks on the chocolate are from 
the foil being wrapped and unwrapped. It doesn't usually 
look like this. It is usually very pretty and smooth.
Wrap the chocolate with foil, twisting the foil.
Print a saying  with  the computer. When you print it,
leave some space to the right, so you can tuck the 
blank space into the kiss wrapping.
Attach your message and watch the lucky recipient smile!

Happy Valentine's Day!


Disappearing Valentine Danish!

These little danish are so cute! I filled Pillsbury Crescents with chocolate and cherries, and caramel bits, rolled 'em up, baked 'em up, and drizzled some glaze on them. I call them Disappearing Danish because they disappeared from the plate way too quickly!
Disappearing Valentine Danish
Cherry Filling
Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
Caramel Bits
Crescents
Glaze for Danish
1/4 cup Powdered Sugar
1-2 teaspoons Water
I made Cherry Danish,
Chocolate Caramel Danish,
and Chocolate Cherry Danish.
Roll up the crescent dough.
Bake for 25-30 minutes. These take longer then the
plain crescents because they are stuffed
with all the ingredients.
While they are cooking, make your glaze. Add water
until you get the correct consistency.
Drizzle with the glaze.
Happy Valentine's Day!


Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine Candy Bag Tags

These little bag tags are something I came up with to make a couple bags of Valentine candy just a "little something special". They are simple to make, don't cost much, and don't take too much time. But they are sweet! And, the tags can be used long after the candy is gone!
I bagged up the candy, and tied curly ribbon to cinch
the bag closed.
I cut out Valentine and heart clip art from Print Shop. 
 I cut out a heart for each one to use as a background.

I glued a mini clothespin to the back of each cutout.
Then I clipped the cutout to the bag, and arranged the
ribbon to look pretty.
Happy Valentine's Day!



Sunday, February 12, 2012

Valentine Heart Lollipops!

I have made lollipops in the past, but it has been a while. I had forgotten how easy, quick, and cute they are to make. I added these to the Valentines goodies I sent my son and his roommates.
Lollipops
(recipe from LorAnn Oils)
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup 
3/4 cup water
1 dram (1tsp.) LorAnn Raspberry Flavoring
Neon Liquid Food Coloring
Heart Shaped Lollipop Mold
In a large saucepan, mix together sugar, corn syrup and water.
Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
Spray your mold with pan spray.
Place candy thermometer in pan.
Bring to a boil without stirring.
Make sure to have a dish of water and a pastry type
brush  ready.
Cover a baking sheet with foil, and the spray with
pan spray. You may need this if you have left over
syrup after filling your molds. 
Cook, without stirring, until the temperature reaches 260ยบ F.
The syrup will start to spray sides of the pan above the
mix. If that happens, carefully use the pastry brush
dipped in water to eliminate the syrup by brushing the side of
the pan back and forth until it drops into the mix.
Add drops of coloring, but still do not stir.
The boiling will incorporate the color into the syrup. 
Continue boiling until the syrup reaches 300 degrees.
Remove from heat and wait for boiling to stop.
Add flavor and stir.
Pour syrup into molds. 
A couple of the molds overflowed a little.
I waited for them to set up just slightly, then I took 
a paring knife and cut the excess while it was warm,
but not hot enough to scald.
I had some excess. so I poured it onto the pan we prepared
earlier and added these candy hearts.
I will crack it later.
Not a very good pic, but here are the five lollipops.
I tried to add a conversation heart to one of them,
but it didn't turn out how I wanted it to.
Here are the finished lollipops.I wrapped them in 
Valentine cello bags and tied them with ribbon!

Happy Valentine's Day!


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Chocolate Valentine Bark!

Here is a sweet and simple Valentine treat! I made these to put in Valentine Tins that I sent to my son and his roommates. I love making sweet treats for him while he is away at college. It lets him know I miss him; a lot!! And it's so much fun for me!!

Valentine Bark!
12 ounces Milk Chocolate
12 ounces White Almond Bark
M and M's 
Conversation Hearts
Valentine Heart Sprinkles
Melt the chocolate chips over medium heat in a double boiler.
Melt and stir until the chocolate is completely smooth.
Spread the milk chocolate onto a baking sheet until it is smooth.
Put the chocolate baking sheet in the freezer for approx. 15 minutes.
Melt the white Almond Bark over medium heat in a double boiler.
Mix until it gets smooth like the milk chocolate did.
Smooth it out over top of the milk chocolate.
Sprinkle the M and M's, the hearts, and the sprinkles
on top of the white chocolate.
Let sit at room temperature until set.
I let mine sit overnight.
Place in freezer for approximately 20 minutes.
Take out of the freezer.
Start randomly cracking the bark in 2 bite sizes.
Wrap up in a Valentine bag.

Happy Valentine's Day!

I will do 1 thing different when I make these next time.
I'll add something salty, like pretzels or peanuts. 
This would help cut the sweetness.
Sweets for the sweet!



Wednesday, February 8, 2012

You Heart Meatloaf and I Heart You!

My husband is a meatloaf lover! I am not. He has always loved it. I have always barely tolerated it. Of course, as a chef and as a wife and mother, I have made meatloaf a million times. I love making it for my husband. He always appreciates it. So this is for him. His favorite meatloaf recipe with my touch!
 
 The meatloaf is heart shaped. It is rather difficult to see in the pictures.


Ingredients:
1/2  pound Ground Beef
1/4 cup Parmesan Bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon Pepper
Dash Salt
1 small Onion~chopped( but not too small)
1 Egg
Mix the ingredients together in a bowl.
I use my hands to get it thoroughly mixed, but you
can use a fork instead. Make six little balls with the ground beef.
Flatten the beef out with your hands.
Cut the meat with a heart shaped cookie cutter.
Place the six hearts on parchment paper on a baking sheet.
Adjust them by making the center V of the heart a little deeper.
These are going to shrink a little. Firm them up with your hands by 
pressing the sides so they are together. We don't want them to fall 
apart like a burger might if it is not molded together well.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
Keep an eye on them. See the spoon under the baking sheet.
I put that there so the grease would run away from the meat.
They kept their shape pretty well. I flipped over each one,
and cleaned any edges or grease that might have collected.
I added mashed potatoes and gravy!

Happy Valentine's Day!!