With Valentine's Day sneaking up on us, why not make some quick Valentine's treats that the children can bring to school? Whether you are making them for your own little one's lunch or as a special snack for the class, here are some treats that are simple to transport and simple for the children to devour once they dig in!
Marshmallow-Popcorn Hearts are a quick twist on popcorn balls. With this recipe, you can skip the Karo syrup and just melt some marshmallows instead! This quick and simple recipe works just like Rice Krispie bars, only it uses popcorn instead!
- 10 cups popped popcorn
- 3 tablespoons margarine or butter
- 1 10-ounce package regular marshmallows
- Red food coloring
- Red colored sugar
Put the popped corn (minus the unpopped kernels) into a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan and keep it warm in your 300 degree oven.
Melt the butter/margarine and marshmallows in a large kettle or in the microwave. (Microwave: 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, stirring once.) Stir the mixture until it is smooth, no lumps, and then add the red food coloring.
Stir in the popped popcorn- about half at a time.
Wait 10 minutes or so until it is cool enough to handle.
Grease individual heart shaped pans with butter.
Press the popcorn mixture into the greased pans.
Cool the popcorn hearts. Remove from pans. Sprinkle each with red colored sugar.
Wrap each individually in pink or red plastic wrap.
Makes 9 hearts.
This one can be a little sticky, but for an extra-special snack, exceptions can made to most any rule. Send along a pre-packaged wet napkin in a zippered plastic bag to aid in easy clean-up.
Candy Apple or Caramel Apple Valentines
- 1 bag of caramels
- 1 pack of craft sticks (like popsicle sticks)
- 1 bag of apples or your choice
- wax paper
- cake decorating tool
- flavored icing
Melt the caramels according to the package directions. Insert a craft stick into one end of each apple. Dip the apple into the melted caramel, covering it completely. Lift the apple and let it drip for a few seconds and then set it on the wax paper until completely set (about two hours). Use a cake decorating tool (or a plastic bag with a hole in the corner and a decorating tip) to write a short message on each apple. Wrap in plastic wrap and secure the wrap at the top of the apple with a rubber band, leaving the stick exposed as a handle.
Finally, you can whip up these peppermint stars from a simple meringue batter. They make a sweet little snack that carries well in a lunch.
Makes: 45 cookies
Prep: 30 minutes
Bake: 15 minutes
- 2 egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
- Red food coloring (optional)
1. Place egg whites in a medium mixing bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
2. Line two large cookie sheets with brown paper or foil; set aside.
3. Add vanilla and cream of tartar to egg whites. Beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Gradually add sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating until stiff, glossy peaks form (tips stand straight) and sugar dissolves. Quickly beat in peppermint extract. Tint pink with several drops of red food coloring, if desired.
4. Using a pastry tube with a large star decorating tip, pipe cookies onto prepared cookie sheets (form cookies about 1-1/2 inches in diameter). Bake in a 300 degree F oven for 15 minutes. Turn off oven and let cookies dry in oven with door closed about 30 minutes. Remove from cookie sheets. Cover and store in a dry place. Makes 45 cookies.
Your little ones will be delighted when you take the time to make these special Valentine's Day treats for their lunches. After all, special snacks from those who love us most are what makes Valentine's Day special!
Don't miss our other feature Valentine's Day Articles including: Healthy Treats for Valentine's Day and Valentine's Day Treats for Work and School presented by Dine Without Whine.