This year we kept Valentine’s Day simple by limiting our treat making to only 3 things. (Sometimes I go a little overboard and try to make everything I see online.)
My kids just love, love, love helping make treats. My daughter Aria helped me make these 3 delicious treats for our family Valentine’s Day party. See below for step-by-step instructions. And as usual, these are all real photos of the actual treat making process so that you can tell that we aren’t perfect and you don’t have to be either! (All those posts online with perfect crafts and recipes in the perfectly decorated houses aren’t what real life is about.)
Real + Family = Happy!
Treat #1. Chocolate Dipped Strawberries Instructions
Step 1. Pick out some fresh strawberries from the grocery store and wash them. It was kind of tough this year trying to find some good berries (especially in NC). The place that had the best berries was Costco, but with any batch you have a few ugly ones. That’s OK. It makes it real. Be sure to dry the berries thoroughly with a paper towel so the chocolate will adhere properly. Wet berries don’t work as well. Keep the leaves on. (I always get enough berries to make sure that I can snack on a few as I go and also for the little people hands that pop up out of nowhere and snatch a few off the plate when I turn my back.)
Step 2. Melt some chocolate candy melts in microwaveable glass cups. Sometimes I melt chocolate in a special chocolate melting device, but since I don’t need the chocolate to stay warm for very long, I opted for the quick route. When you are a busy mom, the microwave is your best friend!
The chocolate I use is Wilton Candy Melts. The trick I use is to take a full cup of chocolate wafers and microwave at 60% power for 1 minute, then 80% power for 30 seconds, then stir, if needed microwave at regular power for additional 15 second intervals. Don’t overheat or it will burn and stink up the kitchen.
Step 3. Dip the berries in the chocolate and place on wax paper or Utopia Kitchen Silicone Baking Mats to harden. I use Utopia Kitchen Mat in place of wax paper. It is such a great mat! I use it all the time for cooking. Nothing ever sticks to it and it is easy to clean. Once the chocolate is hardened you can serve or refrigerate to serve later. I try to keep them out of the fridge if I can so that moisture they aren’t cold when you bite into them. Enjoy!
Treat #2. Chocolate Dipped Wafers Instructions
Step 1. Melt some chocolate wafers in microwaveable glass cups (same as step 2 above). The chocolate I use is Wilton Candy Melts. The trick I use is to take a full cup of chocolate wafers and microwave at 60% power for 1 minute, then 80% power for 30 seconds, then stir, if needed microwave at regular power for additional 15 second intervals. Don’t overheat or it will burn and stink up the kitchen.
Step 2. Dip the Wafers and place on wax paper or Utopia Kitchen Silicone Baking Mats to harden. I used vanilla and strawberry wafers but you could also use chocolate. Only dip halfway and then place on the mat to harden. There will be some spreading of the chocolate around the wafers, but don’t worry, you can trim this off later. (It doesn’t have to be perfect. The kids will eat it no matter what it looks like.)
Step 3. Use piping bags to drizzle stripes of chocolate and then place sprinkles on the stripes. If your original chocolate cups have already hardened then just add more chocolate wafers to each cup and follow step 1 again. Fill a piping bag with your color choice of chocolate or multiple bags for several colors. Then cut a very small opening on the tip of the piping bag and drizzle stripes across the wafers. Immediately place any sprinkles you want to use in order to get them on while the chocolate is still warm. If you wait too long the chocolate will harden and the sprinkles won’t stick.
Step 4. Trim off extra chocolate with a knife and then place dipped wafers on serving plate. When you trim the excess, but careful not to break the wafers. I usually don’t even pick up the wafer to trim. I just leave it on the mat and press down with a knife to break off the excess. Once you place it on a plate, don’t refrigerate. Just keep it out of the fridge until serving. If you plan to wait until the next day to serve then just place the wafers in a zip lock bag overnight. Enjoy!
Treat #3. Cheesecake Filled Strawberries Instructions
Step 1. Prep the Strawberry cups. Clean and top your berries. Be sure they are dry. Then take a melon baller and cut a small hole out of the top of each berry. Be sure not to go too deep or there will be a hole all the way through the berry where the filling can leak out. Next cut the bottom tip off in a straight line so that the berry will sit flat without tipping. Line them up inside a glass cake pan.
Step 2. Mix the instant cheese cake filling per instructions on the box and fill berries. I use Jello Cheesecake Mix, but I mix it for a couple of minutes longer than suggested just to make sure it is thick enough. (You don’t need the graham cracker mix so you can set it aside for a later project.) Then scoop the filling into a piping bag. You can use it with or without a tip depending on how fancy you want it to look. Pipe the filling into the hole in each berry.
(Yes, sometimes we play Upwords while cooking cause we are a tad bit nerdy.)
Step 3. Refrigerate until serving. The berries need to chill for at least a half hour for the filling to set. When you serve these be prepared for compliments. They are delicious! Enjoy!
It doesn’t have to be Valentine’s Day to make these treats. They taste amazing any time. Be sure to sign up for more posts like this one!
Thanks for stopping by. Be happy. Keep it real!