Valentine’s Day isn’t exclusive to the romantically inclined. When the focus is on love, interpret it in the broadest sense – it’s a great reason to embrace and celebrate family, friends, and anyone close to your heart. Kids can get in on the action by making their own special treats for parents, grandparents, siblings, teachers and friends – one of the best ways to show affection, and to teach kids the same, is with something handmade.
Here are a few simple recipes older kids can make on their own – and younger kids can prepare with a little help – to share with the ones they love on Valentine’s Day.
Chocolate drizzled strawberries
Dipping berries can be awkward and messy for small hands; melting chocolate in small zip-lock baggies contains the mess. Put chopped chocolate or chocolate chips into snack-sized baggies, seal, and set in a bowl of warm water until melted. Wash your strawberries and pat them dry, then set on parchment or foil. Gently knead the chocolate to ensure it’s melted, then snip a tiny corner off each baggie and let kids squeeze it out, drizzling it over the berries. If you like, sprinkle with flaked almonds or sprinkles before the chocolate sets.
Fondue for two (or more!)
Chocolate fondue makes a perfect romantic treat for mom and dad, or a fun, sharable dessert for the whole family. Simply heat heavy cream on the stovetop or in the microwave until steaming, remove it from the heat and stir in an equal amount of chocolate chips or chopped chocolate. Let it sit for a minute, then stir until smooth. Serve in a ramekin with fresh or dried fruit, cookies, brownies, cubes of pound cake or even small cream puffs for dipping. If you don’t have a fondue pot, bamboo skewers are perfect for self-serving.
If you want to go all the way, homemade pizza dough (you’ll find a great recipe on our website) can easily be shaped into a heart before topping and baking. To streamline things, start with a soft pita or naan; fold it in half and cut into a heart shape using scissors. Lay out on a rimmed baking sheet, top with your choice of toppings, and bake at 350˚F for 20 minutes, or until bubbly and golden.
Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, February/March 2012.