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Valentine’s Day is almost here, and to me, it’s about two things: hearts and chocolate. And if the chocolate is heart-shaped, well, win-win. 🙂 Making delectable heart shaped food for someone special doesn’t have to be hard! I want to share some ideas with you to get your creative juices flowing.
Let’s start with breakfast. You can start someone’s day out right with a heart shaped egg. You can use an egg ring like these:
or you can use a cookie cutter to cut a heart shape in a piece of toast, then use the toast as your “mold” in which to cook the egg.
How about heart-shaped waffles? You can use a heart shaped waffle maker to make an adorable breakfast.
If you don’t feel confident cooking up some heart themed food, use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to make even donuts look festive. 🙂
And make coffee special by topping it with a heart! You can use a little heart-shaped coffee stencil like these to sprinkle cocoa or cinnamon on top of the foam.
Then you can carry the heart theme over to lunch by making your children’s lunches on Valentine’s Day and give them heart-shaped sandwiches.
Let’s not skip an afternoon snack. Heart shaped cookies.
If you’re planning to make a special dinner, how about this super cute heart-shaped Valentine Pasta?
Just cook it like you would any pasta, add your favorite sauce, and you’ve got a tasty main course. Add a salad with some homemade heart-shaped croutons, and you’re starting to get the picture of how easy this is!
I want you to start making your own croutons. Once you do, you’ll never buy them in the grocery store ever again. It could not be easier to do and there is no comparison on taste and texture.
Just take a loaf of good sturdy bread, and it can even be a little stale! Slice it as thickly as you want your croutons to be, then cut into squares. Coat the croutons in a little olive oil, add salt and any seasoning you like. I like tarragon. Then melt some butter in a skillet, and put the croutons in, stirring them until they are nice and brown. That’s it! They are so delicious and elevate even an everyday salad to lofty heights. 🙂 To make heart-shaped croutons, just use a tiny heart cookie cutter like one of these and cut out the shapes in the bread:
And don’t forget about the drinks. Use mini heart shape silicone ice cube molds trays to make heart ice cubes!
Desserts are where you can really go heart-shaped crazy. Try making your own heart-shaped candy! Again, just like the croutons, super easy. Just get a candy mold like this one and some melting chocolate.
Just grease the candy mold with a little bit of oil to keep the chocolate from sticking. Then melt the chocolate and use a small spoon to put it in the heart molds. Lightly tap the mold on the counter once you have it filled. This will level the chocolate out and get rid of air bubbles. Wait for it to set up, then pop the chocolates out. Done! My daughter and I made these to put in little bags for a bake sale. I love how shiny they are.
While you’re in the chocolate melting mood, make some chocolate covered strawberries! Don’t buy those outrageously priced 4-packs at the grocery store. You can make a whole bunch by yourself for a FRACTION of the price they charge during Valentine’s Day. Just melt a bag of chocolate chips in the microwave. Keep a close eye on them, melting them gradually a minute at a time. If you melt them too much they will seize up on you and you’ll have to start over. Quit before you think you should and give them a good stir. They will come together beautifully and will have a glossy shine and silky texture. Then dip away!
Place the dipped strawberries on wax paper to let them set up. Strawberries aren’t exactly heart-shaped, but they are pretty close, and chocolate dipped strawberries are classic Valentine’s Day fare. But don’t limit yourself to once a year. I make them all year long and eat them for breakfast. 🙂
Remember those heart-shaped cookie cutters I talked about to make the croutons? You can use those to turn anything into a Valentine’s Day dessert. Like brownies! Make a batch of brownies and use the cookie cutter to cut them into heart shapes. Instant Valentine’s Day dessert.
Use a small heart cookie cutter to turn cupcakes into Valentine’s Day treats.
Macarons are also a wonderful dessert. You can make the round ones and decorate them with tiny hearts, like these:
Or you can make heart-shaped macarons using a silicone heart mat.
I took some cooking classes at Sur la Table last week and one of the things we learned how to make was macarons. I can’t wait to tell you all about my experience in a future blog post. It was so much fun!
If you have eaten those things in plastic wrappers by the cash register at Starbuck’s and think you’ve had a good madeleine, you haven’t. You really need to make them yourself to see what I’m talking about. Madeleines are fairly delicate creatures and as Ina Garten the Barefoot Contessa says, they should be eaten immediately. They really don’t last very long, which is a shame. Because that means you have to eat a whole bunch of them at once. 🙂 I made these today and they are disappearing as we speak…
I have made chocolate madeleines using several different recipes I found online, and they were all really good. I have this heart-shaped madeleine pan I got at Williams-Sonoma years ago, but I haven’t been able to find one since. So if you can’t find a heart-shaped pan, just use a regular madeleine pan but by all means, make them chocolate! 🙂
Palmiers. (Pronounced PALM-ee-yays). These are lovely French pastries that can be a bit labor intensive, but Ina Garten has a very easy recipe using store-bought puff pastry in her book Barefoot in Paris: Easy French Food You Can Make at Home. And this is a woman who usually shames us about using store bought, so if store-bought puff pastry is good enough for her, I’m all over that. 🙂 Palmiers are already heart-shaped, so serve some up for a wonderful sweet dessert.
I hope I’ve given you some fun ideas for serving Valentine’s Day heart-shaped food.Scatter some of those little conversation hearts and a few heart themed centerpieces around, and have yourself a heart-shaped feast for Valentine’s Day!
If you have any ideas for more heart-shaped food, share it in the comment section. I’d love to hear from you!
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