The Impatient Mom’s Guide to Frenzied Valentine Baking

I don’t know how it happened, but all of a sudden, in schools across the country, Valentine’s Day turned into the Halloween of Winter. I remember when we bought a box of cards with pithy sayings on them (primitive looking bees with comic bubbles, “BEE MINE.”), fished out the one for the teacher, practiced a signature, licked the toxic paste on the envelope and moved on. We’d come home with a handmade folder crafted from red construction paper and white doilies – full of cards and signatures and toxic paste.

Cookie Sampler

Now, it seems, there’s a highly competitive candy exchange. My children come home with bags of candy. Bags. Valentine-themed kisses and Airheads and truffles. I resisted for a while, but last year, we shared our favorite Chocobilly snack bags on February 14. This year, the kids and I are “baking from scratch.” Here’s the menu – and the instructions. And they are EASY easy easy. I mean, really easy and groovy and no HFCS . . .

Heart-Shaped Triple Chocolate cookies and/or Heart-Shaped Cranberry Oatmeal White Chocolate cookies.

These are perfect for the whole class. Since I am making really thin cookies, they work better with the smaller cutters.

Heart Shaped Cookies Cutters with Triple Chocolate Dough

Otherwise they can split and leave you with a “broken” heart, which may have a place somewhere in your life but probably and hopefully not in the second grade.

You'll get a broken heart with too-big cookies or impatient cooling!

Preheat the oven to 350.

What you need:

• Heart-shaped cookie cutters. Or any cutters you like – I also like the x’s and o’s I saw at the store, but I already had a stash of hearts . I also practiced doing some free-form hearts and that works too. They are a little thicker so bake ’em another minute.

Space Hearts on a cookie sheet.

Free-form chocolate heart

• A package of Immaculate Baking Triple Chocolate Cookie Dough or your favorite flavor.

• A few baking sheets lined with silicone sheets. I love these and they are NOT required but for super easy cleanup, they are great. Parchment paper works too.

• A rolling pin or glass for rolling out the dough.

• Flour for stickiness.

Take half the cookie dough (I put the other half in the fridge) and smush it. Your job is make a ball and roll it out. Use a little flour and roll it thin (about 1/8 to ¼ of an inch). Because there are all kinds of chips in the dough, the rolling is not a cinch. Do it in smaller parts. Then use your cookie cutters and go to town.

Bake for 8 minutes. Let cool. Really, if you try to scam them off too early, you will have broken hearts!

Follow the same direction for Cranberry Oatmeal White Chocolate except since they have even more chunks in them, they are a bit thicker and can bake for another minute. They were a big hit in our experiments since there are these cool, red cranberries sticking out of beautiful oatmealy cookies. Yum.

Coming up next time: The Brownie Pop.

Cranberry Oatmeal White Chocolate

Cuttin' cookies

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