February is here, and not only is it the shortest month of the year, but it is also the month we celebrate all things LOVE! It is the season of cards, chocolate in heart shaped boxes, giant teddy bears, roses, champagne, diamonds, and romantic dinners for two. Although we both enjoy celebrating this special day of cupid, we tend to keep the evening with our significant others a little more low key. May loves to bake, and June loves to craft, and together, we are embracing a Valentine’s Day that not only comes from our hearts, but also our hands!
May took a simple peanut butter cookie recipe that she uses at Christmas, and swapped out the chocolate Hershey’s Kiss (which you can still use since it is a “kiss”, after all) for a Dove chocolate heart. She found a large bag of Dove mixed chocolate hearts at Target. You can make the dough a day or two ahead of time and refrigerate it until you are ready to bake. Put them in a pretty tin with red tissue, and you have a sweet, festive treat that your valentine will love.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Hearts
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
Sugar (to coat)
Dove chocolate hearts
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large mixer bowl, beat butter and peanut butter with electric mixer on medium speed about 30 seconds. Add the 1/2 cup sugar and brown sugar, beaut until fluffy.
Add egg, milk, and vanilla. Beat well.
In a medium mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to peanut butter mixture, beating well. If necessary, cover and chill about 1 hour for easier handling.
Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Roll in additional sugar. Place about 2 inches apart on an un-greased cookie sheet.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges are firm. Immediately press a chocolate heart atop each cookie. With a spatula, lift cookies onto cooking rack and allow to cool until chocolate hearts are firm. Makes about 60 cookies.
June created a simple Valentine’s Day table centerpiece. You probably have a lot of the items at home to create this centerpiece, but if not they can easily be found at Target.
All you need are the following:
Clear candle holders
Candy conversation hearts (2 bags)
A green plant
A table runner or placemat in Valentine’s Day colors (you could even reuse a red one you have from Christmas)
I simply put the pillar candles in the holders and poured the conversation hearts around the gap between the candle and the holder.
I treated myself to the maidenhair fern. I was craving some more green in the house and as long as I keep it alive, it can continue to be decorative.
To give my centerpiece a bit of height, I put the fern on a small cake stand I had in the house. I also added the paper arrow straws that I found in the dollar section at Target.
The centerpiece probably took me fifteen minutes to pull together. And it gives my dining room table a nice pink cheer on these often grey days.
Have a good weekend. –May and June
All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt. Charles M. Schulz