AP NEWS

Give your love sweets

February 14, 2019
Chicken pot pies are not only hearty but heart shapes add a special touch.

HUNTINGTON — They are everywhere — love, Cupid, hearts, chocolate, cards and flowers. It’s Valentine’s Day... or will soon be... Thursday, Feb. 14, the day Americans celebrate love and friendship.

Also called Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, Feb. 14 is the most romantic day of the year. Although it is not a public holiday anywhere, it is recognized as a significant cultural, religious and commercial celebration of romance and romantic love throughout many regions. Handmade cards with love notes inside were first exchanged in the Middle Ages and today, billions of dollars are spent on cards and gifts for that special someone. It’s reported that in 1913, Hallmark was one of the first to mass produce the Valentine’s Day card.

Valentine’s Day is the largest card giving day of the year, second to Christmas, and second in floral sales with Mother’s Day coming in first. This year, it’s estimated that one billion cards will be exchanged around the world and $3.3 billion could be spent on flowers.

Billions of dollars are also spent on chocolates or heart-shaped boxes of goodies for the light of their lives.

To assist in winning the heart of men, women or children, Betty Crocker Kitchens provides these Valentine’s Day treats:

MINI CONVERSATION-HEART COOKIES

1 pouch sugar cookie mix

1/2 cup butter, softened

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 egg

2 containers rich and creamy vanilla frosting

Pink, purple, yellow, green and orange food colors

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In medium bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, flour and egg until soft dough forms. Roll dough 1/4-inch thick on floured surface. Cut out approximately 100 cookies with 1-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, rerolling dough as necessary. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until edges are set.

Cool on cookie sheet 1 minute. Remove to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, divide frosting among 6 small bowls, about 1/3 cup each. Using food colors, tint frosting in each bowl a different color, leaving 1 bowl white. Working with 1 color at a time, microwavable small bowl of frosting uncovered on High 8 to 10 seconds or until thin enough to pour. Using 2 forks, dip and roll each cookie in melted frosting to cover completely, letting excess drip off. Place on cooling rack placed over waxed paper to catch drips. Repeat with remaining cookies and colored frosting. Let stand at least 3 hours at room temperature until frosting is set. Store loosely covered at room temperature.

STRAWBERRY CREAM CHEESE HEART COOKIES

1 pouch sugar cookie mix

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

4 ounces strawberry cream cheese, softened

2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

1 egg

Neon pink food color, if desired

Assorted candy sprinkles

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper. In medium bowl, stir cookie mix, flour, softened cream cheese, lemon peel and egg until soft dough forms. Stir in food color to get desired neon pink color. Roll dough 1/4-inch thick on lightly-floured surface. Cut

with 2 1/2-to 3-inch heartshaped cookie cutter. Place 1 inch apart on cookie sheet. Decorate cookies as desired by pressing assorted sprinkles into dough. Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until light golden brown around edges. Remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.

GLAZED BROWNIE HEARTS

1 (1 pound 6.25 ounce) box supreme original brownie mix

Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box

1 (16-ounce) container rich and creamy chocolate frosting

Decorating Decors multicolored candy sprinkles or colored sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees for dark or nonstick pan). Line bottom and sides of 13-by 9-inch pan with foil. Grease bottom only of foil with shortening or cooking spray. Make brownie mix as directed on box for 13-by 9-inch pan. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Using foil to lift, remove brownie from pan. Remove foil. With deep 2 1/2-inch heartshaped cookie cutter, cut 14 brownies. Place brownie hearts on cooling rack or waxed paper. In microwavable bowl, microwave frosting uncovered on High 10 to 30 seconds or just until melted and spoonable, but still thick. DO NOT BOIL. Carefully spoon melted frosting over brownies to glaze, allowing excess to drip down sides. Sprinkle with candy sprinkles before frosting sets. Allow frosting to set, about 1 hour.

SWEET HEART CAKE

1 box super moist white cake mix

Water, vegetable oil and egg whites called for on cake mix box

1 container whipped fluffy white frosting

Red food color

Heat oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees for dark or nonstick pans). Grease or lightly spray bottoms only of one 8-inch round and one 8-inch square pan. In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil and egg whites with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour batter into pans. Bake square pan 25 to 29 minutes, round pan 29 to 34 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Cut round cake in half. Put square cake on tray with one point toward you. Place cut side of each half against one of the top sides of square cake to make a heart. Tint frosting with a few drops food color. Frost cake with frosting. Store loosely covered. This is furnished by Pillsbury:

VALENTINE PIZZA

1 (13.8-ounce) can refrigerated classic pizza crust or 1 (11-ounce) can refrigerated thin pizza crust

1 (8-ounce) can pizza sauce

24 slices turkey pepperoni with 70 percent less fat

3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

If using classic crust: Heat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly spray or grease large cookie sheet. If using thin crust: Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray or grease 15-by 10-inch or larger dark or nonstick cookie sheet. Unroll dough on work surface. With sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut dough into four rectangles. Place rectangles on cookie sheet. Cut 1-inch slit in center of wide edge of each dough portion; on opposite wide edge across from slit, pinch dough together to shape point of heart. Slightly separate each cut slit, and gently press dough into 6-by 5-inch heart, creating slight rim on edge of dough. Divide pizza sauce evenly onto hearts, spreading to within 1/2 inch of edges. Top each with 6 slices pepperoni and 3 tablespoons cheese. Bake classic crust 13 to 16 minutes, thin crust 9 to 13 minutes, or until crust edges are golden brown and cheese is melted.

These recipes are from Taste of Home:

ALMOND FRENCH TOAST HEARTS

6 slices bread

2 eggs

1/4 cup milk

1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract, divided

2 tablespoons plus

1 cup butter, divided

3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

Additional confectioners’ sugar

Sliced fresh strawberries, optional

Cut out bread slices with 3 3/4-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter; discard trimmings. In shallow bowl, combine eggs, milk and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract. Dip bread on both sides in egg mixture. In large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Cook bread hearts for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

For almond butter, in small bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar and remaining butter and extract; mix well. Spread 1 teaspoon over each slice of French toast (save remainder for another use). Sprinkle with additional confectioners’ sugar and serve with strawberries, if desired.

LOVE YOU POTPIES

1 sheet refrigerated pie pastry

1 egg

1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, optional

FILLING:

1 tablespoon butter

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 medium potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 small carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 small onion, chopped

1/4 cup finely chopped celery

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

2 cups cubed cooked chicken

1/3 cup frozen peas

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On lightly-floured surface, unroll pastry sheet. Cut 16 hearts with floured 2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter. Place on ungreased baking sheet. In small bowl, whisk egg and cream; brush over hearts. If desired, sprinkle with cheese. Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

For filling, in large skillet, heat butter and oil over medium-high heat. Add vegetables; cook and stir until tender. Stir in flour until blended; gradually whisk in broth. Bring to boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in remaining ingredients; heat through. Spoon into four 10-ounce ramekins or bowls; top with pastries.