Valentine Treats

As promised, here are some of my favorite Valentine treats to make. I have my tried and true favorites, but every year I try to add on another find and take one or two away. Since today was yet another snow day, I spent it making goodies and I found a delicious Low-Fat Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin recipe, as attested by my 15 year old son who ate five of them.
Don’t they look cute on these adorable cup cake stands that we will have at our spring Sale? We just unpacked these pastel mixing bowls and fell in love with them as well!
Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Chocolate Chip Scones

These are my Go-To breakfast sweets
I make these several times a year and served with lemon curd, raspberry jam or just butter…they are delish! 
Add a cup of tea and it makes a perfect snack for a snow day!!
Square butter pretzels with chocolate chips and mini marshmallows or M & M’s

Another Go-To recipe for any holiday…
as well as my tried and true Hot Chocolate Mix. Prettily packaged, homemade food items make great gifts. I love to use canning jars but found these adorable jars with a hole in the lid and a straw that can be used later for a drinking cup at TJ Maxx. What is your beverage of choice?
Brown paper lunch bags make wonderful packages as well. Use a hole punch and bakers twine to attach a heart doily and it looks so much prettier than a brown paper bag, doesn’t it?
Of course you cannot forget the paper Valentine. 
Love 
these vintage styled Valentines from Punch Studios! You can often find them at Barnes and Noble.
This year, I found copies of Kelly Corrigan’s We Will Transcend, as a special Valentine to friends who I will transcend with in this life. You can watch Kelly read Transcend, an essay about woman, their strength and friendships over the course of a lifetime…incredibly “on the mark,” and moving. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_4qwVLqt9Q
I hope that you can find an idea or two to share with your Valentines!
RECIPES
CHOCOLATE CHIP SCONES
Scones:
2 cups unbleached flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 1/4-1 1/3 cups whipping cream


Topping:
2-3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2.Combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in bowl.
3. Add the chocolate chips.
4. Stir in the cream with a fork until the dough holds together in a sticky mass. (You may need to add a tablespoon or two more of cream until dough holds together.)
5. Turn dough out on a lightly floured board. Knead the dough several times. (Do not handle too much or the scones get very hard.)
6. Pat dough into a 10″ circle. Cut circle into 8 wedges (or use a round glass or cookie cutter to make shapes.)
7. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet about 2″ apart.
8. Brush scones with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.
9. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.




BUTTER PRETZELS WITH CHOCOLATE CHIPS AND M & M’S

1.Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
2. Spread out Butter Snap Pretzels on cookie trays in rows. 
3. Top each pretzel with 3 chocolate chips (you can place a chocolate melt on each one instead of the chips but I have found that they do not stay on as well, once dry.) 
4. Place in the oven and let chocolate melt slightly, approx. 4-5 minutes. 
5. Take out of oven and top each one with an M & M. Let dry.

FLAVORED COCOA MIX
Yields about 19-20 cups of cocoa mix 



1 box ( 1 lb. 10 oz) nonfat dry milk (8 cups)
4 cups sifted confectioners sugar
2 jars (8 oz each) of your favorite flavored nondairy creamer. (Past flavors have been Belgian chocolate toffee, gingerbread, peppermint, vanilla hazelnut… anything will do that you like.)
1 jar nondairy creamer (11 oz)
1 box chocolate milk mix (1 pound, more if you like it really chocolatey!)
1/2 teaspoon salt


In a very large pot, combine all ingredients; stir until well blended. Store in an airtight container. Package up with serving instructions


To serve: Stir 3 heaping tablespoons into 6 ounces hot water. Stir.


LOW-FAT OATMEAL BANANA CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS

3 large bananas, mashed
1/2 unrefined sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup flour (whole wheat preferred)
1/2 cup rolled oats (instant is fine)
1/3 cup applesauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 chocolate chips

1. Add sugar to mashed bananas and mix.
2. Add beaten egg and mix.
3. In a separate bowl mix all dry ingredients.
4. Add dry ingredients to the banana mixture and mix well.
5. Mix in applesauce.
6. Add chocolate chips and stir.
7. Spoon into medium size muffin tins ( use paper liners so they do not stick) and fill 3/4 full.
8. Bake for 20-25 mins. at 350
9. Enjoy!

Happy Valentine’s Day!!
Meg
 

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