Sweets to the Sweet- Valentine’s Day Treats!

Valentine’s Day is a time for love and romance… but it is also a time for sweet treats! Here are two recipes from  Hershey’s Kitchens, a section of the Hershey’s website that has all kinds of recipes for all occasions and holidays. One recipe is for cookies, the other for cupcakes, and they are both relatively easy- although they won’t be the kind of treats that have a box with a mix in it, so it does require a little effort… emphasis on little. You can make these treats with your family, friends, or even your significant other- I know that normally you wouldn’t make your guy bake, but hey, you could start a flour fight like in those cute movies! So, go ahead and pick a recipe- or two- and start baking!

Sweetheart Chocolate Cupcakes

Courtesy of Hershey's Kitchens website

Prep Time: 26 Minutes

Makes: About 30 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Vanilla frosting (homemade or ready-to-spread)
  • Few drops red food color (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries (optional)
  • Decorative themed candies, colored sprinkles or sugars (optional)
  • OPEN CHOCOLATE HEARTS (directions follow)

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line about 30 muffin cups (2-1/2 inch in diameter) with paper or foil baking cups.
  2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Fill cups 2/3 full with batter.
  3. Bake 22 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool completely in pans on wire rack.
  4. Frost with vanilla frosting or tint all or part of frosting with a few drops of red food color to get pink. Stir in chopped maraschino cherries, if desired. (For best results, dry cherries thoroughly on paper towels.) Garnish with decorative candies, sprinkles and OPEN CHOCOLATE HEARTS, if desired.OPEN CHOCOLATE HEARTS:
  5. Cover tray or cookie sheet with waxed paper. Place 1 cup HERSHEY’S SPECIAL DARK Chocolate Chips or HERSHEY’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips in medium microwave-safe bowl.
  6. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 1 minute; stir. If necessary, microwave at MEDIUM an additional 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until chips are melted and smooth when stirred.
  7. Spoon melted chocolate into small squeeze bottle, pastry bag or strong resealable plastic food storage bag fitted with writing tip*.
  8. Pipe freehand hearts or follow patterns by drawing heart shapes on paper that is slipped under the waxed paper. Refrigerate hearts about 30 minutes or until firm.

 

Valentine Sugar Cookie Pops

Courtesy of Hershey's Kitchens website

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Makes: About 12 cookies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 wooden ice cream sticks
  • CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE (recipe follows)
  • Assorted frostings, sugars and small candies

 

Directions

1.  Heat oven to 350°F. Beat butter and sugar in medium bowl until creamy. Add egg and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until blended. (If necessary, refrigerate dough until firm enough to handle.)

2.  Roll 1/4 cup dough into ball; place on ungreased cookie sheet, 3 cookies per sheet. (Cookies spread while baking.) Insert wooden stick about three quarters of the way into side of each ball. Flatten slightly.

3.  Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until outside edges are lightly browned and center is set. Cool several minutes on cookie sheet; remove to wire rack. Cool completely.

4.  Decorate with CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE and assorted frostings, sugars and small candies to make Valentine cookies. CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE:

Chocolate Drizzle Directions:

Place 1/2 cup HERSHEY’S SPECIAL DARK Chocolate Chips or HERSHEY’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips and 1 teaspoon shortening (do not use butter, margarine, spread or oil) in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 30 seconds; stir. If necessary, microwave at MEDIUM an additional 10 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until chocolate is melted when stirred.

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