Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sweet Treats for Love Day

Every year at Christmas I endeavor to give all our closest friends and family members a sweet surprise of baked goods. Homemade gifts of the kitchen variety are so fun to make and I know from experience, so fun to receive! So why in 5 married Christmases have we never been able to make it happen?

Because Christmas is what it is....and I am slowly accepting that it may never happen.

But a stroke of brilliance and a thrift store find has given us a new opportunity to spread some love from the new kitchen.
Homemade candies and treats for Valentines Day gifts?
You betcha!

Christmas has it's own magic... Valentines day must fight cynicism, bitter cold temperatures and loneliness and the only thing it has in it's arsenal is cheap chocolates, overpriced flowers and singing teddy bears in heart patterned underpants....

Until now.
The Winkels have decided to give love day a boost and spread some love in the form of chocolatey goodness.

First we took a trip to bulk barn on loaded up on a decent amount of ingredients and snagged a heart shaped candy mold for .25 at the Thrift Store (along with some vintage (early 1980s) Snow White valentines. Boo Ya!)

Then we needed to don our aprons....

 Ridiculously cute, I know...(honestly, I think I married the worlds best sport)

Stirring the chopped peanuts (yes, it was a make-work job, but she needed something to do without knives)

Mama had the knife, chopping cranberries.

Unwrapping peppermints for the Pink Peppermint Popcorn.

Milk Chocolate Peanut hearts

Then Baby Boy came and joined us and our productivity significantly decreased, but he had tons of fun banging that spoon on the counter singing at the top of his lungs and stealing bit of chocolate 

Alas, the popcorn still got made....sooo delicious! 
1 large bowl of air popped popcorn (about 1/2 cup unpopped)
1 cup melted white chocolate wafers
1 cup pulverized red and white mint candies

Pop popcorn
Melt cholate
Pour chocolate onto popcorn and toss with pink mint powder.
Try not to eat the whole thing at once.

Milk Chocolate Peanut Success!!!
2 Cups melted Milk Chocolate Wafers
1 cup chopped peanuts.

Melt chocolate in double boiler, crock pot or glass measuring cup (in the microwave)
Stir in peanuts.
Pour into silicone candy mold
Place in freezer for 10 minutes.

White Chocolate Cranberry Hearts :

2 cups melted white chocolate wafers
1 cup chopped dried cranberries.

Melt chocolate in double boiler, crock pot or glass measuring cup (in the microwave)
Stir in cranberries.
Pour into silicone candy mold
Place in freezer for 10 minutes.

Salted Caramel Toffee Bars with the recipe from Bake Me Away.

All of the recipes were so easy and came together fabulously even though the first three here are from my own head just "winging it" so to speak. Everything is sitting in the fridge in freezer bags waiting to be layered into mason jars closer to the weekend when we will give them out to all our beloveds.

Here's a sneak peak at what the jars look like finished though:



  1. SO CUTE! and delicious! Well done Winkle Family :)

  2. I love this!! I may try it for St Patricks Day. Vday is my son and mom's bday so we are busy.

  3. M-m-m, just as well that I don't live next door! I LOVE chocolate!
    This so neat, so fun, & will be SO appreciated, by your "Loved" Ones! :-)

  4. Gosh darn they look yummy and the chefs look pretty darn good too :0)

  5. YUM! I have a blog award for you over at my blog-

  6. I think this is the sweetest post ever! Your family is ridiculously cute!

    I've decided the same thing about Valentine's - all my good intentions that I miss at Christmas can help cheer everyone of the February Blues.

    (Bulk Barn!! How I miss the Bulk Barn!)

  7. The treats are delicious! I put a couple chocolates in Dad's lunch and he was totally impressed. Thanks so much. Love MOM



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