I’ve often felt that Valentine’s Day was just a “Hallmark” holiday — with greeting cards, red roses, jewelry or the latest tech-toy (iPad? — now there’s an idea) required for the obligatory demonstration of “love.” See Linus’s dilemma in “Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown.” At times, I’ve been tempted to become cynical and boycott the whole thing. But then I had children. Seeing life through their eyes — which are full of delight and awe for nearly everything — has helped me appreciate Valentine’s Day as a chance to say “I love you!” to their small world, and to revel in homemade gifts made by little hands from construction paper, scissors and watercolor paints.
So why not just use the day to express that you care, especially when you can make people feel special? This year, (literally) small people in my life will be receiving some chocolate that they can actually play with too! Many thanks to my dear friend Mary Beth for passing along the recipe!
Note: recipe can be doubled, and even tripled for a large crowd. The original recipe says you can add food coloring to the powdered milk to make different colors. I am a bit skeptical- since you are mixing it all with cocoa powder, they won’t be true colors. I opted for different kinds of sprinkles (jimmies) for the kids to add splashes of color and texture- sprinkles are always a hit! The key is: be imaginative and have fun! Oh- and keep a camera handy to capture darling chocolate-smudged faces.
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 6 tbsp baking cocoa
- 3/4 cup powdered milk
- 1/2 cup butter at room temperature (no substitutes)
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and then wisk to incorporate.
- Cut in the butter, and then add the corn syrup and vanilla.
- Using a wooden spoon to stir, mix until it becomes necessary to knead the dough by hand until smooth and firm.
- Divide into 2-4 portions, and let kids do what they do best . . . roll out, make shapes, build things, and then EAT it!