A Valentine’s Recipe to Cook with Kids
Thanks to Melissa Sherwood of Deliciously Nutritious for sharing this recipe with us, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Chef Melissa offers cooking classes for students of all ages in Gambrills, MD.
Valentine’s Day is not just about chocolates, flowers, and romantic dinners. It’s a day to celebrate love in all its forms and the perfect way to focus on the special bond between parents and children. What better way to do that than cooking together? This Valentine’s Day, I encourage you to turn your kitchen into a space for love, laughter, and creativity with your children. This type of quality time is priceless.
- Choose a Child-Friendly Recipe: We want to make it fun, so involve your kids in the recipe decision and then think of how to make your recipe amazing. We’re talking about heart shapes, Valentine’s colors, decorations, and designs. Then gather all your ingredients and cooking supplies ahead of time. This makes it easier when you are ready to begin. Sprinkles or a dusting of powdered sugar are always encouraged.
- Atmosphere is everything: Turn up your favorite music, decorate your kitchen, and make your space feel cozy and festive. Engage your children in the decorating. They will be excited to help.
- Let’s Learn Together: Involve your kids in every step. Talk about the ingredients, demonstrate how to use the measuring spoons and cups, and most importantly give your kids the freedom to be the “head chef”. By doing so, you are not only enhancing their culinary skills, but are helping them feel a sense of accomplishment. STEM skills are encouraged! You cannot imagine how many STEM skills you use in cooking together.
- Shared Stories & Laughter: Laughter helps to create a warm atmosphere that enhances the joy of cooking together. Share stories of cooking when you were younger, your favorite foods, and family recipes and traditions. Your kids will get a kick out of your stories!
- Presentation is Key: Once your masterpiece is ready, let the kids get involved with the decorations and plating. This fosters a sense of pride in their work, which in turn will create memories that last a lifetime.
As you embark on this delightful culinary journey with your children this Valentine’s Day, remember that the mess, the laughter, and the unique treats you create together are the ingredients for cherished memories. Embrace the joy of cooking as a family, savor the moments, and relish the love that fills your kitchen. Happy Valentine’s Day, and may your shared experiences continue to build a lifetime of love and connection.
Here is a recipe to get you started:
PUFF PASTRY HEARTS w/WHIPPED CREAM & FRUIT
Kitchen Equipment: Baking Sheet, Heart Shaped Cookie Cutter (4 inch), Rolling Pin, Fork, Pastry Brush, Serrated Knife, Mixing Bowl, Whisk, Hand Mixer or Stand Mixer, Measuring Spoons & Cups, Microwave Safe Bowl
- 1 sheet of puff pastry
- 1 Tbsp flour (for dusting)
- 1 egg
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar (extra for dusting)
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 8-10 sliced strawberries or your favorite fruit
- 2 Tbsp melted chocolate chips or Nutella.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- On a lightly floured surface, fold the puff pastry sheet in half and gently press or roll the sheets together.
- Using a heart shaped cookie cutter, cut out heart shapes in the dough.
- Prick the tops of the hearts with a fork and lightly brush with an egg wash.
- Bake for 9-10 minutes. Remove it from the oven and let cool. While pastry makes, make the whipped cream.
In a cold mixing bowl and a whisk attachment, cream together the cream cheese and powdered sugar until combined. A hand mixer works just as well. Add the heavy whipping cream and vanilla and beat on medium for 2-3 minutes or until you have stiff peaks.
Time to Decorate
- Split the hearts in half with a serrated knife.
- Spoon, pipe or spread the whipped cream onto one side of the heart.
- Add a layer of sliced strawberries or your favorite fruit and place the other heart on top. Lightly dust powdered sugar on top of the hearts and drizzle melted chocolate chips or Nutella on top. When using chocolate chips or Nutella, place in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 20 – 30 seconds. This helps it to melt and drizzle much better.
- Again, sprinkles are always encouraged; if using sprinkles apply them on top of the drizzled chocolate before it dries.
- Enjoy your Valentine’s Treats!