Love snacks to make and share

The Hamilton Spectator - - GO - JOY HOWARD

Surprise your lit­tle sweet­heart with a vin­tage-in­spired de­light you can make to­gether or serve as a spe­cial Valen­tine’s Day treat.

Sweet Chalet

3 choco­late Gra­ham crack­ers Red and blue food colour­ing Vanilla frost­ing Var­i­ous pur­ple and white can­dies, for dec­o­rat­ing Shred­ded co­conut

1. Ar­range gra­ham crack­ers on a plate and cover with a damp­ened paper towel. Mi­crowave 20 sec­onds to soften crack­ers. Cut one in half, then cut each piece into iden­ti­cal tri­an­gles. Trim re­main­ing crack­ers into iden­ti­cal rec­tan­gles to form the roof (they should each be about half an inch taller than the tri­an­gles).

2. Add sev­eral drops of red and blue food colour­ing to frost­ing un­til you reach the de­sired shade of laven­der. Place sev­eral ta­ble­spoons of frost­ing in a zip-top bag and snip off a cor­ner.

3. Pipe on frost­ing de­signs and at­tach candy dec­o­ra­tions to each piece (don’t for­get a front door!). Let set.

4. Pipe frost­ing along the long edges of each triangle, then press roof pieces into place. Add the fi­nal dec­o­ra­tions and let set. Ar­range chalet on a small plate. Sprin­kle with shred­ded co­conut.

Love Tat­too Cup­cakes

2 large white fruit-chew candy strips (we used Air­heads) 12 cup­cakes 3 cups pink frost­ing 12 (2-inch) heart-shaped gummy can­dies Choco­late frost­ing

1. Cut a 2-inch length of fruit-chew candy and set it on a plate. Mi­crowave for five sec­onds. Use a rolling pin to stretch and flat­ten the candy. Cut a thin strip length­wise into a ban­ner shape, as shown.

2. Work­ing with one cup­cake at a time, cover it with the pink frost­ing. Top it with a heart gummy candy. Then bend the ends of the candy ban­ner, and press the ban­ner into place.

3. Put the choco­late frost­ing into a zip-top bag and snip off a cor­ner. Pipe the word LOVE onto the ban­ner.

Cupid’s Ar­row Cook­ies

12 pret­zel sticks ½ cup blue candy melts Blue con­ver­sa­tion hearts 1 cup vanilla frost­ing Blue food colour­ing 24 choco­late wafer cook­ies (we used Nabisco Fa­mous Wafers) Sugar 12 blue fruit slices 12 large white gum­drops

1. Line a bak­ing sheet with parch­ment paper. Ar­range the pret­zel sticks on top, spaced at least 2 inches apart. Melt the candy melts ac­cord­ing to pack­age di­rec­tions. Place melted candy in a zip-top bag and snip off a cor­ner. Pipe a feather onto the end of each pret­zel. Dot the op­po­site end of some pret­zel sticks with the candy melt and at­tach a heart. Let the candy harden.

2. Set aside a few ta­ble­spoons of vanilla frost­ing. Tint the re­main­ing frost­ing with the food colour­ing. Use the tinted frost­ing and choco­late wafers to make 12 sand­wich cook­ies.

3. Dust a cut­ting board with sugar. Trim and dis­card rind edge of blue fruit slices; use a rolling pin to flat­ten each one into a large, thin rec­tan­gle. Use round cookie cut­ters to cut 12, 2-inch and 1-inch cir­cles from the flat­tened candy. Con­tinue to add sugar to the board and the candy as you work to pre­vent stick­ing.

4. Flat­ten each white gum­drop the same way. Use a cookie cut­ter to cut 12, 1½-inch rounds.

5. As­sem­ble a bull’s-eye on top of each cookie us­ing dots of white frost­ing to hold the pieces in place. Use more frost­ing to at­tach the ar­rows on top of each cookie.

Hugs and Kisses Candy But­tons

Freezer paper 4 tea­spoons meringue pow­der (avail­able in the bak­ing sec­tion of craft stores and some gro­cery stores) 2 cups con­fec­tion­ers’ sugar, sifted ½ tsp pep­per­mint ex­tract 3 ta­ble­spoons wa­ter Red and yel­low food colour­ing

1. Cut 10 strips of freezer paper into 8- by 3inch rec­tan­gles. Ar­range them shiny-side­down on two bak­ing sheets. Set aside.

2. Use a mixer on medium-high speed to com­bine meringue pow­der, sugar, pep­per­mint ex­tract and wa­ter un­til mix­ture forms stiff peaks and loses its sheen, about five min­utes.

3. Di­vide meringue into small bowls and tint with food colour­ing as de­sired. Trans­fer each colour to a zip-top bag and snip off a cor­ner. Pipe X’s, O’s, and dots onto each strip. Let the candy dry com­pletely, about four hours.

Bee Mine Meringue Pops

1 cup yel­low candy melts 24 meringue cook­ies 12 (6-inch) lol­lipop sticks 24 white spice drops 24 yel­low M&M’s can­dies Black food writer Flower sprin­kles (we used Wil­ton brand) Yel­low washi tape Black per­ma­nent marker

1. Melt candy melts ac­cord­ing to pack­age di­rec­tions. Use a sharp knife (an adult’s job) to make a small slit in the top of 12 meringue cook­ies. Dip end of each lol­lipop stick into melted candy and in­sert it into a pre­pared cookie. Let candy set five min­utes.

2. Spread candy melt on re­main­ing cook­ies; sand­wich each with one of the pops. Stand pops up in a tall glass to set.

3. Trim a small disk from the end of each spice drop, then halve each round to form a set of wings. Use sticky side of candy to ad­here wings to each M&M. Add bee stripes with the food writer.

4. Lay each pop on its side. At­tach bees and flower sprin­kles with melted candy. Let set, then add a washi-tape flag with the mes­sage “bee mine” in per­ma­nent marker.

RYAN K LIEBE, TNS

Build­ing a sweet chalet can pro­vide some Valen­tine’s Day fun for the fam­ily — or a spe­cial some­one.

Hugs and Kisses Candy But­tons and Bee Mine Meringue Pops.

RYAN K LIEBE, TNS

Love Tat­too Cup­cakes.

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