While Valentine’s Day is not my favorite of holidays, it is a day I have fun with. Valentine’s Day reminds me of trading cards and treats with everyone in class, of carefully writing notes to all of my friends, and of being excited about seeing so many envelopes in my Valentine “mailbox” (often with my name misspelled).
For me, Valentine’s Day isn’t only about romantic love. To celebrate the day, I give small gifts to a few of my close friends. It is my way of letting them know that I care about them.
This year, I put together a small care package with a bag of heart-shaped, jam-filled thumbprint cookies and a couple of prized caramels (made by a friend). I tied the boxes with red and white baker’s twine and added a couple of paper straws to the top (white with red hearts, of course). I love the new trend of using paper straws; they are fun and a bit better for the world than plastic.
To make the cookies, make your favorite butter cookie recipe (one without baking powder or soda, you don’t want these to puff up) and roll the dough into balls about ¾” in diameter (being super precise isn’t necessary). Place two balls of dough next to each other on your cookie sheet and make a divot in each with your thumb. (I actually use my ring finger when I make thumbprints; my thumb always feels awkward). Then mold the dough into a point at the end. It really isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Then, fill the divot with some good jam. Good, homemade jam is key here—trust me, the name-brand stuff from the grocery store will not be as rich and flavorful. I used apricot jam, plum jam with chai spices, and sour cherry jam, none of which were overly sweet.
The cookies will flatten out a bit as they bake, but they keep their shape pretty well; the jam becomes thick and delicious. Do be aware that because these cookies are larger, your cookie recipe will not yield as many finished cookies as you might be used to.
I’ve seen other fun Valentine projects popping up on blogs in the last couple of weeks. If you’re look for more ideas, give these a try:
- I made a few of these origami hearts from How About Orange. They are easy and quite fun. I imagine putting them in lunch bags for a small surprise and I love you.
Another paper heart project from How About Orange: this one would be a perfect project to work on with kids. I remember making hearts like this out of construction paper in school.
- I also like this heart garland made of felt from Made by Rae. I have a few dozen hearts cut out of felt waiting to make a similar project, but I have yet to fix my sewing machine tension.
- I kind of fell in love with these simple covered boxes by Chez Larsson. As soon as I decide what should go in them, I'll be making a few.