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Valentine's Day treats for kids

Surprise your littlest valentines with one of these sweet treats.

For you, Valentine's Day may conjure up promises of flowers, chocolates and if you're lucky a no-kids night out with your spouse, but it's a day kids get excited about, too. Remember when you were a kid, how fun it was handing out little valentines to everyone in your class? Or in middle school, sending a secret admirer a carnation or rose? Celebrate the love you have for your kids with one of these recipes from two Pinterest favorites:

Sweetheart Cupcakes
Modified fromGlorious Treatsblogger Glory Albin:

First, bake a batch of chocolate cupcakes using your favorite recipe or box mix. (Or, check mine out at glorioustreats.com.) Fill the liners to 1/2 inch below the top of the liner. While the cupcakes are baking, prepare the frosting by following the below recipe:

Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1/4 teaspoon salt (if using unsalted butter)
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons heavy cream, half and half or milk
Pink food coloring

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Directions:
Using an electric mixer, beat butter until it's completely smooth. Add salt, if needed. One cup at a time, add 2 cups of powdered sugar, beating after each addition. Add vanilla and beat to combine. Add the remaining 2 cups of powdered sugar, one at a time. Add an additional 1 to 2 teaspoons cream and pink food coloring. Continue to beat for another minute or so. The frosting should now be smooth and fluffy.

For the cutout cupcake assembly, use a serrated knife to cut off the top of the cupcake, using the top of the cupcake liner as a guide. Use a small heart cookie cutter to cut out a heart shape from the cupcake dome. Spread frosting onto the cupcake base, in a mounded shape. If desired, sprinkle the cupcake dome with powdered sugar. Place top back on cupcake and press down a bit.

Cream Filled Chocolate Heart-Shaped Cakes
Modified fromWorth Pinning blogger Carrie Geddes

Ingredients:

(For cake:)
Cake mix
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs

(For frosting and chocolate coating:)
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons flour
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:
Start with your favorite cake mix. I use Duncan Hines: Preheat oven to 350 degrees for metal or glass cupcake baking pans or 325 degrees for dark or coated cupcake baking pans. Grease sides and bottom of the baking cups with oil spray. Blend cake mix, water, oil and eggs in a large bowl. Pour batter into cupcake pan. I over-fill the molds on purpose so the cake bakes over the tops. Then I'm able to cut the tops flat with a serrated knife. Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes.

For the frosting,whisk 1/2 cup milk and 2 teaspoons flour into a small sauce pan over medium heat. The milk and flour will make a pasty gravy. Remove from the heat and allow to cool at room temperature. Cream 1/2 cup shortening and 1/2 cup sugar. Add the pasty/gravy stuff and beat for 5 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Continue beating until fluffy.

Use a knife to carefully core each cupcake. Fill the centers with the cream. Melt 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips for the chocolate icing and dunk the bottom of each cupcake into it. Then thickly coat the tops of the cupcakes with the melted chocolate. Let the hearts set. Pipe the vanilla frosting to write "love" on top.

 
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