Not everyone is in love with Valentine’s Day, but you can safely say that most kids are. That’s because what Valentine’s Day means to kids may be a little different to us adults… I’m pretty sure it’s not all fancy date nights, or feeling depressed about their single status on Facebook. As soon as the buzz of Christmas had passed, Elsie – aged six and three quarters – was pumped about the next holiday on the calendar. For her, Valentine’s starts Feb 1st, so yesterday she insisted we get on with it and make heart cookies. “It’s February 1st today Mommy, we need to hurry, there is so much to do!” I’m not entirely sure what she has planned for the rest of the month but apparently we’d better get started.
Apart from wanting to buy everything pink in the vicinity of the store, while proudly wearing her heart jumper dress, Elsie seems genuinely excited. But why? It is the brain-washing of shameful consumerism? I thought I’d better find out by asking her what Valentine’s Day was all about:
“You get to make new friends. Because Valentine’s Day is all about love and friendship.”
When I asked what people do on Valentine’s Day she briefly talked of Cupid shooting at people with arrows to make them fall in love (why aren’t kids more scared of Cupid? It sounds terrifying). But she then went on to talk about making things to give to friends and making new friendships in the process. She’s a wise girl that Elsie.
So before you go boycotting it, think about what Valentine’s Day means to kids, and how we can all learn from it. It shouldn’t be about couples, sex and Instagraming the expensive gift your boyfriend gave you; it should be about love and friendship. Take your friends out, ring someone you’ve lost touch with, leave a little something on the doorstep of someone you care about. We all need a little more kindness in the World of today.
And in case you’re wondering what cookie delight’s we came up with last night, here’s the recipe…
- 8oz (2 sticks) butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 6 strawberries
- 1 cup confectioners sugar for frosting
- In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy (2-3mins).
- Beat in the egg and vanilla until smooth.
- Mix 2½ cups of flour (keep ½ cup aside), salt and baking powder in a separate bowl and then add to the batter. Once a ball of dough is created, remove half of it from the mixer.
- On parchment paper, roll the dough into a flat disc around 1 inch thick.
- Blend the strawberries into a puree and add to the mixer along with the remaining half of the dough and the extra ½ cup of flour. Mix into a light pink dough.
- On parchment paper, roll the pink dough into a flat disc around 1 inch thick.
- Sandwich the two doughs together and fold over a couple of times. Knead the dough a little, just enough to get a swirled effect. Split into two balls, flatten to make two marbled discs and refrigerate for around an hour.
- Roll out the dough to around ⅛ inch and cut out your heart cookies. Place on a lined baking tray.
- Bake at 325°F for 12-15mins, until edges just start to get color.
- Once cooled, decorate as you wish. We just whipped up some confectioners sugar with water and dotted the perimeter. For frosting larger areas of the cookie you'll want to make proper royal icing, I've added a link below this recipe card.
- Refrigerating the dough hardens it a little and therefore helps the cut out shapes stay crisp. It is not necessary if you're in a hurry (as kids always are).
- Giving you exact measurements for flour is tough because it will depend on the size of your egg and strawberries. Use your judgement to create a dough that is easy to work with.
Hurry now… Elsie says there’s only twelve more days to go.