Saturday, February 15, 2014

Love... and Chocolate, Make the World Go Round

Some people may think that Valentine's Day has become an overly commercialized holiday. While others have even gone as far as saying that it is (gasp) made up. Those people are certainly entitled to their opinions, but personally, I see nothing wrong with a day dedicated entirely to telling those that we love and care about, that we do.  I also see absolutely nothing wrong with being completely and utterly overindulgent when it comes to chocolate... and Nutella.  Wow, do I really love Nutella.

Anyhow, after a month plus of eating an incredibly healthy diet, in an effort to detox post holiday season, I felt it was time to take the plunge and enjoy some fun festive Valentine's Day treats.
If you have not seen this pretzel, Hershey Kiss, and M&M combo on Pinterest, you are truly missing out. They are fun, super simple to make, can be adjusted to fit a multitude of holiday themes (thanks to M&Ms designed for every season/holiday), and both little ones and adults alike can't resist the salty-sweet combo.

To make them, you will need:
1 Bag of waffle shaped pretzels
1 Bag of Hershey's Kisses, or Hugs
1 Bag of milk chocolate M&Ms

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees. Place as many pretzels as you would like to make on a baking sheet. Top each one with a Kiss or a Hug.  Pop them in the oven for 3-5 minutes. Remove from oven, press an M&M into each softened Kiss, while warm, then allow to cool.  That's it! Easy Peasy!

Seriously, if there is a better combination than strawberries and Nutella... I don't know what it is.  Actually, pretty much anything with Nutella is amazing.  

I've pinned about a dozen or more of these homemade "poptart" recipes on Pinterest.  I've made them before filled with blueberry jam and homemade strawberry jam.  I've iced them, put sprinkles on them, used homemade and store-bought pie crust.  No matter what the variation, they are always delicious. 
This time I opted for lots of short cuts.  Good old Pillsbury pie crust, jam straight from a jar, and the infamous Nutella.  Once again, they did not disappoint.

1 box Pillsbury pie crust
1 jar seedless strawberry jam (Stonewall Kitchen is our household favorite, but any brand will do)
1 jar Nutella
1 egg

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  Unroll pie crust on a lightly floured surface.  Using a 2 inch heart shaped cookie cutter, I got about 9 hearts from each crust.  Place 9 hearts on a parchment lined baking sheet. Top each heart with approximately 1/2 teaspoon jam and a 1/2 teaspoon nutella. Using a tiny bit of water to help the crusts adhere together, I went around the edge of each heart, then topped it with another dough heart, and sealed them together with the tines of a fork. I then brushed the top of each "poptart" with a lightly beaten egg wash. Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.  Let them cool for a bit, then indulge!

Max's homemade "Homer the Hound" Valentine's Day card for Daddy was too cute not to share.  Look at that coloring job on the ears.  Proud mom here!

Of course we had to finish the day off with homemade heart shaped pizzas... a romantic dinner at home, but I wouldn't have had it any other way.

I hope your day was full of love, chocolate, and time spent with those who mean the most to you!

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