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Will You Be My Valentine?

Do your kids wake up excited on every single holiday, waiting for the day to begin? Do you jump out of bed with a smile on your face, ready to make a special breakfast? Yeah… me neither. And Valentine’s Day is no exception. For me or the kids. I do, however, strive to make special treats and do fun activities on holidays, including Valentine’s Day! My trick is to do as much ahead of time as possible! This Valentine’s Day, waffle sticks fit the bill for breakfast, including a special treat and a fun activity. Make-ahead treats, little gifts that I can buy the week before (or the day before, who am I kidding?), and a special activity on the calendar all in one.

Since baking ahead of time is a memory-making moment with my boys and provides gifts that are ready-to-give, it gets a lot of points in my book! As a child, I distinctly remember icing heart cookies with my mom each year before Valentine’s Day, and I especially loved delivering them to my doctor’s office, veterinarian, my class at school, and the neighbors. Such happy memories! 

Me and my boys have made these beautiful (and delicious!) waffle sticks to eat and to give to friends, family, and teachers. The recipe is just a few ingredients that older children can measure out, and younger children can whisk together. The waffle pan makes the entire process easy, since there’s no hot iron to contend with. And everyone can participate in dipping and sprinkling! Use aprons and set the dipping chocolate on a cutting board to keep the mess to a minimum. The chocolate should be used when just melted. If you continue to heat the chocolate, it will crumble and become unusable. 

The possibilities are endless! Some fun variations:

  • Use maple syrup rather than sugar and crumble bacon in

  • Drop a handful of freeze-dried blueberries or raspberries into the batter

  • Replace 1 egg with ¼ cup of pumpkin and add ½ tsp. of pumpkin pie spice

  • Use eggnog in place of milk and add 2 pinches of nutmeg

The colors of chocolate and toppings can be changed to fit any holiday, too. With a little creativity, they can be turned into snowmen, bunnies, or birthday candles, as well!

Baked Waffle Sticks

These waffle sticks are easy to make and fun to dip! Yield: 12 sticks.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups All-Purpose Flour

  • 2 Tbsp. Sugar

  • 2 Tbsp. Baking Powder

  • ½ tsp. Salt

  • 6 Tbsp. Melted Butter

  • 4 Eggs

  • 3 tsp. Vanilla

Toppings:

  • White or Dark Chocolate, for melting

  • Sprinkles

  • Coconut

  • Chopped Nuts

  • Freeze-Dried Fruit, crumbled
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425ºF. Brush the Waffle Stick Pan with oil.

  2. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.

  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the remaining wet ingredients and whisk together.

  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients - don’t overmix.

  5. Distribute the batter evenly in the wells without overfilling. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and turn over onto a cooling rack.

  6. Melt chocolate(s) in a small glass bowl or mug. If using the microwave, only microwave for 30 seconds at a time.

  7. Cut the waffle stick in half once they’ve cooled.

  8. Dip the cut end of the waffle stick in chocolate. Lay flat on a cutting board or cooling rack to sprinkle with toppings.

Brooke is a Pampered Chef director, a kitchen tool geek, a mom of twins, a lover of food, a giver of gifts, and a fan of sarcasm. She believes that making memories in the kitchen with children sets them up for success in life. For delicious recipes, tips, to shop Pampered Chef and more, visit pamperedchef.biz/brookes.

 

 

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