I think that out of the holidays there are to celebrate my mom loves Valentine’s Day the best. She always made it special for us with a special Valentine card, box of Whitman’s chocolates and a special dinner. I have always tried to continue this loving feeling to my kids because it was something special I remember from my childhood. This Valentine’s Day I was very behind on the preparations. Jac and I had watched a show (probably Martha Stewart Living, considering that usually that is the ONLY show we watch all day) with a special Valentine’s Day menu of “Love Birds” and other special treats. I meant to get that made but??? The funniest thing was that after sixteen years of marriage I did the horrible “Get up before you and run to Walgreen’s to get a Valentine” and then Scott did the “Ooops, I need razorblades/Valentine’s day card” run also. So romantic. (Sorry babe, I’ll do better next year!)

I did manage to make “Cinnamon Crispy Hearts” and hot cocoa for breakfast. The kids like these and I don’t make them very often, so they enjoyed them. I am a hot cocoa snob, I must admit, and have made my poor children into three cocoa snobs as well. The first time Emily had cocoa from a mix she said “Mommy, what is this? It is NOT hot cocoa!” I love to make the real deal, and trying to cut the calories have cut out their nightly hot cocoa fix to once a week (for my benefit, not theirs!) My mom brought the kids a box of chocolates and balloons, and Sharon brought them cards and animals so they were quite the happy campers!

“Cinnamon Crispy Hearts”
1 pkg. active dry yeast
1/2 c warm water
3/4 c flour
3/4 c whole wheat flour
1/8 tsp salt (I used salted butter and leave this out)
2/3 c butter
1 egg yolk
1 Tblsp. melted butter
2/3 c sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon (I used the fresh, strong stuff so only used 1 tsp.)

Sprinkle yeast over warm water, stir until dissolved and set aside.
In large bowl stir flour and salt. Mix in butter with a pastry cutter until crumbly.
Stir in yeast mixture and egg yolk until well blended. Cover tightly with wrap and
refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.
Turn dough out onto lightly floured board and knead until smooth, folding over at each
turn, about ten times or so. Roll out into a 12″ x 10″ rectangle.
Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar. Starting with a long side
roll dough up “jelly roll” style to center of the rectangle. Then on other long end roll up that side
to center mark also. Cut into 12 slices.
Sprinkle some of remaining cinnamon sugar on waxed paper and place a slice on the paper.
Flatten slightly with hand, pinching into more of a heart shape as you flatten, then roll with a
rolling pin to 1/8″ thick. (Turn slice as you go to sugar both sides.) Repeat with other slices.
Place hearts on ungreased baking sheet and bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes.

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