Valentine’s Day

January 26, 2023

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time of the year to make something for the special people in your life to show your love and appreciation for them.

Surprise and delight the people around you during the month of February with these Valentine’s Day themed treats.

This collection of tasty treats are fun and easy enough for even the most unadventurous cooks to try.

Easy Jam Tarts

(https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/valentines-day-jam-tarts)

Makes 12
Ingredients

• 500ml Plain Flour, plus extra for dusting
• 125g (4 ounces) Butter, chilled and diced
• Pinch of Salt
• 1 Medium Egg
• 100g Jam of your choice

Method
Step 1:

• Sift the flour and add to the butter and salt in a bowl and rub them together with your fingertips. When this mixture looks and feels like fresh breadcrumbs, stir in one egg with a fork.

Add 1 tablespoon of cold water, then start to bring the dough together in one lump with your hands – try not to knead it too much.

If the mixture is not coming together, add 1 more tablespoon of water, but try not to add more than that. Wrap in cling wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Step 2:
• Heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Spray a 12-hole tart tin, then dust your work surface with flour. Unwrap and roll out the chilled pastry, then use a round cutter to cut out 12 circles, big enough to line the holes in the tin.

Place a circle of pastry into each hole. With the leftover pastry, cut out small pastry hearts. Spoon 1-2 teaspoons of your chosen   jam into each pastry circle and top with the hearts.

Step 3:
• Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the filling is just starting to bubble. Leave in the tin to cool for a few minutes before carefully transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. To make this recipe even easier, use ready-made shortcrust pastry.

Red Velvet Cookies

(https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/red-velvet-cookies)

Makes 16-18
Ingredients

•  175g (6 ounces) Soft Salted Butter
•  200g/240ml Light Brown Soft Sugar
•  100g/120ml Caster Sugar
•  1 Large Egg
•  2 teaspoons Vanilla Essence
•  ½ – 1 Tablespoon red food colouring
•  225g/430ml Plain Flour
•  25g/50ml Cocoa Powder
•  ½ Teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda
•  150g/220ml White Chocolate Chips or Chunks

Method
Step 1:

• Beat the butter and sugars together with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg, vanilla and food colouring until you have a bright red batter. Sieve over the flour, cocoa and bicarb. Fold everything together to make a stiff evenly-coloured dough, then fold in the chocolate chips.

Step 2:
•  Put the dough on a sheet of baking paper.
Fold the paper over the dough and mould it into a sausage shape about 6cm wide. Chill until ready to bake.

Step 3:
•  Heat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Cut the cookie dough into 1 cm thick slices using a sharp knife and arrange them on two large baking trays lined with baking paper well spaced apart so they have room to spread in the oven. Bake in batches, keeping the unbaked cookies on the sheet in the fridge while the rest are baking.

Step 4:
• Bake in the middle of the oven for 13-15 minutes until the cookies are crisp at the edges, but still soft in the centre. Leave to cool on the baking paper for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries

Serves 5
Ingredients

•  100g Dark Chocolate, roughly chopped
•  400g Strawberries, cleaned, and dried, with leaves and stem on
•  30g White and Milk Chocolate, roughly chopped

Method
Step 1:

•  Prepare a sheet of baking paper. To melt the dark chocolate, fill a small pot with 2cm water and bring it to a simmer. Put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and rest it on top of the pot, ensuring the bowl isn’t touching the water. Stir the chocolate to gradually melt it. Remove the bowl from the pot.

Step 2:
•  Gently hold the strawberries by the green top and dip them into the chocolate. Shake off any excess chocolate and put them onto the baking paper to set.

Step 3 (Optional):
•  Melt the white and milk chocolate and drizzle lightly over the fruit.

Valentine’s Day Fudge
(https://www.lifeloveandsugar.com/valentines-day-fudge/)

Makes 20-25
Ingredients

•  3 ¾ Cups White Chocolate
•  1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
•  1 Teaspoon Vanilla Essence
•  ½ cup Valentine’s Themed Sprinkles

Method
Step 1:

•  Line a square pan with baking paper that covers the sides of the pan.

Step 2:
•  Place the white chocolate and sweetened condensed milk in a large bowl and microwave for one minute.

Stir well to combine and allow the heat to melt the chocolate.

If needed, microwave for another 30 seconds until the chocolate is completely smooth.

Step 3:
•  Stir in the vanilla essence and a ¼ cup of sprinkles, then quickly transfer the mixture to the lined pan and spread evenly.

Step 4:
•  Top the fudge with the remaining sprinkles and press them down into the top of the fudge.

Step 5:
•  Refrigerate the fudge until its completely cool and firm.

Valentine’s Themed Summer Drink – Mixed-Berry Shake
(https://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/mixed-berry-shake)

Serves 6
Ingredients

•  1 Litre Vanilla Ice Cream
•  170 g / 180ml Unsweetened Frozen Berries (Strawberries, Blueberries, blackberries)
•  2 Cups Whole Milk

Method
Step 1:

•  In a blender, combine half of the ice cream, berries and milk.

Puree until smooth, stopping occasionally to stir with a spoon.

Pour into glasses. Repeat this step with the remaining ingredients.

Valentine’s Day is a day that holds a special place in many people’s hearts.

Roughly 145 million people exchange Valentine’s Cards yearly, with red roses being the most popular flower for Valentine’s Day.

More people got engaged on Valentine’s Day in 2022 than on any other day of that year.

Children receive 39 percent of all Valentine’s Day sweets and gifts and 20 percent of pet owners give Valentine’s Day gifts to their pets.

February is a time to show our love and appreciation for the people in our lives and what better way to do that than to make them a special sweet treat.

Yours in Wellness
Thandi and the Empact Team

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