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Written By Ariana Purcell |

Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope your new year is going well so far! In the month of February, we seem to focus mostly on Valentine’s Day, the big day for love, but is love what it’s really all about? Here is some interesting history on this special day…

Valentine’s Day is based on “Saint Valentine’s Day.” Saint Valentine was a minister who performed weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to get married and to love. But Saint Valentine believed in love so much he performed the weddings without anybody knowing. He ended up being imprisoned for his actions, and during his imprisonment, he was said to have healed the daughter of his jailer Asterius. Centuries later, when he was executed, he wrote “from your valentine,” as a farewell to the daughter.

The day was first associated with romantic love, but by the 15th century it evolved into a holiday where lovers expressed their love for each other. They sent flowers, cards that were known as valentines, and chocolates. Valentine’s Day soon became popular. Cupid and doves became symbols for Valentine’s Day. Today, we do similar things like bringing candy, sending valentines and showing affection to others. The day is for love.

So, spread the love to your family and friends with this fun recipe–help your Valentine stay sweet and full of love!

Ingredients:
•    Cooking spray or vegetable oil
•    3 cups of all-purpose flour
•    1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder
•    1 ½ teaspoons of coarse salt
•    3 sticks of unsalted butter, cut into pieces
•    12 ounces of unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
•    3 cups of sugar
•    6 large eggs, room temperature
•    1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
•    Whipped cream (or butter cream)
•    Heart-shaped cutter, 1 ½ size.

Directions:
•    Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a basic muffin pan or cupcake pan with paper liners. Make sure to spray the liners with cooking spray.
•    Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl. Put butter and chocolate in a heatproof mixing bowl and set over a pot of simmering water, stirring until chocolate melts.
•    Attach bowl to mixer (or use a hand mixer) and add sugar; whisk on medium high speed until smooth for about three minutes. Then add eggs one at a time; then add vanilla and reduce speed to low and add the flour mixture.
•    Divide batter into the cupcake pan–into the paper liners–only filling each spot up 2/3 high; pour the rest of the batter into a separate pan. Bake until set but still soft, for about 18 minutes. Let cool in tins and pan on wire rack.
•    Frost cupcakes with whipped cream or butter cream. Cut out 24 hearts from the brownie left in the pan using a 1 ½ inch heart-shaped cutter. Top each cupcake with a heart and enjoy!

Happy Valentine’s Day!