It’s February and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! It’s the perfect excuse to enjoy something sweet, but how about trying something homemade instead of buying that same candy from the store? Here are a couple recipes you can make with your family and have a sweet time!
Chunky Monkey Bars – Little Helpers Toddler Cookbook by Heather Wish Staller pg. 95. These bars can be made nut and gluten free as needed!
- 3 very ripe bananas
- 3 Tablespoons almond butter (sunflower seed butter if nut-free)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¾ cups quick oats (gluten free works too!)
- 1 cup walnut pieces, finely chopped (optional or pumpkin seeds if nut-free)
- 2 Tablespoons chia seeds (optional)
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- A pinch of fine sea salt
- 2 Tablespoons mini chocolate chips (try vegan chocolates if you want!)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or spray with nonstick cooking spray
- Peel the bananas and put them in a large bowl. Mash the bananas with a potato masher or the back of a fork until only a few small chunks remain. Stir in the almond butter and vanilla.
- A fun alternative for banana mashing is to put the peeled bananas into a large zip-top bag, make sure it’s zipped tightly, and then let your children mash the bananas with their hands. No mess and lots of fun!
- Add the oats, walnuts, chia seeds (if using), cinnamon, and salt to the bowl. Stir until well combined. The batter will be thick. Dump the batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly with the back of a spoon or spatula. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the batter and gently press them into the top.
- Bake the bars until golden brown around the edges, about 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool completely and then cut into bars!
Homemade Fudgy Ice-Cream Sandwiches – Kids Cook! By Good Housekeeping pg. 144. These delicious sandwiches can be filled with your favorite ice cream and are perfect no matter the time of year.
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature and cut up
- 1 bag (12 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 pints ice cream of choice, slightly softened
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a 4-quart saucepan, combine the butter, chocolate chips, condensed milk, and salt. Cook over medium-low heat for 5-6 minutes or until melted, stirring. Remove the pan from heat. Stir in flour and vanilla until combined.
- With 1 ½ inch cookie scoop, scoop dough about 2 inches apart onto prepared cookie sheets. Flatten slightly. Bake 8-10 minutes or until tops are dry but still soft when pressed.
- Cool cookies on cookie sheets on wire racks for 5 minutes. With spatula transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely. Repeat with remaining batter if necessary.
- Press 1 small scoop of ice cream between 2 cookies. Freeze sandwiches for 1 hour or until firm!
- You can also wrap these sandwiches in plastic wrap and freeze them in a zip-close freezer bag for up to 2 weeks!
Buckeye Balls – Miss Allison’s family recipe! “We’ve been making these as a family since I was small and they’re just as delicious every year.”
- 1 cup peanut butter
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter at room temperature and cut up
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 ½ cups powdered or confectioners’ sugar
- 1 bag (12oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
- 4 Tablespoons solid vegetable shortening
- Line two cookie sheets with wax paper.
- Mix peanut butter, butter, and vanilla into a smooth mixture is formed. Slowly mix in powdered sugar until a stiff dough is formed.
- Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on the cookie sheets. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, 1 hour preferred.
- Use a bit of the sugar on your hands to make the rolling a bit less sticky.
- Melt the chocolate chips and shortening together until smooth, stirring along the way. Dip the balls into chocolate mixture ¾’s of the way and then return to wax paper.
- If you’re worried about the chocolate cooling as you dip, do the chocolate and shortening in half-batches.
- Refrigerate until chocolate is set and then enjoy!
- Adults, if you’re looking for an alternative recipe that uses dark chocolate and almond butter, and is a bit more complex, check out The Liddabit Sweets Candy Cookbook by Liz Gutman & Jen King recipe on pg. 72!
Here are some other recipes to check out in more books from our collection:
Orange Creamsicle Milkshakes – My Very First Cookbook by Danielle Kartes & Annie Wilkinson pg. 68. There’s a chocolate variety available as well! These delicious drinks are perfect for any day whether it’s cold or hot.
Mini Lemon Cheesecakes – The Toddler Cookbook by Annabel Karmel pg. 44. Topped with fresh fruit and bottomed in crushed graham crackers, these cheesecakes are a delight for the eyes and the busy hands of young helpers!
Carved Heart Cake – Super Good Baking for Kids by Duff Goldman pg. 148. This one is for advanced bakers and adults who can use knives. Make a beautiful heart shaped and colored cake to show your whole family how much you love them!