Let’s face it: Paper valentines are nice, but nothing beats an edible Valentine’s Day treat. A chocolate surprise or heart-shaped confection is all that my kids ever want. But the truth is, I believe that baking is a labor of love, and I prefer to do mine without all the labor. So this year, I’ve pulled together three easy shortcuts, and many more recipes, to help you whip up Valentine’s Day treats for the classroom in no time that — shhhh — you can also use to spoil your loved ones at home.
All without breaking a sweat, which is so not romantic.
Top: Valentine’s Day Oreo Pops | Happiness is Homemade
1. Use a heart shaped cookie cutter.
If you own or can easily pick up a heart-shaped cookie cutter, you have endless possibilities, most of which can be pulled off at the very last minute.
Check out the Chocolate Dipped Brownies at Recipe Girl (above) for her easy, delicious recipes and careful cookie cutter placement. I love this idea, even without the frosting, though those colors are what really make this fun for Valentine’s Day!
Rice Krispies Teats are the ultimate no-fuss sweet and easy to make allergen-free, which is great for classrooms. Also a bonus on Valentine’s Day: they can easily be cut into hearts. I usually drop a few dashes of red coloring into the marshmallow to make mine a festive shade of pink, but this year I’m liking what our friend Catherine does to make her Heart Crispy Treats at Weelicious. Because all-natural doesn’t have to be harder!
We have a no-candy rule at our preschool, so the Heart-Shaped Sandwiches at Wendolonia are a sweet replacement to the typical sugar snacks. Skip the peanut butter and just do jelly (or cream cheese and jelly!) if it’s a nut-free school, which also turns these into a sweet treat as opposed to a lunch.
2. Assemble store-bought ingredients into one great treat.
Kids are notoriously impartial when it comes to store-bought versus homemade, and using store-bought ingredients cuts down on time, mess, and almost always can be done with the kids help.
Of all the store-bought Valentine’s Day hacks I’ve ever seen, I still swoon for the Teddy Bear Graham Cookies at Hello Wonderful that Kate found in last year’s roundup of Valentine’s Day treats for the classroom. It’s not hard to believe that this will be a kid favorite as well!
Easy to make and easy to transport, these clever Cupid’s Arrow Pretzels at One Little Project are your best bet for semi-homemade. And so insanely cute!
I love imagining a plate of kid-decorated donuts with no perfect lines or drawings, just reckless amounts of sprinkles. The DIY Valentine’s Day Donuts at Savvy Saving Couple will give you all the tips you need to get it done, starting with store-bought donuts, of course.
Don’t let the charming Valentine’s Day Oreo Pops at Happiness is Homemade intimidate you. While mine may not look quite as pretty as these, microwaving candy melts and decorating with sprinkles is something that my kids and I can manage, which means that you and your kids can too!
3. Cleverly wrap a store-bought snack.
If you’re really short on time, forget baking or decorating all together. Instead, grab a kid-favorite snack and wrap it up with a clever Valentine — or have the kids do that part!
When in doubt, go for Goldfish. The free Goldfish Printable Valentine’s Day Cards at One Creative Mommy are exactly what busy parents need, and kids want.
This may be as simple and sweet as it gets. The free printable Valentine’s Day Lollipop Cards at A Spectacled Owl hit just the right note for classmates. Either tie the card around the lollipop, or slide it through thicker card stock if you have it. Either way, so cute and so easy.