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Annabel Karmel’s Top Valentines Treats For Tots

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Serve up a banquet fit for a little prince or princess with these heart-shaped bites. Whether your tots prefer sweet or savoury, find a tasty way to say I Love You this Valentine’s Day.

Annabel Karmel's Top Valentines Treats For Tots

Shortbread Sweethearts, makes 16 biscuits

Ingredients

  • 55g butter, softened
  • 30g caster sugar
  • ¼ tsp vanilla
  • 85g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

To Sandwich the Hearts

  • 40g white chocolate, chopped
  • Icing sugar, for dusting
  • 1 tbsp seedless raspberry jam

Method

  1. You’ll need one 6cm (21⁄4 in) heart-shaped cookie cutter, and another that’s a little smaller. Lightly grease two baking sheets.
  2. Beat the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt, then mix in the flour with a wooden spoon. Form into a ball with your hands. If the dough is very soft, wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes.
  3. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about 2 mm (1⁄16 in) thick. Cut out 16 heart shapes using the larger cutter. Put 8 hearts on a baking sheet. Using the smaller cutter, cut out centres from the remaining hearts. Transfer these heart-shaped rings to the other baking sheet. Chill for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.
  4. Bake the rings for 10 – 12 minutes and the solid hearts for 13 – 15 minutes, until slightly golden around the edges. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Melt the chocolate in a small bowl set over a pan of warm water, stirring frequently. Remove from the pan when there are still a few lumps, and stir until smooth. Leave for 10–20 minutes to cool and thicken slightly. Meanwhile, dust the cookie rings with icing sugar.
  6. When the chocolate is cool, spread ½ tablespoon over each solid cookie, leaving a gap around the edge. Put ¼ teaspoon of jam on top. Place the cookie rings on top, and add a little extra jam in the middle if needed. Chill for 10 to 20 minutes until the chocolate has set, then store in a cool place.

Annabel Karmel's Top Valentines Treats For Tots

Cupid’s Arrows, Makes 8 Skewers

Ingredients

  • 340g skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into approx. 2.cm cubes
  • 2 red peppers

Marinade

  • 2 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 100ml milk
  • 1 tbp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves or ¼ tsp dried
  • ¼ tsp mild paprika
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Some freshly ground black pepper

Dip

  • 4 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 4 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp sweet chilli sauce
  • ½ tsp clear honey
  • 8 wooden skewers

Method

  1. Whisk the marinade ingredients together in a bowl along with a good grinding of black pepper. Add the chicken and stir to coat, then cover and marinate overnight in the fridge.
  2. Cut each pepper into quarters and remove the seeds. Cut out heart shapes using mini-cutters or cut into triangles to act as the arrowhead. Put them on a plate, cover with cling film and chill until needed. Stir together the ingredients for the dip, cover and chill until needed.
  3. Preheat the grill to high. Thread the chicken on to the skewers over and thread a red pepper heart or triangle on to the top of each skewer. Grill for a further 4 – 5 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the pepper is soft.
  4. Transfer the dip to small bowls and serve with the skewers.

For more recipe inspiration download Annabel’s Essential Guide to Feeding Your Baby & Toddler app. Access more than 200 delicious recipes, as well as a host of features to keep your family on track and enjoying meal times. Download the new version from the App Store now (AED 23) or visit www.annabelkarmel.com.

Featured image sourced via Pinterest

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