Valentine’s Day Snack: Raspberry Cream on Heart-shaped Toast

I kind of hate Valentine’s Day. From my perspective as a mother, it’s a holiday that sneaks up on me out of nowhere just when I feel like I’ve restored some balance in our diets after the holidays. And my husband and I aren’t really into it. If the holiday was more along the lines of Mommy and Daddy get to take off for a week and hang out on a beach in the Caribbean, now that is something we’d be happy to celebrate. But an expensive night out at a crowded restaurant or a wilted bouquet of flowers is something we’ve decided to skip entirely.

However, always wanting to be a proper and loving mother, I feel compelled to acknowledge the holiday. And even I will admit that it is nice to have a reason to celebrate in the middle of The Darkest and Coldest Month.

Also, please note that my 4-year-old decided she needed to take photos of her snack today before she ate it. This isn’t the first time she’s mimicked my insanity. I guess she’ll have her own blog up and running by the end of the year.

Raspberry Cream on Heart-shaped Toast Recipe

Any frozen or fresh berry blend can be used in place of the raspberries in this recipe. Blackberries, I’m sure, would be especially nice. I experimented with different sized hearts cut out of toast and the bigger (around 4 or 5 inches) hearts worked better. The raspberry spread is a little on the thick side and didn’t do well when I tried to squeeze it onto a tiny piece of toast.

1/4 cup frozen raspberries, slightly thawed
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon sugar
2 slices of toast, cut into hearts using a cookie cutter or free form

Vigorously mix together the raspberries, cream cheese, vanilla, and sugar in a small bowl. Spread onto prepared heart-shaped toasts and serve immediately.

Yield: 2
Prep-time: 5 minutes

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Pancake Sandwich

I made a mother load of pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes this morning and didn’t have much mojo left when it came to making a school snack for my first grader. So the pancake sandwich was born. Maybe it should be called a panwich. Whatever it is it could be filled with jam, apple butter, or a lot of other things I haven’t even thought of.

I love that it looks like a whoopie pie.

2 small pancakes, completely cooled
1 tablespoon cream cheese
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup

In a small bowl, stir together the cream cheese and maple syrup until smooth. Spread the cream cheese mixture onto one of the pancakes and top with the second pancake. Serve.

Yield: 1 pancake sandwich
Prep-time: 5 minutes

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Carrot Muffins with Cream Cheese Filling

These moist, sweet, and satisfying muffins take my whole family to our happy place. They are great stand-ins for cookies; in some ways they’re even more enjoyable!

This recipe was inspired by one from Nook & Pantry – a very yummy looking blog.

For the muffins:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup finely shredded carrot
1/4 cup raisins, chopped

For the filling:

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 large egg yolk
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

In a small bowl, make the filling by mixing together the cream cheese, egg yolk, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, and oil. Stir in the flour mixture until combined. Then add the carrot and raisins. Stir to incorporate.

 Spoon the muffin batter into a well-greased mini muffin pan, filling each cup only half way. Then place one teaspoon of the filling in each cup. Cover the filling with the remaining muffin batter.

Bake for 13-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the largest muffin comes out clean. Cool the muffins in the pan for 5-10 minutes before gently moving them to a cooling rack. Serve. Store in an airtight container for up to 48 hours or freeze in an airtight container in a single layer.

Yield: 24 mini muffins
Prep-time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 13 minutes

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