With kids in both elementary and middle school, I’ve learned not to be overtly schmoopie as a mom. It’s a gradual transition, you know. In preschool, they hug you and kiss you in front of their friends and it’s no big deal. By third grade, you need to adjust your world view. They still want to see you, want you involved, and will still proudly yell “Hi Mom!” across the room, but public displays of maternal affection are so… kindergarten. At least with my kids that’s the way it works.
Public displays of sugar, on the other hand, are always welcome. So for this Valentine’s Day, I give you the super-secret treat I made for their lunches. (Well, for the twins’ lunches — my oldest son is buying his lunch because his backpack is so ridiculously heavy he couldn’t manage a lunch bag on top of it.)
I saw these heart-shaped Peeps in the store the other day and realized that they were about the same size as my cookie cutter. And a plan formed in my mind….
Peep Hearts Cookie Sandwiches
- sugar cookie batter (from a mix or your favorite recipe)
- rolling pin
- heart-shaped cookie cutter
- heart-shaped Peeps
- red sprinkles (optional — but c’mon! Sprinkles make everything more festive!)
1. Make the sugar cookie batter and roll it out onto a floured counter or board.
2. Cut out 2 heart-shaped cookies for each cookie sandwich you want to make. There are 9 Peep hearts per container so I made 18 sugar cookies for that. (And then I rolled out and cut more cookies because, let’s face it — I’m not the sort of gal who wastes perfectly good sugar cookie batter, especially when there’s icing around. Ahem.) Bake the cookies per the recipe you’re using.
3. Let cookies cool slightly — about 2 minutes or so — so that they’re still warm. Lift and turn cookies over and drop a good-sized dot of icing on the back.
4. Place a Peep heart on one cookie, and place another cookie on top. Smoosh together (a technical cooking term, that).
5. When you’ve made all your Peeps sandwiches, put them back into the still-warm oven for a couple of minutes. I had turned off my oven after the cookies came out, but I turned it back on to 200 degrees and left the cookies in for about 4 minutes or so. This allows the marshmallow to soften a bit.
6. Smoosh them again gently, this time with a spatula.
7. Tap into your creative side and add icing, sprinkles, whatever to the top of the cookie sandwich. I used just a teensy bit of frosting and a bit of sprinkles, but that was mostly because I was in a hurry and the kids were coming home soon.
I cut squares of parchment paper and folded up the sides to make a little envelope for each one of them.
Then I sealed them with some heart stickers, left over from one of the millions of classroom Valentine’s Day parties/goody bags we’ve made along the way.
There are all kinds of variations you could make on this Peep-cookie formula. Peep s’mores. Peep cookies dipped in chocolate. We’re staying away from chocolate for a little bit — but not desserts. Never desserts. We’ll likely be breaking out the heart-shaped pie press soon too. Tis the season, after all.
Hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!