There really is nothing sweeter than giving and receiving handmade valentines, but a lot of what I see online (holy Pinterest) is way too involved for me. The realities of parenting two little kids and, okay, the fact that I’m not particularly crafty means that I need ideas that are e-a-s-y. Luckily for me—and hopefully for you, too—I’ve found a handful of homemade Valentine’s Day treats that qualify. These finds are just the right amount of creative, adorable and, the best part, doable.
Oh, and a lot of these ideas are naturally safe for kids with allergies and allergen-free schools. Be still my heart.
Marshmallows may be the ultimate crowd-pleasing, allergy-friendly treat—a perfect place to start. The Chocolate Dipped Marshmallow Pops at G-Free Kid (above) are great no-bake sweets that are a cinch to carry to the classroom. And I love how these can actually be kid-made (not just, you know, mom-made). Easy and gorgeous: Take that, Pinterest.
I can just imagine how much fun my girls will have decorating this charming 4-ingredient Valentine’s Day Chocolate Bark at Crunchy Creamy Sweet. They’ll love the fun pink and red hearts, and I’ll love breaking off large chunks of dark chocolate covered graham crackers declaring, yet again, “Mommy tax!”
Don’t shut the computer on me yet. Yes, these Berry Hand Pies from Dessert First Girl are made with perfect looking homemade pie crust, but that isn’t the only way. There are a lot of really good store bought pie crusts out there and I for one, would not cast aspersions for using them. Filled with fresh fruit, these hand pies are a super special, non-candy treat that even grownups will swoon over.
Psssst: Valentine’s Day is on a weekend this year, so if you’re feeling extra Betty Crocker-y, throw on that apron and wow them by using this easy 5-step homemade pie crust recipe.
There are a lot of pink rice krispies treats out there, but few achieve that saccharine pink color naturally, which is why these Strawberry Lemon Rice Crispies at Spa Bettie are a great option if you’re looking for a topnotch, allergen-free recipe. So long as you follow the recipe as is—vegan marshmallows, rice puffs, and all—these treats are all-natural, gluten-free, dairy-free, and even vegan! For more tips on natural food coloring, check out our super star Stacie’s video for All-Natural Pink Pancakes.
Now for my alter ego to take over: What’s the harm in a few little drops of food coloring now and again? (I’m a Gemini, I can’t help it.) Plus, options are always nice. I love how these nut-free Valentine Rice Krispies Treats at Lisa Kisch are just the right shade of pink and require just the right amount of time to whip up (as in, not much). You can even use gluten-free Rice Krispies or a similar puffed rice cereal to make these celiac-friendly.
I know it’s starting to feel like sprinkle overload, but I promise no kid will complain when you make these Cutest Chocolate Covered Pretzels at The Paper Piñata. With only three ingredients—two of which qualify as pretty much everyone’s favorites—these simple delights are fun to make and less expensive than bags of candy. Sometimes simple really is best.