Already the requests are coming in: Can you bake for the Valentine’s Day class party? For the Valentine’s Day Family Fair? For the Valentine’s Day fundraising bake sale? For the class parties of your other three school-aged children? For the bake sales of their other two schools?
Why, YES. Yes, I can. I’m not going to make roll-and-cut cookies (I would rather volunteer to be in the fundraising dunk tank, in my bathing suit in front of everyone, YES I REALLY DO HATE MAKING ROLL/CUT COOKIES THAT MUCH), but I can still bake things in heart shapes. (Or, alternately, I can go to the grocery store bakery department and purchase them, then transfer them to baggies so it looks like I made them. But I am not going to get a post out of THAT.)
Wilton heart-shaped cake pan, about $10 (photo from Amazon.com). This is the classic. You can frost the cake in any pastel color, and if you can write with frosting you can write “LUV U” or any conversation-heart message. Or don’t write on it, it’s still pretty. Or frost it white and use red sugar around the edges. If you don’t want to buy a heart-shaped pan, use a round pan and modify the easy bake-sale Christmas tree cake: put it on a red or pink or white paper plate; and instead of a tree, rough out a heart-shape in red sugar. One cake mix makes two bake sale cakes.
Norpro heart-shaped mini-muffin pan, about $14 (photo from Amazon.com). My kids’ schools are cutting down on sweets at holiday parties, so I like to be able to send heart-shaped muffins to fake that I am totally on-board with this policy. You can put three of these mini ones in a cute little row in a snack-sized zip-top baggie, and if you want to get fancy you can put a heart-shaped sticker on the baggie too. The main reason I don’t do this one regularly is that with only one pan, I can only make four baggies’ worth at a time—so even with a quick muffin mix, it can take a long time to make as many as you need. BUT, if you make muffins regularly, and you know you’ll be called on for Valentine’s day baking, you can do one sheet of mini-hearts every time you bake muffins, and pile them up in the freezer. (BTW, I use the OXO cookie scoop in size small for mini muffins. SO much easier/faster.)
Wilton silicone muffin pan, about $9 (photo from Amazon.com). Possibly a full-size muffin is a better idea. And in theory, with silicone you could also make finger Jell-o, cupcakes, even molded chocolates. But I haven’t had much luck with silicone pans, have you? Same with silicone liners: I bought a bunch to replace muffin papers, but about half of them were almost useless and I got rid of them, while the other half work great. So now I’m silicone-shy.
Wilton 6-heart pan, about $13 (photo from Amazon.com). I’d probably get this pan instead, even though it’s more expensive. I’m not likely to do Jell-o or molded chocolates anyway, and this kind can do muffins or cupcakes or brownies.
Wilton heart cookie pan, about $10 (photo from Amazon.com). I wonder if a giant cookie could equally well be made in the heart-shaped cake pan, or if that would be too difficult to remove from the pan? A giant cookie makes a good higher-ticket bake sale item, though if you spend the time to make it and then it breaks, you might feel like finding another way to raise money for the school, like pushing drugs writing a check, not that I know how this feels from experience or anything.
Wilton cookie treat pan, about $10 (photo from Amazon.com). These are FUSSY (the cookie dough, the lollipop sticks, wrapping in plastic and tying with ribbon PLEASE NO MORE) but very POPULAR, so I like to make them as bake-sale treats (where I feel like I’m Doing Good) as opposed to as classroom treats (where by the end I’m mentally referring to dear small children as Little Ingrates Who Will Never Appreciate This).