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Valentine Heart PopsHappy Valentine's Day

Happy Healthy Holidays!

These sugar cookie lollipops make the perfect edible Valentine. For a variation without candy centers, try the Valentine Sandwich Cookie Pops.

Valentine heart pops

Recipe Ingredients

For the Sugar Cookies:
2 cups sifted all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
32 six-inch-long white lollipop sticks
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

For the Candy Centers:
1 cup light corn syrup
2 cups sugar
1/8 teaspoon peppermint, cinnamon, or other flavored oil, optional
Paste or gel food coloring in pink tones

Recipe Directions

In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar on medium until fluffy, about five minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla until incorporated. Gradually add flour mixture on low until combined. Wrap dough in plastic; chill one hour.

Heat oven to 325 degrees. On a well-floured surface, roll out dough to 3/16 inch thick. Cut out 2-1/2-inch rounds. Use smaller cutters to cut hearts from rounds. (If desired, save and bake heart cutouts.) Transfer 8 cookies to an ungreased cookie sheet. Press one lollipop stick under each cookie. Place small hearts on same cookie sheet. Chill until firm, 15 to 30 minutes. Bake 8 to 12 minutes, until firm but not browned. Transfer cookies on pan to wire rack to cool, about 20 minutes. Repeat until all dough is used. Leave cooled heart pops on ungreased cookie sheet. Set aside.

Combine 1/2-cup corn syrup, 1-cup sugar, and 1/2-cup water in heavy 2-quart saucepan. Stir over medium heat, until sugar has dissolved. Increase heat to medium high; boil until mixture reaches 300 degrees on a candy thermometer, 25 to 35 minutes.

Remove from heat, and stir in flavored oil. Quickly pour mixture into two small heat-safe bowls. Add food coloring to each; stir to combine. Pour into each empty heart. Make candy mixture again as in Step 5 with remaining ingredients and 1/2-cup water. Fill remaining cookies. Let set until hard, 10 to 20 minutes. Transfer in single layers to airtight containers. If humid, refrigerate.

Recipe makes 32, two-and-a-half-inch pops.

Valentine Sandwich Cookie Pops

This recipe is the variation of the Valentine Heart Pops.

Sugar Cookies from Valentine Heart Pops
Royal Icing tinted pink with paste or gel food coloring
Cookie Sandwich Filling
20 six-inch-long white lollipop sticks

Follow sugar cookie recipe, but in Step 4, make rounds 1 3/4 inches instead of 2 1/2 inches, and don't cut out smaller hearts.

Turn over half the batch of baked cookies so bottoms are facing up. Spoon one scant teaspoon sandwich filling onto centers. Center lollipop stick in each. Cover with matching cookie rounds. Let dry. If desired, use royal icing to adhere small hearts reserved from Valentine Heart Pops onto pops. Let dry. Pipe royal icing through a pastry bag fitted with a 1/16-inch tip in decorative dots around cookies. When dry, store in an airtight container up to five days. Recipe makes 20 sandwich pops.

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