Breakfast has always been my favorite meal! There is something about a lovely, big breakfast to start the day that just makes everything right. When I started my family, my love of breakfast expanded to include themed breakfasts and Valentine’s Day is no exception. It really takes very little effort or planning to make the morning meal extra special. Here are a couple of ideas we’re trying out this year:
Heart Shaped Cinnamon Rolls
I’ve seen these heart shaped cinnamon rolls made using refrigerated dough all over the internet. They looked delicious and met with my criteria for morning baked goods – high on “wow” factor, low on effort. I decided to test these out using normal cinnamon rolls and Pillsbury Grands! Cinnamon rolls. The way they are produced and the size difference led to two very different final products but both were very cute.
For the traditional cinnamon rolls, I used a well-greased 9×9 pan. I attempted to “unroll” each to reform them into a heart and discovered they aren’t so obviously rolled. You end up just having to break the roll apart at the top to form the two “lobes” of the heart. I placed them in the pan, alternating up and down so they would help hold each other in the heart shape as the expanded. When they were finished baking, I used the provided icing and a selection of Valentine sprinkles to add a little extra bling. I was very pleased with how they turned out but some were definitely more heart-shaped than others.
For the Grands! cinnamon rolls, I used a round cake pan, also well-greased. These rolls were actually rolled in the way I expected the others to be. It was a lot easier to unroll it half way and reroll it into the shape of a heart. The only downside to this variety is the cinnamon filling was tricky to keep in the roll as you worked with it. It tended to flake off and was hard to readhere to the roll as your reshaped it. I placed these in a circle with all the points toward the middle. It made a very pretty presentation. After baking, I finished them off with same icing and sprinkles. I thought these kept their more obvious heart shape but they weren’t quite as tasty because they’d lost so much of their filling in the heart shaping process. Plus, they were quite large.
If I had it to do again, I would stick with the smaller original cinnamon rolls. They are a better portion size and taste better in the end. They may not come out as reliably heart shaped but they are still very recognizable and my kids loved them! Don’t be afraid to let your kids get out the stool and lend a hand. No one has quite the flair with sprinkles as a preschooler.
My go-to for holiday breakfast is usually pancakes. I love to dress them up easily with just a little food coloring – green for St. Patrick’s Day, orange for Halloween, etc. This year, I decided to break with tradition just a little bit and attempt heart shaped pancakes. My husband is actually the pancake pro in our house so I knew there was no way I was going to pull off free hand heart shapes. But, by using a well-greased metal (silicone would be okay) cookie cutter, I got an even better effect. The trick to this method is not to over fill your mold. Fill the hearts just as thick as you would for a regular pancake and use a small spatula or the back of spoon to spread the batter out towards any edges it doesn’t reach naturally. Once the batter starts to bubble and you can tell the pancake is looking well set around the edges, use a small pair of tongs to gently lift off the cookie cutter. Then, flipthe pancake just like you would normally do to cook the other side. Voila! Beautiful heart shaped pancakes! I used a pairing knife to cut a small heart out of the pat of butter for a little extra. Serve this up with a side of fresh fruit and your Valentine’s favorite coffee or juice. Who wouldn’t feel loved with such a treat in front of them?
Do you know what’s also great about these dishes? You can also serve them for dinner, or lunch, or dessert! So if the idea of getting a big breakfast going on a weekday morning seems daunting, you can always do it for dinner instead or save it for Saturday morning.
Do you have a traditional Valentine’s Day breakfast in your family? Is there another breakfast food that you think would be perfect for making “heart-shaped”? Comment below! I’d love to know what you’re doing in your home.