(Family Features) What better way to show love and affection on Valentine's Day than by sharing a delicious gift made from the heart? A sweet treat is the perfect way to say "I love you" to the important people in your life.
A national survey by Wilton found that a quarter of women under age 55 bake as part of their Valentine's Day celebration. And although women typically spend less than men on Valentine's Day gifts, they give to more people in their lives - including a spouse or boyfriend, children, extended family, friends and co-workers. Among the most popular treats to prepare and share are cookies, cakes and cupcakes.
Try these tips from Wilton and get ready to bake to your heart's content.
* Let your love take shape with the Valentine Cookie Pan; heart shapes and thoughtful sayings like "Be Mine" will surely make that special someone know how much you care.
* Go for a dip and jazz up everyday cookies by giving them a chocolate dunk and sprinkle toppings.
* Show your true colors and surprise your sweetie by filling the center of a yellow cupcake with pink or red batter. It's easy to do with the new Two Tone Cupcake Pan.
* Dress up with baking cups and picks, which are the ideal accessories for your cupcakes; red gingham or pink polka dot baking cups adds festive flair.
* Sweep 'em off their feet with a stylish presentation - pretty patterned window boxes and heart shaped bags are the perfect way to present your Valentine treats.
Sweetheart Surprise Cupcakes
Gingham Baking Cups
2packages (16.5-18.25 oz. ea.) white cake mix
Eggs, oil and water to prepare mixes
Red-Red and Rose Icing Colors
1can (16 oz.) White Ready-To-Use Decorator Icing
Micro Hearts, Fill Your Heart Mix, Chocolate Hearts Mix or Valentine Nonpareils Sprinkles or Red or Pink Sugars
Preheat oven to 350?F. Place baking cups into standard muffin pan from the Two-Tone Cupcake Pan kit.
Prepare white cake mix following package instructions. Remove about 1-1/2 cups batter from bowl; divide into 2 smaller bowls. Tint one smaller bowl of batter red, the other rose.
Place cupcake insert into first row of baking cups; fill center 2/3 full with red or rose batter. Fill remaining cup 2/3 full with white batter. Remove insert; wash and dry. Repeat with remaining baking cups.
Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until cake tester or toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in pan on cooling grid 5 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely. Repeat with remaining batter.
Tint portions of icing red and rose; reserve some white. Pipe tip 1M or tip 12 icing swirl onto cooled cupcakes. Add sprinkles or sugars.
Makes about 24 cupcakes.
For more Valentine's Day recipes, baking tips and gift inspiration, visit www.wilton.com.
Source: Wilton Products