Saturday, February 9, 2013

Valentines for Veterans

Growing up Valentine’s Day was so important to me.   Remember the joy of making valentines for all of your classmates?  In elementary school when we brought our valentines to school we were also supposed to bring a decorated box, usually an old shoebox, so that when the time came, classmates could drop a valentine in your special box.  At the end of the school day we would be given time to look in our boxes and open our valentines. There would be lots of construction paper hearts decorated with paper doilies and some purchased items and every now and then a box of conversation hearts or a lollipop.  
As I got older I kept the tradition of sending cards to my close friends for many years but once I had children my time was spent helping them get valentines prepared for their classmates.  And each year I made a special valentine cookie which you might know as the cream wafer.   It’s an old recipe my friend Aggie gave me in 1975.   I would cut the cookie into heart shapes and tint the filling a lavender color.  (See the recipe below in case you want to make these delicious, melt in your mouth butter cookies).
 As my last child left the nest I’d stopped celebrating Valentine’s Day until a few years ago.  Now it is a big deal and the planning starts in January.   Why, you ask?   It’s Valentines for Veterans!!!  Last month we encouraged employees and their families to start making valentines at home.  We've got craft supplies in the break rooms so employees can make a valentine on their breaks.  Already we've shipped boxes of Conversation Hearts and handmade valentines to a military concussion center in Afghanistan, and sent beautiful valentines to our military friends and family serving overseas.  Next week children from our employee day care will be hand-delivering handmade valentines and candies to all of our veteran employees.  We’ve got an enormous box of valentines going to a VA hospital located in a rural area.   I’m seeing lots of red and really excited about it.   
Nicole has been helping coordinate all of these activities
Hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day. Just in case you feel like doing some baking here's the best butter cookie you ever tasted!  

Ingredients for the cookie:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
Ingredients for the filling:
1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons heavy whipping cream
 food coloring
To make the dough cream the butter add the flour and cream.  Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 1-1/4-in. round cookie cutter. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Sprinkle with a little sugar. Prick each cookie 3-4 times with a fork.
Bake at 350° for 7-9 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks to cool.
In a small bowl, mix ingredients to make the filling, adding whipping cream a little at a time until achieving desired consistency.


  1. Hi - it was so good to see you last week. You looked great. I enjoyed hearing about your latest travel adventures!!!

    I love Valentines too - just wanted to stop and say hello and Happy Valentines Day to you.


  2. That's a lovely idea. I can imagine the delight on a young person's face at receiving an unsolicited Valentine from home.

  3. I remember the days of homemade valentines. I have saved many of them . . .
    Love your Valentines for Veterans and the cookies sound like YUM!

  4. That was so sweet of you to do, Jo! When I was still teaching we always made Valentines for the Veterans Home . I know they loved getting them!
    Hope all is well there. We are snowed in, blizzard last night, 20 inches!
    Here from Seasonal Sunday.

  5. Awwww what a great project, JoJo! All the vets must be thrilled to realize that someone made them a special Valentine from home!

  6. I found your blog, while visiting Linda. I ventured over to you and here I am! Your photos are beautiful. My Dad fought in World War II and I have two son-in-laws in the military so your Valentine Post on Veterans, resonated with me! Thank you for this post! New Follower!

  7. What a wonderful project. Our son in-law is making a career in the Army and I know much they appreciate anything done for them, so Thank you!

  8. What a great project.

    Wonderful to have you at Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper

  9. I love the story of your school day valentine parties with homemade boxes and cards. How special to make cookies and the project for veterans is so inspiring.

    Thank you for your sweet nature and inspiration tonight. My Sunday School class is flooding one of our members that is sick with Valentine cards. Now, I have just thought about making her some Valentine Sugar Cookies thanks to you.

  10. Yum! Thanks for sharing the recipe..I might have time to try making some.
    Bless you for doing the Valentines for Veterans! My sweet hubby is a Veteran of WWII, as were both of his brothers & my father, too. Such a nice gesture! Cheryl, you always do so much for others.