Valentine's Day Basket of Love
Puffy dough is a versatile craft medium. You can mold it into various shapes or roll it out and cut it into shapes with cookie cutters. The shapes will harden when baked to form permanent objects that can be painted. You might want to try your hand at making this unique basket out of cut-out hearts.
In the Middle Ages men picked names from a bowl to see who would be their Valentine. The men would wear the names on their sleeves for a week. Thus the saying “wearing your heart on your sleeve” originated.
Level: Moderately difficult
Time involved: Three to four hours, plus overnight to dry
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup salt
- 1 cup water
- Vegetable oil
- Mixing bowl
- Rolling pin
- Heart-shaped cookie cutter (approximately 2 inches wide)
- Loaf pan
- Cookie sheet
- Cooling rack
Mix the flour, salt, and water in a mixing bowl. Knead the ingredients with your hands until they are well blended. If the mixture is too runny, add more flour; if it's too stiff, add more water. Roll the dough onto a lightly floured surface to about 1/4 inch and cut out the hearts with the cookie cutter.
Turn the loaf pan upside down and line the bottom and sides with tinfoil. Grease the tinfoil with a layer of vegetable oil. Start on the bottom of the pan and layer the cut-out hearts covering the entire surface and overlapping the sides and bottoms of the hearts. Press the dough together to cover any open spaces between the hearts. Continue this process on all sides of the pan until the entire bottom of the pan is covered with dough hearts. Pinch the hearts together on the edges of the pan to form a continuous basket form.
Place the pan on a cookie sheet and bake in a 350°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the dough begins to brown on the edges. The dough should be firm to the touch. Remove the basket from the oven and carefully pry the dough off of the loaf pan. Remove any tinfoil that sticks to the basket. Allow it to cool on a cooling rack.
Coat the basket with a thin layer of varnish inside and out and allow it to dry. Apply a second thin layer and allow this to dry overnight.
Line the basket with pink plastic wrap before filling it with cookies or other food products.
More on: Crafts for Kids
Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Holiday Crafts © 2002 by Marilee LeBon. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
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