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  • Mary Kay

Valentine Charcuterie Offers a Plentiful Board of Sweet Treats!

"14 Days of Angels Baking Valentine Memories!"

Share with your sweet someone, a beautiful array of Valentine Sweet Treats for that special day. Use unique items from your home or from hobbies to hold your treats. A paddleboard? An old decorative tray from Great Grandma? A tacklebox? A quilter’s cutting board? A heart-shaped board?

Whether you’re preparing something special for your exceptional someone or your family or a bunch of fun-loving friends, a charcuterie board is easy to make and to customize to everyone’s tastes. What’s special about it is that you can assemble pre-bought favorites or create your very own Valentine treats. Make them as easy or complicated as you like. The varieties of colors, flavors, shapes and textures make the Valentine Charcuterie Board very special for this type of occasion which only comes once a year.

All the items on my Valentine Charcuterie Board are homemade...except for the little red chocolate hearts. They were purchased at a local specialty store, where they always have beautiful little chocolates and caramels. I can't do those types of chocolates any justice, so I'm not afraid of buying them once in a while.

Everything else on my Valentine Charcuterie Board is homemade:

*Savory popcorn to cut the sweetness of the other treats

*Strawberry Almond Scones

*Chocolate Chip Biscotti Cookies

*Chocolate Chip Cookies

*Lightly salted Almonds, toasted

*Almonds, slivered

*Pecans, toasted

*Puppy Paw Sugar Cookies with chocolate rounds for the pads (NOT for pets)

*Chocolate Medallions in dark chocolate and Valentine Red covered with nuts

Think about what your special someone likes:

Before creating your charcuterie board, think about who will be enjoying this special treat. Do they like high sugar sweets? Do they like different types of chocolates? What about textures? Crunchy? Soft? Chewy? Hot and spicy?

Do your research well ahead of time:

Once you’ve decided on the colors, textures, sweetness, crunch value of the treats for your guests, think about what’s available at your favorite grocery store or specialty store? Browse the retail places. If you’re shopping online for ideas, be sure to shop and order well ahead of time so you don’t get disappointed by possible late deliveries. It’s the same with the local retail stores and gift shops. Shop and order early to make sure you get those perfect items in time.

If you plan to make all or some of the items for your display, be sure to use higher quality ingredients, especially in the area of chocolates. When melting chocolate, make sure you follow their package directions so you don’t have problems with the finished product being discolored, etc. If you’re mixing nuts, check your recipes for the right types of nuts or raw vs. toasted vs. salted. To mix chocolates, make sure the brands and types are compatible. This is a special day and you’ll want your treats to come out beautifully.

Match the charcuterie board to the theme of the party or to that special someone’s favorite hobby.

Do you have a large board or serving tray that you can use as the charcuterie board? It doesn’t need to be a wooden board or a cutting board. It can be anything that’s fairly flat or even tiered or has compartments.

Maybe it’s an old flat piece of odd-shaped slice of wood that you’ve cleaned and oiled with vegetable oil to hold food. How about a new tackle box (cleaned, of course) for the fishing aficionado. It’s great for holding a lot of different types of snack foods.

Ask Grandma for one of her old decorative trays that otherwise never gets used. Maybe you have a serving tray with handles or a huge brightly colored platter. Just make sure that it’s something that’s food-safe. If it’s not food-safe, just cover with plastic wrap to keep the food from coming in contact with it.

Find a local woodworker to cut a heart shaped board for you. Or, order one online. Or, arrange foods in a heart shape on top of a rectangular board.

Have fun assembling your Valentine Charcuterie Board:

I like to place my foods on different tiers to add interest to the presentation of food. So, I layer a few cutting boards to give some height to different parts of the larger board. Some foods are in bowls. Some items like nuts are in little piles. Other items are piled in groups.

Pay attention to colors, placing contrasting colors together to attract attention.

Place a wealthy assortment of different foods on board, including small, medium and larger items. I’ve included sweet treats that have crunch. Some foods are softer, and others are a combination.

Flavors vary, too. Some items such the chocolates are very sweet while the biscotti cookies offer a little less sweetness and are very crunchy. The puppy paw and chocolate chip cookies are softer and the scones are crunchy on the outside while softer inside. The heart shaped chocolates have a nice shell on the outside surrounding the soft caramel on the inside.

Use a tacklebox for a fishing fan’s charcuterie board! Try some different options to make your charcuterie board fun.

Is your special someone into fishing? Use a new well-cleaned fishing tackle box. It’s easy to create a charcuterie board because of all the compartments that can keep wet foods away from dry foods.

If you guests love paddle boarding, clean up a small paddle board to stretch across your table. Place the different foods and treats in separate bowls or small plates to display.

Is the group you’re inviting full of avid quilters? Use a green quilting cutting board to serve treats. Spread it with clear plastic wrap and use a quilt cutter as a cheese slicer. Use seam rippers as serving forks. Use a tiny quilt or quilted table runner as a cover for your table, and cover it with clear food-safe plastic to keep the food from staining the quilted piece.

What about a knitter? Use small knitting needles as serving forks. Place a handknitted triangle shawl angled across your table. Serve the sweet treats in separate bowls to keep the food from staining the knitted item. Use handknit hats upside down to hold bowls full of treats.

Or, will boating be your theme? Utilize the plank of an old boat (I just happen to have a nautical blue one from an ancient wooden boat of ours!) as your charcuterie board. Top it with red, white and blue bowls full of seafood like shrimp, anchovies or sardines with sauces. Use a banana holder to showcase a large anchor-shaped pretzel surrounded by small containers of mustards, hot sauces, etc. Add some anchor shaped frosted cookies.

Share pics of your Valentine Charcuterie Board!

Have fun making or shopping special treats for your Valentine Charcuterie Board. Be sure to share pictures of your creation on my blog. It’s all about “Baking your own Memories!”

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