Share the Love

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Story and Photos by Amanda Causey Baity

A few years ago PWL introduced a new #SharetheLovePW initiative that was similar to the “You’ve been Boo’ed” tradition that happens during Halloween. We are challenging you to continue this tradition yet again this year during the month of
February, and here are several fresh ideas on how to share the love and brighten someone’s day, week or month!

Cookies are always an easy pick. If you are sharing the love with strangers, remember to include the ingredients to whichever you chose to make to avoid any question about allergies or dietary restrictions. I am sharing one of my favorite cookie recipes. The red velvet cookies are fun to make because the dough feels like Play-Doh. My children enjoy making these.

Red Velvet Cookies
Ingredients
• 1 and 1/2 cups + 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
• 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
• 3/4 cup light brown sugar
• 1/4 cup granulated sugar
• 1 egg, at room temperature
• 1 Tablespoon milk
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 1 Tablespoon red food coloring

Directions
Toss the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.

Using a handheld or stand mixer, beat the butter on high speed until creamy, about one minute. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl as needed. Switch the
mixer to medium speed and beat in the brown sugar and granulated sugar until combined. Beat in the egg, milk, and vanilla extract, scraping down the sides and
bottom of the bowl as needed. Once mixed, add the food coloring and beat until combined. Turn the mixer off and pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.

Turn the mixer on low and slowly beat until a soft dough is formed. Beat in more food coloring if you’d like the dough to be redder. The dough will be sticky.

Cover the dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour. Chilling is mandatory.

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

Scoop 1.5 Tablespoons of dough and mold into a ball.

Place 9 balls onto each baking sheet. Bake each batch for 10 minutes. The cookies may have only spread slightly, that is ok. Simply press down on the warm cookies if you’d like them spread out more. Allow to cool for at least 25 minutes.

Package It Pretty
Last year we had customized #SharetheLovePW printables. Those are still on our website so please feel free to download them. You can also try these crafts to create handmade tags and packaging.

String Heart Yarn Cards
Materials
• colorful yarn
• thick card stock cut out to the size you want
• large threading needle
• pencil, eraser, scissors
• heart template (can use a cookie cutter)

Instructions
Trace your heart template onto the cards with a pencil. Leave enough space to write your message and the #SharetheLovePW hashtag.

Punch holes alongside the heart with your needle. Erase your pencil marks.

Thread yarn through the holes in various directions. Cut off the yarn on the underside and tie up. That’s it!

Origami Cookie Box
Materials
• 12×12 decorative scrapbook paper
• scissors
• ruler
• scoring blade (optional)

Instructions
• Score (lightly fold) one sheet of 12 x 12 paper at 3” and 9”.
• Rotate paper and score at 1”, 3 1/2”, 6 1/2” and 9”.
• Cut down middle score lines.
• Cut tab off top of sheet to make lid.
• Fold on score lines, and
• Tape with a strong adhesive.

I have also included a list of 100 ways to #SharetheLovePW which can be downloaded from our website pwliving.com.

Amanda Causey Baity ([email protected]), Prince William Living’s director of operations and photo editor, also blogs about thrifty family activities on her blog GreenOwlCrafts.com.

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