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Challenge: Be My Valentine

Dye-Free Valentines Beet Cookies

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Sounds gross doesn't it? Beet cookies. Why would anyone EVER want to make beet cookies? Because Valentines is based on the color red and RED makes my kids go manic.

It's no secret. Food dye is bad for you. In some kids it can produce moderate to severe behavioral problems. My kids - severe. Being a mother in general - I will do ANYTHING do make sure my kids feel like they aren't being left out or feel different because they cannot consume all the colorful treats at school.

So, I made beet cookies for the class. And as far as I know, no one suffered from explosive diarrhea.

How do you make Valentines Beet Cookies?

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1. Buy beets. I used fresh beets but I assume you can also used jarred. However I was trying to eliminate as many preservatives as I could. If you don't know what a beet looks like, read the store labels, ask someone or see the image above.

2. Cut up beets and boil them so they are soft and mushy. (Save the stalks)

3. Puree those cooked beets after they've cooled.

Note: beets do stain a little and your kitchen will look like a crime scene.

4. Add the pureed beets to your cookie dough a little at a time until you get the pink/red color you want.

I used a shortbread cookie recipe here. (Cookie Monster's Favorite Cookie Dough - Google it.) I made these cookies as a kid with my grandma. Super easy dough to handle!

5. Roll and use heart cookie cutters to cut out your cookies.

6. Have fun layering different sizes and hearts to make unique cookies!

I make 3 batches - chocolate dough (just add melted chocolate or cocoa powder), regular dough and beet dough.


Colored Sugar Sprinkles

1. Use the stalks you saved and mince or use your garlic crusher. OR use can used leftover beet juice that you boiled.

2. Mixed red beet juice into regular white sugar. The more you add, the brighter the color. Sprinkle on your cookies.

Note: I also had a bottle of natural red food coloring. I wanted to compare the 2. The beet juice is more pink and the natural food coloring is definitely more red.

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And Wha-La you have beautiful valentines cookies that only took you 3 hours to make! But you're kids are worth it, right?

One more note: These didn't taste weird at all.

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