Valentine’s Day is next Friday. These treats from the cookbook “Recipes from Minnesota with Love” can be made ahead of time and served for a snack or dessert after dinner.



Also a Christmas favorite with red and green gumdrops, use red gum drops only for a sweet Valentine’s Day treat. A note next to the recipe says, “Try it. I did – fun!”

Popcorn Cake

1/2 cup butter, melted

10-ounce package regular marshmallows

4 quarts popped corn

1/2 cup red gumdrops, cut up

1/4 cup blanched peanuts

Melt butter and marshmallows in heavy pan over low heat. Pour over popped corn, gumdrops and peanuts and mix well. Pour into a buttered 10-by-4-inch tube pan. Pack gently. Invert cake onto a plate. Cut into slices before serving.



The introduction to this recipe tells how in olden days in Minnesota winter visits were made by horse-drawn sleigh and a hospitality gift of homemade candy delivered to neighbors and friends.

Delicious Dreamland Caramels

2 cups sugar

2 cups white corn syrup

1 cup butter

1 quart whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup pecans (optional)

In a heavy pan, boil sugar, corn syrup and butter until bubbly and thick, stirring constantly. Add cream in thirds without disturbing the boiling. Continue cooking until mixture reaches the firm ball stage (242 degrees). Stir in vanilla and pecans. Pour into greased 8-by-8-inch pan. Cool, remove from pan and cut into squares. Wrap each square individually in waxed paper.



This rich, almond cookie has a meringue cap on top that resembles the soft and silent snow.

Snowcap Cookies

1 cup butter

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon almond extract

2 eggs, separated

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup finely chopped almonds

Cream butter and 1 cup sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks and almond extract. Combine flour and salt. Add to creamed mixture and beat until just combined. Shape into 1-inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheets. For topping, beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually add brown sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Spoon 1 teaspoon meringue on top of each ball of dough. Sprinkle with almonds. Bake at 325 degrees for 18-20 minutes. Let stand a few minutes and remove to wire racks to cool completely.



This chilly white dessert has a coconut-rum flavor.

Snow Pie

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

4 tablespoons butter, melted

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 8 1/4 -ounce can crushed pineapple (packed in its own juice)

3 cups sour cream

2 cups sifted powdered sugar

1/2 cup cream of coconut

1/2 cup white rum, or to taste

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter and brown sugar. Press into bottom of greased 8-inch springform pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes or until golden brown. Let crust cook completely. Drain pineapple, reserving liquid. Combine pineapple with sour cream, sugar, cream of coconut and rum and mix until blended. Add reserved pineapple liquid only if needed and pour into prepared crust. Sprinkle with coconut and nuts. Freeze until firm, about 6 hours or overnight. Let stand at room temperature about 15-20 minutes before serving. Makes 8-10 servings.

Readers are invited to submit four to five of their favorite recipes to enjoy, along with a note about what makes them special. Send recipes to lskarpness@parkrapidsenterprise.com or by mail to the Park Rapids Enterprise, 203 Henrietta Ave. North, Park Rapids, MN 56470 and they may appear in a future issue.