This, ladies and gentleman, is my absolutely downright handsome boyfriend of 2 1/2 years as of February 9th. Since it is February, I guess you can also jump to the conclusion that he is my beloved Valentine as well, even though the holiday has come and gone.
Sappy line alert: He's my Valentine every day of the year!
The thing is, and don't get all judgy on me, we really don't celebrate Valentine's Day. We believe being romantic, spontaneous, and a loving, attentive boyfriend/girlfriend to each other should be every day of the year so we both agree this particular holiday is just not for us.
That doesn't mean, however, Valentine's Day isn't an important holiday to many other individuals! People are proposed to on that specific day. People choose to get married to their significant other on that specific day. All the gift giving and romantic planned holiday escapades aside, this holiday is chocked full of genuine love; love for your significant other, love for your family and friends, and probably most important of all, love for yourself.
Society puts such an importance on having a significant other when the big holiday-of-love rolls around each year but what they don't promote is you being your OWN Valentine.
If you do happen to be flying solo, or even if you're not but want to give yourself a little love, too, go out and treat yourself to a nice dinner, a mani/pedi, or buy yourself that certain something (don't pretend you don't know the one) you've been wanting for awhile; do something for yourself because you deserve it. Ignore the subliminal messaging that you're not worthy if you're alone and be strong in the fact that, like it says above, just because you don't have a significant other doesn't mean you're not significant.
Following this line of thinking Glutino has provided me some of their quality (and downright delicious) gluten free sweet treats to promote this holiday of love. Even though I do have a significant other I wanted to do something for myself and also to show my family how much I love them, too!
Gluten Free Double Chocolate Caramel, Pretzel, & Sea Salt Brownies
(serves 16 to 24)
-Box of Glutino Gluten Free Double Chocolate Brownie Mix
-2 eggs or 4 egg whites
-1/3 cup butter of your choice (melted)
-Bag of Glutino Gluten Free Fudge Covered Pretzels and/or Bag of Glutino Gluten Free Yogurt Covered Pretzels
-Gluten Free baking caramel*
-Sea Salt of your choice
-Heart shaped metal cookie cutters or heart shaped baking sheet
*Gluten can be found in brown coloring such as in brown colored pops or cheaper caramel so be careful to read the ingredients and the label carefully! Best bet is to go with something natural, organic, and/or GMO-free.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prep your 7 x 11 or 8 x 8 inch baking pan; if it's non-stick, grease or butter the surface to help the brownies to not stick. If you have a non-stick pan like I did you just have to have it ready and to the side.
2. In a large bowl pour in the Glutino Gluten Free Double Chocolate Brownie Mix. In a separate bowl beat your eggs until thoroughly mixed and add to the dry mix. Add your 1/3 cup melted butter to the mix and stir until combined.
3. Once combined, spoon your brownie mixture into your pan or heart shape baking pan/sheet. If the latter like I have, make sure to spoon enough batter into the hearts to fill approximately halfway. Note: I made that mistake and the brownies overflowed and didn't cook evenly.
4. Bake brownies for 25 to 27 minutes. Note: Just because the toothpick you check the brownies with comes out a little battery doesn't mean the brownies aren't done. They can and do still cook after pulled out of the oven.
5. Let cool. Once cooled to a manageable temperature, carefully remove from heart shaped baking sheet and put on a large plate. If you chose to cook brownies in a baking pan, take your heart shaped cookie cutters and cut out as many brownies as you can and place on a plate.
6. Gather your caramel, pretzels, and sea salt. Take 2 to 3 pretzels per brownie (if you have both kinds of pretzels take 2 to 3 of each flavor), place them in a bag, and use something large to crush them. Take your gluten free baking caramel (1 to 2 cubes*) and melt them in the microwave. Focusing on one brownie at a time, quickly drizzle your caramel mixture first, then take a handful of the crushed pretzels and sprinkle them on the melting caramel so they stick, and finally take a very light pinch of your sea salt and spread sparingly.
7. Serve and enjoy these loving tributes to your Valentine whether that be a different person or yourself!
*I purchased the wrong kind of caramel so instead of being soft, the caramel immediately hardened and it was difficult to eat. Make sure to get baking caramel or the soft cubed caramel that is easy to work with.
While the Glutino double chocolate brownie mix was absolutely delicious, I haven't made brownies in quite awhile so I miscalculated the baking time after filling my tray up too much and left them in too long. I was able to enjoy one of these beautiful Valentine's Day tributes before the rest of the brownies turned rock solid and I had to throw them away.
I'm very excited to give this another try when I get my hands on another box of mix though!
Glutino not only has a line of delicious sweet treats and baking mixes, they also offer a wide range of products that range from crackers, chips, and pretzels to toaster pastries and breakfast bars, all the way to pizzas and breads. So many delicious gluten free options to choose from!
#Valentine #glutenfree double #chocolate, #caramel, & #seasalt #brownies @GlutinoFoods https://t.co/5Hy8vnO1cb #Ad pic.twitter.com/JnxqYrm7fY— The Eclectic Element (@TheEclecticE) February 19, 2016
Who was your Valentine this year?
Remember, it's okay to say yourself!