Crispy Chocolate Hearts

1 (12-oz.) package semisweet chocolate morsels

1/2 cup peanut butter

2 cups crisp rice cereal

1 1/2 cups peanuts

1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows

2 (2-oz.) chocolate bark coating squares, melted

Microwave chocolate morsels in a large glass bowl at HIGH for 2 minutes or until melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir in peanut butter, stirring until well blended.

Stir in cereal, peanuts, and marshmallows. Line a 13- x 9-inch pan with foil. Lightly grease foil. Press mixture into foil-lined pan. Drizzle with chocolate.

Let stand 1 hour or until firm; cut with a 3-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter to make hearts. Store hearts in an airtight container or place in a candy box, if desired. Makes 15 hearts.

Cream Cheese Mints

1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 (2-lb.) package powdered sugar

1/2 tsp. peppermint extract

6 drops red liquid food coloring, optional

Powdered sugar

Cook cream cheese and butter in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth. Gradually stir in package of powdered sugar; stir in extract. If desired, divide mixture into 2 portions; stir 2 drops coloring into 1 portion and remaining 4 drops coloring into second portion.

Shape mixture into 1-inch balls. Dip a 2-inch round cookie stamp or bottom of a glass into powdered sugar. Press each ball to flatten. Let stand, uncovered, 4 hours or until firm. Freeze, if desired. Makes 8 dozen.

Meringue Kisses

2 egg whites

1/8 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. cream of tartar

1/2 cup white sugar

Red food coloring

Preheat oven to 225. Line 2 cookie sheets with foil.

In a large glass or metal mixing bowl, beat egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar to soft peaks. Gradually add sugar, continuing to beat until whites form stiff peaks. Add 2 or three drops of food coloring, or until desired color is reached. Drop by spoonfuls 1 inch apart on the prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 1 1/2 hours in preheated oven. Meringues should be completely dry on the inside. Do not allow them to brown. Turn off oven. Keep oven door ajar and let meringues sit in the oven until completely cool. Loosen from foil with metal spatula. Store loosely covered in cool dry place for up to 2 months. Makes 48.