By: Denile Doyle
Valentine’s Day is around the corner and it happens to be the first holiday of the year when you can whip up creative and themed treats. Whether you’re making goodies for the love of your life, family, friends or coworkers, your desserts don’t have to be elaborate. Your loved ones will appreciate your simple, but indulgent treats that say “I love you.” The most important thing is that your V-Day desserts are festive and made with love. It also won’t hurt that they’ll look cute and taste delicious! Here are five simple desserts to make for those around you this Valentine’s Day:
¾ cup melted butter
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
4 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ tsp salt
1. Melt butter and chocolate on low heat, stirring regularly. Remove from heat once melted.
2. Sift flour, cocoa and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs until mixed and slowly add sugar. Beat for 10 minutes or until tripled in volume.
3. Fold in melted chocolate, vanilla and flour.
4. Pour into pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350°F. Brownies are ready when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let brownies cool in the pan, then cut into squares. Use red, white and pink icing to pipe small hearts to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
2. Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1. Cream butter and sugar in a bowl or mixer until fluffy and creamy. Add eggs and vanilla.
2. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Add dry mixture to wet mixture and fold together.
3. Knead dough on floured surface, shape into two disks, and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm.
4. Roll dough to ¼-inch thickness and cut cookies with a heart-shaped cookie cutter. Bake on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.
3. Red Velvet Truffles
1 box red velvet cake mix
8 ounces cream cheese
16 ounces white baking chocolate
1. Make cake according to cake mix directions. Let cake cool completely then crumble in a large bowl.
2. Add cream cheese and mix until smooth.
3. Form mixture into balls. Chill for six to eight hours.
4. Melt white chocolate over low heat. Coat balls in chocolate and chill for 30 minutes to one hour.
4. Valentine’s Day Bark
24 ounces semisweet chocolate
6 ounces white chocolate
Pink and red sprinkles
1. Melt semisweet and white chocolate in separate bowls.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread semisweet chocolate onto parchment paper in an even layer. Spread white chocolate on top of the semisweet chocolate from top to bottom and use a butter knife to create swirls.
3. Scatter sprinkles, candy hearts and mini marshmallows through the chocolate.
4. Chill for one hour until hardened.
5. Chocolate-Covered Pretzels
12 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 bag pretzels (logs or medium or large twists)
Pink, red and white sprinkles
1. Melt chocolate in double boiler over medium heat.
2. Line a baking sheet or tray with parchment paper. Dip pretzels in melted chocolate. Sprinkle with toppings.
3. Refrigerate until hardened.