Sweets for Your Sweetheart

Valentine's Day Desserts“Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands – and then eat just one of the pieces.”  —Judith Viorst.

What better excuse to indulge than Valentine’s Day? No meal on February 14th is complete without a sweet treat to top it off. Here are some easy, creative desserts to make for your loved ones this week.

  • Red Velvet Milkshake. It’s the no-fuss alternative to a red velvet cake. It just takes four ingredients: vanilla ice cream, red velvet cake mix, vanilla extract and milk. If you want more of a chocolaty flavor, use chocolate ice cream instead and add red food dye to keep the red hue intact.
  • Champagne Parfaits: Give parfaits an upgrade when you layer your favorite desserts in champagne glasses. Choose from treats like pudding, ice cream, mousse, whipped cream, strawberries, chocolate sprinkles and cookie crumbs.
  • Brownie Sundaes. Whip up your favorite brownie recipe. Once they’ve cooled, cut them into hearts with a cookie cutter. Serve each heart with a scoop of your favorite ice cream and strawberry or raspberry sauce.
  • Conversation Cookies. Make your favorite sugar cookie dough, cut into hearts, and bake. Divide frosting into six equal batches and dye pastel shades of pink, orange, yellow, green, purple and white. Frost cookies and then use a thin-tipped red icing to write on popular conversation heart sayings like BE MINE or HOT STUFF. For a simpler alternative, skip the frosting and dye the dough pastel shades before baking.
  • Chocolate Fondue. Simple and decadent all at once. Combine chocolate with heavy whipping cream and a little liqueur or finely chopped nuts if you feel so inclined. Our favorite dippers are strawberries, bananas, pretzels, cheesecake, pound cake and donut holes.
  • Jell-O Hearts. Here’s a great dessert for the kids. Make a batch of strawberry Jell-O in a 9 x 13 pan. When firm, cut into hearts and place them back into the 9 x 13 pan, spaced evenly. Pour a mixture of gelatin, sweetened condensed milk, and water over the hearts and refrigerate. Cut into squares and serve.

One last tip: Infuse hot cocoa with a little extra love when you cut marshmallows into hearts and float them on top.