14 Valentine’s Day Desserts That Hit the (Sweet) Spot
Everybody knows that the best part about dinner is dessert.
That’s never truer than on Valentine’s Day, when reaching confectionary euphoria is required to call the meal complete. (See also: Valentine's Day on a Budget)
Here are 14 no-sweat recipes that all end with the singing of your praises.
1. Raspberry Cream Cupcakes
I fell head over heels the first time I made these raspberry cream cupcakes from Giada De Laurentiis, and every time I bring them to a function, people go berserk. The best part is that half the work’s done for you because the base is a boxed cake mix. Just add a few more ingredients so you can call it homemade, and you’ll have a light, fluffy, ultra-fresh treat that’ll make ’em swoon.
2. Cupid’s Cocoa-Fresa Freeze
Last February, a local restaurant held a contest where entrants were invited to create an original cocktail using a Bacardi product (the contest’s sponsor) and aphrodisiac-inspired ingredients. I was lucky enough to be named one of five finalists, and even though I didn’t take home the grand prize, you might just score with this recipe.
12 ice cubes
3 scoops Dutch chocolate ice cream
2 scoops vanilla bean ice cream
2 oz. Bacardi Superior Light Rum
1.5 oz. Bailey's Irish Cream
1.5 oz. Kahlua Mocha
2 oz. light cream
Dark chocolate shavings
Two heart-shaped straws
Place ice cubes, light cream, and 3 strawberries in blender and blend on high for 15 seconds or until cubes are crushed and there are no large strawberry chunks.
Add chocolate and vanilla ice creams and all three liquors and blend until frothy and smooth — about 25 seconds.
Pour drink into tall pilsner glass (you can garnish glass with chocolate sauce beforehand if you prefer).
Top with whipped topping and chocolate shavings.
Garnish with remaining ripe strawberry and two heart-shaped straws for sharing.
3. Valentine’s Berry Parfaits
You don’t have to be a top chef to make a delicious dessert for your sweetie. This no-fuss, no-flame parfait recipe is perfect for those who want to impress without all the stress.
4. Chocolate-Covered Strawberries
This recipe for a tried-and-true classic couldn’t be easier — and they’re an elegant end to an already special supper.
5. Molten Lava Cakes
Who doesn’t love a fresh-from-the-oven pastry with an ooey-gooey surprise inside? If that person exists, they’re sure to be single. This molten lava cakes recipe will be an instant hit with you and your honey.
6. Oreo Truffles
There are so many tasty items I could have chosen from my friend Jen’s Phood Phoria blog, but this Oreo truffles recipe in particular looked too decadent and delicious to pass up. Oreos? Check. Cream cheese? Check. Chocolate coating? Double check. Be still my bursting heart.
7. The Best Valentine Sugar Cookies
When decorated, these sugar cookies look like oversized Necco Sweethearts. You can’t go wrong there.
8. Fudge Pie
Kristl, author of The Budget Diet blog, sent me this wallet, but-not-so-waist-friendly recipe that could put even the most seasoned chocoholics in a cocoa coma.
1 9" frozen pie crust, unbaked (do not buy deep dish)
1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 stick butter, melted
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate squares, melted
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Mix together flour, sugar, vanilla, eggs, melted butter and melted chocolate. Pour into unbaked pie crust.
Bake 25 minutes.
Cool 1 hour. Top with vanilla ice cream to serve.
For an extra dose of decadence, drizzle with The Budget Diet’s homemade hot fudge sauce!
9. Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies
Tasty worlds collide in this red velvet cheesecake brownies recipe that marries two sweet staples.
10. White Chocolate Clusters
Veer off the beaten path with this white chocolate clusters recipe that combines chocolate's cocoa-butter-based cousin, dried cherries, and nuts.
11. Rum Cake Shooters
Angela Pritchett, an Examiner.com contributor from Kansas City, wrote to me with this drunken recipe that's sure to get the private party started.
12. Pistachio and Cinnamon Custard
There’s no law that says after-dinner indulgences have to consist of chocolate and strawberries. This nontraditional dessert from Matt Armendariz for Spice Islands is just the thing to satisfy the nonconformist in your life.
13. Chocolate-Smothered Brie
Amy Reiley, author of Fork Me, Spoon Me: The Sensual Cookbook, thinks there's a disparity in the kind of pleasure that women and men find in food. She says the following recipe was made especially for the fairer sex because "both chocolate and cheese, the recipe's two main ingredients, contain phenylethylamine, PEA, a chemical believed to aid in stimulating sexual arousal — good for both men and women — but soft, ripe Brie emits an aroma that is said to trigger pheromone receptors in women, making this dish ladies' choice."
You hear that, fellas? A generous serving of sweet and savory dairy helps get the job done.
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons butter
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
6 oz. wedge of ripe Brie
1 pint strawberries, washed with stems on
1/2 French baguette
Put garlic on a baking tray and sprinkle chunks of butter on top. Toast under the broiler until just brown. Remove from broiler and toss the hard, golden chips in the melted butter and set aside to rest.
Arrange the Brie and strawberries on a serving platter.
In a double boiler or a metal mixing bowl fitted onto a small pot of simmering water, gently melt the chocolate chips with the cream over low heat, stirring steadily with a gentle motion. (Note: You can melt chocolate in the microwave, but it burns very easily this way. Only try this method if you feel sure of your technique.) When chocolate reaches a smooth, creamy texture, remove from heat and fold in the hard garlic chips.
Smother the cheese with the hot chocolate and allow the sweet topping to drench a few berries.
Serve immediately with a hunk of French bread and a total lack of inhibition.
My Mom-Mom — that's what people call their grandmothers where I come from — used to make chocolate eclairs (among many other yummy-to-my-tummy sweets, like mini black-bottom cupcakes that my fraternity brothers devoured the time she sent me back to school with a batch) all the time. She passed away in 2005, and in my heart there's an empty space that her made-with-love treats (and general presence) used to fill. I hope that you and yours can find something special to share in this eclairs recipe. It's not my Mom-Mom's original, but Martha Stewart's comes in a close second. What does that tell ya? Mmm-mmm-good.