A Valentine’s Day dessert calls for something heart-shaped, pink, red, chocolate or a combination of all of these. Whether you plan to serve dessert as the final touch to a Valentine’s Day dinner or to bring dessert to the office as a holiday treat, you’ll want to serve something that reflects the holiday, shows off your baking creativity and satisfies every sweet tooth.
Be My Valentine Cookies
To make these cookie hearts, created as Be My Valentine Cookies from Delish, you’ll dip one-half of the baked cookie into melted chocolate for a two-toned finished product. Use a favorite sugar cookie recipe or the one from Delish, which directs you to mix 1 cup of unsalted butter with 3 oz. cream cheese, both softened. Then you add ¾ cup sugar, 1 egg, 1 tsp. peppermint extract and 3 cups flour. After the ingredients are thoroughly mixed, divide the dough in half, and refrigerate overnight. Roll out the dough and cut the cookies out with heart-shaped cookie cutters. Bake the cookies for four to six minutes at 375 degrees F. Cool and then dip one-half of each heart cookie into a melted mixture of 2 cups chocolate chips and 2 tbsp. shortening.
A quick dessert that you can assemble at the last minute is a strawberry shortcake that starts with a white cake mix. Follow the directions on the box, and bake cupcakes in heart-shaped cupcake pans. Allow the cupcakes time to cool thoroughly; slice them in half horizontally. Thaw frozen strawberries. When you’re ready to serve the dessert, simply layer strawberries between the cupcake layers, spoon more strawberries on top and swirl on some canned whipped cream.
These Meringue Hearts from Joy of Baking start with a meringue made by beating four large egg whites at room temperature until foamy. Then you add 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar to the egg whites and beat until soft peaks form; keep mixing while you add 1 cup superfine sugar a little at a time. Using a pastry bag, pipe the meringue into heart shapes on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets; you might want to draw heart outlines on the paper (12 to a sheet) before you begin. Bake the hearts at 250 degrees F for 60 to 70 minutes. You can top these with a dollop of cherry jam or other fruit garnish, if you wish.
Valentine’s Day Chocolate Cheesecake
A Valentine’s Day chocolate cheesecake makes a stunning presentation when its perimeter is outlined with raspberries. The recipe for Rich Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake from Amazing Cheesecake Recipes goes together quickly and requires only seven ingredients. You start by making a crust from 1 and 1/2 cups crushed chocolate sandwich cookies, mixed with 2 tbsp. butter, and pressing the mixture into the bottom of a heart-shaped cheesecake pan. Bake this for 10 minutes. For the filling, you use 24 oz. cream cheese, mixed with 1 cup sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla and eight squares of melted and cooled semi-sweet baking chocolate. To this, you add three eggs, one at a time. Pour the filling onto the crust and bake about an hour at 325 degrees F; the center of the cheesecake should be almost set. Refrigerate for several hours.