Valentine’s Day Sweets for sweeties

flourless chocolate cakeWe’re getting down to the wire on Valentine’s Day, but there is still plenty of time to do a little bit of baking for your valentines – whether you have one or many.

Chocolate is the first option on every list. Don’t fight it. I like to opt for smaller or individual chocolate treats because they seem cuter when compared to a huge cake. Dark Chocolate Souffles are delicious, but if you’re craving something with an even richer center, Molten Chocolate Cakes might fit the bill. Flourless Chocolate Cakes are the final mini-chocolate dessert on my list, my last batch (pictured) made even more appealing by using a heart-shaped pan. For something lighter, a lower fat Chocolate Mousse is a good choice.

Speaking of heart shapes, you can use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to make just about anything a little more romantic. Heart-Shaped Butter Cookies are a great example, easy to make and festively topped with red sprinkles. Any cutout cookie recipe will work, though.

For something that isn’t chocolate, I like to go with berries for Valentine’s Day. I’m not picky about which kind, but I do think that red berries are a bit more appropriate than, say, blue ones. Strawberry Jam Crumb Coffee Cake is a delicious dish for Valentine’s Day breakfast and a Strawberries and Cream Cheese Tart, while summery, is simple and elegant. Raspberry Mousse is perfectly pink and a sweet-tart Yogurt Panna Cotta isn’t complete without some fresh berries, or a berry puree, on the side.

If you need a lot of Valentine’s – perhaps as a holiday gift to a classroom full of kids, assuming that the school in question still allows homemade goodies – the cookies mentioned above are a good idea, as are cupcakes. Red Velvet Cupcakes are very Valentine’s Day-appropriate and you could easily dye the vanilla half of Black and White Rice Krispie Treats pink with red food coloring.

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