Valentine’s Day desserts

Tasty treats to share with the ones you love

By on February 12, 2014

They always say if you want to get a man the best way is through his stomach. If you want to test this theory, now is the time. The celebrated holiday that shoots red and pink hearts out of nowhere is here: Valentine’s Day. To some it may be a painful reminder of singledom and to others it’s a day filled with quick glances and flirty smiles. If you are spending the hallmark holiday with a significant other or with close friends and don’t have the time or money to buy a gift then bake some of these tasty treats. Your date will appreciate them and — if anything — you will be happy you made them as you and your roommates gather around the TV and predict who will win gold at the Olympics.

 

Strawberry Brownie Kabobs — These are so easy to make. Strawberries can be expensive, you can always opt for a different fruit like pineapple or banana.

strawforweb

1 box brownie mix

1 package large strawberries

1 bag large marshmallows

4 squares melting chocolate

wooden skewers, cut in half

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray Pyrex with non-stick spray

Prepare brownie batter according to package directions

Bake until toothpick comes out clean

Allow brownies to cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then cut into small squares

Clean and cut both ends of the strawberries

Layer strawberries, brownies, and marshmallows on skewer

Lay on wax paper

Melt the chocolate in a microwave in a microwave-safe bowl until chocolate is melted

Drizzle chocolate over skewers

Transfer to fridge to allow the chocolate to set

 

 

Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies — The batter is dark, so add more red food coloring to make it more vibrant

 cookiesforweb

1 and ½ cups + tablespoon all-purpose flour

¼ unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup unsalted butter — softened

¾ brown sugar

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1 tablespoon milk

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 ½ teaspoons red food coloring

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

 

Directions:

Toss flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside

Using a handheld or standing mixer, beat the butter on high speed until creamy

Put the mixer to medium speed and beat in the brown sugar and granulated sugar until combined

Beat in egg, milk and vanilla extract, scraping down the sides to the bottom

Add food coloring and beat until combined

Turn the mixer off and pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients

Turn the mixer on low and slowly beat until soft dough is formed

On low speed beat in chocolate chips

cover the dough tightly with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour

Preheat oven at 350 degrees

Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper

Scoop 1.5 tablespoons of dough and mold into a ball

Bake for 10-11 minutes

 

 

Red Velvet Chocolate-Swirled Brownie Bars — These brownies are really easy to make and the prep time isn’t long at all. They taste a lot like a red velvet cake with a milk chocolate drizzle.

 browniesforweb

½ cup unsalted butter

1 large egg

1 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1.4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 vials red food coloring

¾ cup all-purpose flour

1.2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

 

Directions:

Preheat oven at 350 degrees

line baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray

in a large, microwave safe bowl melt butter

Add egg, brown sugar, vanilla, and whisk until smooth

Add the cocoa and whisk until smooth

Add red food coloring and whisk

Add flour and stir to combine

Turn batter out into prepared pan, smooth the top lightly with a spatula

In a small, microwave – safe bowl melt the chocolate chips – stop and stir constantly

Drizzle chocolate over the pan and swirl lightly with a toothpick

Bake for 28-30 minutes – wait for brownies to cool before cutting and serving

 

 

Soft M&M Chocolate Chip Cookies – These classic cookies take a holiday twist with the red and pink M&M candies. They are sure to be a hit at any party.

m&msforweb 

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (1 ½ sticks)

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup instant vanilla  pudding mix (not sugar free and not ‘cook & serve’), or use 2 teaspoons cornstarch in place of pudding mix

1 teaspoon baking soda

Pinch salt, optional and to taste

¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

¾ cup milk chocolate M&M’s mixed into the dough and about ½ cup for placing on top of dough mounds

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Combine the butter, sugars, egg, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until creamed, about 4 minutes.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flour, pudding mix, baking soda, optional salt, and beat on low until just combined, about 1 minute.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the chocolate chips, ¾ cup M&Ms and beat on low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds.

Using a ¼ cup form 15 equal sized mounds of dough, roll into balls, and flatten slightly.

Add about 1 tablespoon M&Ms to the top of each dough mound.

Place dough mounts on baking sheet and bake for 11 minutes or until edges have just set, the cookies will firm up as they cool.

 

 

Marbled Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies — These treats are the best of both worlds – brownie and cheesecake. Leave enough time for them to cool before cutting, they will be very warm and fall apart.

 marbleforweb

Red velvet layer:

3 ¼ cups flour

2 ¼ cups granulated sugar

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking powder

3 large eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

4 tablespoons milk, divided

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon red food coloring

2 teaspoons white vinegar

Cheesecake layer:

2 8oz packages cream cheese, softened

¾ cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 13 x 18 pyrex dish with cooking spray

In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder.  Set aside.  In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons milk, vanilla extract, red food coloring and white vinegar.

Combine the dry and wet ingredients, until completely combine.  Remove ¾ cup of the batter and place it in a medium bowl.  Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of milk and set aside.

Pour the remaining batter into the dish and smooth out.

In another bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add eggs and vanilla, beating until combined, and there are no lumps.  Pour the cream cheese mixture on top of the red velvet layer and smooth it out.

Drop spoonfuls of the remaining red velvet batter onto the top of the cheesecake layer and drag the tip of a knife through the red velvet and the cheesecake layers to create swirls.

Bake for 30 minutes, rotating halfway through, or just until the center is set and it no longer jiggles. Let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.

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About Kellie Mason

Associate Arts and Life Editor