4 Sweet Valentine's Day Recipes

Valentine's Day, ironically, is a day many of us hate. Whether you're in a long-term relationship or forever alone, the expectations and tacky decorations are usually a bit much. My trick to loving this "Hallmark holiday" is to make it my own duty to spread love, happiness, and treat myself, rather than expecting a dream date with my soulmate. And what is it we love most? Food and alcohol, baby. (I'm clearly projecting— it's been a dry January). After scouring the internet, I compiled a list of super cute and tasty treats to make for yourself, loved ones, or your peers who have to suffer through any final exams this V-Day. Enjoy!  

Tricia's Chocolate Raspberry Thumbprints

 

 

I had to include this recipe for its charming appearance and simple ingredients. They're almost too cute to eat... almost.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 12-15 minutes

Serving: Roughly 50 small cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 level cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup stirred raspberry jam (or jam of choice)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350(F) degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat together the butter and sugar for 5 minutes or until light and fluffy, then add the egg yolk and vanilla to blend until the yolk disappears.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. (Tricia recommends not estimating, any more than 2 cups of flour will result in dry cookies!)
  4. Add the dry ingredient mixture to the butter mixture. Mix on a low speed until combined, then blend at medium speed for about a minute.
  5. Roll the dough into tight balls (about two teaspoons each) and place an inch apart on the prepared cookie sheet. To make the heart shape, use your smallest finger and make two indentations into the dough ball. (Tricia suggests not going very deep to ensure the cookies hold shape in the oven— it's okay to practice first!)
  6. Fill the raw cookies with 1/4 teaspoon of jam.
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the jam is bubbly and the cookies and puffed. (Be careful not to overbake, or cookies may lose shape).
  8. Remove baking sheet from the oven and allow cookies to cool for 3-5 minutes.

 

Ashley's Mint Chocolate Bars

 

This recipe requires no baking - perfect for those of us who seem to burn literally everything that goes in the oven! The original recipe calls for green food coloring to match the minty flavor, but I suggest red for my festive ladies out there.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Serving: 16 bars

Ingredients:

Base (Bottom Layer):

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs

Filling (Middle Layer):

  • 1/4 cup (half stick) butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract

Ganache (Topping):

  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips (of choice)
  • 2 tablespoons of butter

Directions:

  1. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the full stick of butter, cocoa, and sugar, then microwave on high for 45 seconds. Stir and microwave another 20-30 seconds if necessary to fully melt and combine.
  2. Let mixture cool for 5 minutes then quickly whisk in egg (mixture will thicken as the egg is added).
  3. Stir in coconut and graham cracker crumbs until combined.
  4. Press the base mixture into an 8x8" pan lined with tin foil.
  5. In a new bowl, beat half-stick of butter until smooth.
  6. Add powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of milk to the butter, then beat until smooth, adding more milk or sugar for desired consistency.
  7. Add peppermint extract and food coloring as desired.
  8. Spread filling mixture on top of the base layer in the pan.
  9. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate and butter for the ganache, and melt in 20-second intervals on high stirring each time, until smooth. Pour carefully on top of the filling mixture in the pan.
  10. Refrigerate the pan until layers are completely set (2-3 hours) before slicing and serving.

 

Lauren's Dark Chocolate Heart Scones

 

I really liked this recipe for the love and patience that must go into creating the perfect scone dough. The result is a perfectly imperfect home-made aesthetic.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Bake Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (cold)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 and 1/2 cups toasted coconut (or topping of choice; sprinkles or fruits would also pair nicely)
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (for the ganache)
  • 1/3 cup cream (for the ganache)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425(F) degrees.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt dark chocolate chips and cream over medium heat. Stir to combine and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
  4. With a pastry blender or by hand, add butter to dry ingredients and combine until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  5. In a small bowl, combine milk, egg, and vanilla.
  6. Add wet ingredient mixture to dry ingredients along with semisweet chocolate chips until mixture clings together and forms a soft dough.
  7. Flour a surface and knead the dough gently 5 or 6 times.
  8. Roll dough into a 7 inch round a cut out 8 (or more if available) using a knife or heart-shaped cookie cutter. Place on baking sheet coated with a non-stick cooking spray.
  9. Bake for about 16 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the scones and let them slightly cool.
  10. Spread chocolate ganache on top and sprinkle the scones with your topping of choice.

 

Noreen's Love Martini

 

If you're underage or aren't a fan of sweet and sugary cocktails, throwing food coloring in any beverage of choice with some strawberry hearts is a great way to sweeten up your Valentine's evening. For the rest of you, here's something new to try:

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Serving: 1 martini

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 shot of Malibu Rum
  • 1/2 shot of Peach Schnapps
  • 1/2 shot of plain or citrus flavored vodka
  • 3 shots of cranberry juice
  • 2 strawberries (for garnish)
  • A wedge of lime (optional)
  • Sugar to rim glass (optional)

Directions:

  1. If you want, rim your martini glass with sugar using a lime to wet the rim first.
  2. Mix all liquids together in a shaker (with ice if cranberry juice isn't cold) and pour into prepared glass.
  3. Cut a small "V" shape to remove the stem of a strawberry, then cut into heart-shaped slices to drop into your drink. Make a cut halfway up the bottom of another strawberry to keep as a garnish on your glass.
  4. Drink responsibly and enjoy!