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Valentine’s Day Desserts to Die For

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and we’ve all heard the saying: “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Why be among the crowds on Valentine’s Day when you can be alone with your valentine in the comfort of your own kitchen? These recipes are both affordable and easy, and require minimal baking expertise. Whether you are baking for your valentine or for your friends, these desserts are sure to impress.

Easy OREO Truffles

Adapted from allrecipies.com; makes about 28 truffles

Ingredients:1 (16 ounce) package of OREO cookies, divided1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese, softened2 (8 ounce) packages of semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted2 (3 ounce) packages of sprinkles

Directions:1. Crush all of the OREO cookies into fine crumbs in a resealable plastic bag using a rolling pin or a heavy object; place in a medium bowl. Add cream cheese and mix until well blended.2. Shape cookie mixture into balls about 1-inch in diameter until you have used all of the mixture.3. Melt the chocolate chips by simmering them on a low setting on the stove; dip the balls in chocolate and place on a wax paper-covered baking sheet.4. Add as many sprinkles to the top of the truffles as desired.5. Refrigerate until firm (approximately 1 hour).

I found this recipe to be very simple to follow and fairly short to prepare (about 30 minutes). The truffles were firm on the outside, and rich and creamy on the inside. I would definitely recommend this recipe to chocoholics!

Red Velvet Swirl BrowniesAdapted from Sunny Anderson of the Food Network; serves about 6

Ingredients:Red Velvet Brownie Layer:1 stick of unsalted butter1 cup of sugar1 teaspoon of vanilla extract¼ cup of cocoa powder1 pinch of salt1 tablespoon of red food coloring1 teaspoon of vinegar2 eggs¾ cup of all-purpose flour

Cream Cheese Layer:1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese, softened¼ cup of sugar1 egg1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.2. Butter an 8 by 8-inch baking pan and set it aside.3. For the brownie layer, melt the butter on medium heat; remove the butter and pour into a large bowl.4. Add the sugar, vanilla, cocoa powder, salt, food coloring, and vinegar, mixing between additions.5. Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl before stirring into the rest of the brownie mix.6. Add the flour a little bit at a time until it is lightly combined with the brownie mix.7. Pour about ¾ of the batter into the baking pan and save the rest for top layer.8. For the cream cheese layer, blend together the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla in a medium bowl.9. Gently spread the cream cheese layer on top of the brownie layer in the pan.10. Dollop the remaining brownie batter over the cream cheese layer and use the top of a knife to create swirls in the top layer.11. Bake the brownies for 30 minutes; allow them to cool completely before cutting.

I found this recipe to be very straightforward and rather rewarding to prepare. The cheesecake flavor of the top layer was a nice complement to the red velvet brownies. The brownies are definitely a unique flavor combination that will look and taste like they were made in a high-end bakery!

Lindsey Day is a third-year biological sciences major and volunteer with the Cal Poly Cat Program. She has a passion for science and law. Lindsey dreams of one day helping to eradicate an infectious disease as well as becoming a forensic scientist. She also loves photography, exploring nature, cooking, and going to comic book conventions.
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