Valentine’s Day Dessert Recipes

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Valentine's Day can be a wonderful memory maker or fall as flat as a punctured tire. If you're feeling the love, then preparing a few easy dessert recipes is a great way to inspire romance, and maybe a touching tribute. Even better, it won't take much to put you in the mood for hearts and flowers. If you aren't feeling the love, there may still be a reason to bake up some cupcakes or indulge in a few chocolate dipped strawberries. Consider it a good faith gesture: This Valentine's Day may not see you in the perfect relationship, but there's always next year, so why not be your own Valentine this time around and try some of these delicious recipes?

Homemade Candy

Candy makes a great Valentine's Day dessert as well as a thoughtful gift. Many candy treats are easy to make too, and you don't even need a candy thermometer to get the job done:

  • Try a few microwave candy recipes. You may be a master at making homemade fudge (an excellent Valentine's Day choice), but if you're not, there are lots of candy recipes that you can prepare in the microwave. Granny might not approve, but granny probably didn't grow up with a microwave taking pride of place on her countertop, either. For a fun and easy microwave candy alternative, look for microwave fudge recipes in particular. They often use evaporated milk for a no-fuss cheat that never turns out grainy or gritty. If fudge isn't your honey's candy of choice, try making microwave turtles (nut clusters), cashew bark or microwave pralines. You'll be amazed at how easily these recipes come together. They look good and taste good, too. In an hour, you can whip together two or three recipes and still have time to decorate your dining table with hearts and flowers.
Ready for Planting Finished Product
  • Chocolate and other chips. Another option is to melt those candy and chocolate chips available at the grocery store and pour them into plastic molds (available at the craft store) or over other ingredients like nuts, granola, marshmallows or raisins. With light chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, butterscotch and peanut butter varieties to choose from, you're bound to come up with lots of possibilities that will suit your holiday plans. Any mixture you make will harden up again when it reaches room temperature, so the candy does all the real work. Hint: read the suggestions on the back of the label for tips and some great recipes.

No Bake Options

You don't necessarily have to rely on the microwave to make no-bake desserts this Valentine's Day. Refrigerator cookie and candy recipes usually just involve assembling ingredients and chilling them before serving. Simple or make-ahead desserts will leave your evening options open. This is one reason no bake choices are at the top of our list of Valentine's Day desserts. Consider:

  • Strawberry shortcake - Purchase prepared shortcake and whipped topping, and this one's pretty and simple.
  • Ice cream cake - Prepared ice cream cakes are affordable and infinitely flexible when it comes to ingredients. If you know he's a butter pecan ice cream lover, dessert almost chooses itself. (Yes, this is a cheat, but if time is at a premium it will still taste delicious.)
  • Parfait - If you have tall dessert glasses or sundae dishes, layer ice cream, custard, whipped cream, chocolate topping, caramel, gelatin or pudding inside and let your creation chill to perfection. Parfait makes for a lovely dessert that tastes just as good as it looks. It meets almost anyone's criteria for a great dessert, too: it's tasty, beautiful, fast and flexible. Pick two or three key ingredients, and top it all off with a celebratory cherry or strawberry. Yummy.

Dessert Beverages for Two

If you plan a romantic walk in the garden or a Valentine's cocktail party, offering a dessert beverage instead of a more formal plated dessert is a smart move. These days some of the most beguiling concoctions are beverages anyway. For your celebration try:

  • After dinner liqueur - Highly flavored, sweet liqueurs can be as enchanting as elaborate desserts. They have the advantage of being slow sipping options that go great with intimate conversations and companionable silences.
  • Liquor - These distilled beverages pack a wallop and can get pretty pricy, but if your significant other enjoys a quality bourbon, scotch or cognac after a meal, providing one will be a thoughtful gesture. Tastes in liquor can be pretty specific, though, so before you waste money and risk disappointing your special guest, know his or her liquor preferences.
  • Dessert (sweet) wine - A quality Port is always nice, and served with a cheese and fresh fruit tray, this option shows you're subtle and have great taste.

This year, skip the expensive and over-done store bought candies for a homemade Valentine's Day dessert. The process doesn't have to be complicated, and you can easily enjoy a sweet treat in under an hour. Try some of these recipes to make your holiday a little more special. 

Last Updated: January 17, 2012
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About Sara Elliot Sara Elliott is a freelance copywriter and dedicated blogger. Her popular gardening, cooking and crafting blog, The Herb Gardener, was cited by The Wall Street Journal for its fun and frugal tips. Sara has a degree in English, and you can find her health, crafting, and lifestyle pieces on sites like DiscoveryHealth.com, HowStuffWorks.com, Savvi.com and TLC.com.

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