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Five delectable desserts to make with your valentine

Graphic by Audrey Garcia

Everyone’s always worried about where to go or what to have for dinner on Valentine’s Day, but what about dessert?

Baking doesn’t have to be complicated, and you can make a cute and delicious treat from the comfort of your home with those you hold dear. Here are some simple ideas that will get your mouth watering whether you like sweet, sour or decadent desserts.

Million hearts cheesecake

This recipe includes instructions for a simple cheesecake crust and filling, but my secret is to use premade cheesecake filling. You can still flavor it with vanilla or almond extract if you want a little extra flavor, which eliminates the process of having to beat and mix the cream cheese.

Now, a million hearts sounds complicated, but in reality it’s simple. The coulis, commonly referred to as sauce, can be made with any fruit or purchased from the store. For maximum aesthetic, raspberries and strawberries create an Instagram-worthy pinkish-red heart. You just place the sauce in little dots around the cake and pull a toothpick through them in a spiral manner, creating a million little hearts on the surface. 

DIY boxed chocolates

Boxed chocolates can be found in supermarkets everywhere by Jan. 1. Consider transforming this common gift into something a little more special by making the chocolates from scratch.

Truffles, as boujee as they sound, can be made using just four ingredients, two of which are optional in the recipe. The heart of a truffle is the chocolate and heavy cream, but butter and vanilla can add additional flavor and creaminess. After mixing and cooling the ingredients, any topping can be added like sprinkles or more chocolate shavings. 

Jelly love letters

This adorable dessert screams Pinterest and is easy to make, too.

Pre-made pie crust allows these flaky treats to be whipped up in a matter of minutes. Shaping the crust is the hardest part. You could make anything, but the little envelopes are just so sweet. A smear of jelly or jam in the center before folding creates the perfect little note sitting in the envelope after baking. Again, raspberry or strawberry provides a hue of pink or red, but any flavor is perfect, even chocolate.

Love heart chocolate bark

Bark is an iconic part of the winter season, from peppermint to peanut, so add a new kind to your roster with this twist on a classic.

With another super simple recipe, you melt chocolate in the microwave, swirl it and add candy hearts and sprinkles on top. Voila. The choice of chocolate is up to you, but to create an impactful swirl effect, mixing white chocolate with food coloring for that layer is recommended.

Tangy olive oil cake

Olive oil and cake aren’t two words frequently used in combination, but if you’re looking to experiment, this is a good place to start. More complicated and equipment-heavy than other recipes, this one is a worthwhile commitment.

Blood orange, olive oil, rosemary and a classic cake all come together to make something truly unique. The first twist is creating rosemary sugar, done simply by blending the two. Next, this recipe will have you exploring the world of caramel-making. Using blood oranges and lemon juice mixed with a load of sugar is the perfect citrus-sweet to end the night.

Honorable mention: Krispy Kreme donuts

If you aren’t in the mood for baking, or don’t have the supplies available, Krispy Kreme recently released their Valentine’s Day donuts. Four fabulous flavor combinations are available to choose from, with something for everyone. Ranging from cake batter to strawberries and cookie dough, there is a donut for everyone to love. If you can’t make it to a participating store, a limited edition half-dozen box featuring three flavors is available at Walmart, Kroger, Food Lion and Publix.

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