Sweets For The Sweet! 3 V-Day Recipes That’ll Win Your Heart

It's Valentine's Day! Before you barf, we have to remind you of one of the least cheesy parts of the holiday, and something even the most staunch anti-Cupidists can enjoy: dessert! We've asked Kelsey Miller, our resident recipe pro, to whip up three treats that'll get your sweet tooth a-tinglin'. Bon appetit!
cookies2Best. Cookies. Ever. — I’m not one to preach. But if I had a creed, motto or political stance, it would be these cookies. This is my personal spin on an ancient recipe passed down from food writer to food writer since Ezekiel. If properly applied, it has the power to move mountains and solve the European debt crisis. Put these cookies in someone’s hands, and they’ll never forget where they came from.
I’m not advocating irresponsible use, but if you’ve set your cap on a certain fellow, these might just the love potion you need. A meal is too much commitment. A cocktail is done to death. A cookie though, is a culinary wink. This one in particular, is sweet, salty and simply irresistible.

Prep Time: 24-36 hours*
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Cost: $30

8 oz. cake flour (1 cup minus 2 tbsp.)
8 oz. bread flour
1 ¼ tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 ½ tsp. coarse salt (i.e. sea/kosher salt)
2 ½ sticks butter, room temp
1 ¼ cups light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 11.5 oz bag milk chocolate chips
1 11.5 oz bag dark chocolate chips (spring for the fancy, extra dark)
Sea/kosher salt for garnishing

Mix flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. In a separate bowl, cream butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla. Mix dry and wet together and add chocolate chips.

Wait. For a full day.
*This recipe is just as amazing/annoying as meeting someone you really like. You lay the groundwork on Friday night, and then sit on your hands until Sunday. In this scenario, stealing a bite from the fridge is late-night texting. You know you’ll regret it immediately, but you just can’t help yourself. If you wait 24 hours, you’re in good shape. But wait 36 just to be safe. You really won’t regret it.
When it’s finally time to bake these suckers, heat your oven to 350. Roll dough into the shape and size of golf balls and space out evenly on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle just a pinch of salt over each and bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown and gorgeous.
Hand over to your beloved. Be adored.
Chocolate Pudding on the Rocks — I have nothing against lava cake, crème brulee or a good, old-fashioned tiramisu. In fact, I’m staunchly for them – in a restaurant. If you’re making them at home however, these traditional desserts are a recipe for kitchen fires and hissy fits. Not sexy.
But don’t fear, lovebirds. You can still have a gorgeous, rich, shareable, without running the risk of an ER visit.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes (plus 1 hour to chill)
Cost: $25

1 3.4 oz package cook-and-serve chocolate pudding (not instant)
¼ cup dark chocolate, chopped
1 ½ cup milk
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp. Frangelico liqueur
½ cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. sugar
2/3 cup hazelnuts, chopped

In a pot, over a medium heat, mix pudding, chocolate, milk and 1/3 cup. Frangelico. Whisk as it heats so pudding dissolves and chocolate incorporates. The rule for knowing when stovetop pudding is done is when bubbles break the surface, wait one full minute, then remove from heat. (If you grew up on instant this will seem like mad science, but trust, it’s worth it.)

Cover the pudding, and leave it to chill in the fridge for an hour, while you enjoy the rest of your evening. That’s one hour, minimum – so, take as long as you want.
Well, hi there, look who’s back. Pour hazelnuts in the bottom of a large wine glass (or a coffee mug, because who cares?) and fill to the brim with pudding. Whip cream until you have whipped cream. Mix in remaining Frangelico and sugar (skip the sugar if your honey’s sweet enough.) Top your pudding with a dollop and enjoy.
Figure out what to do with remaining whipped cream...heh.

Almond Cake with Raspberry Sauce — No offense to all you lovers out there, but the best kind of V-Day is the No Boys Allowed kind. Between getting dressed up and trying to out-gift someone, and drinking wine in yoga pants with your best friends? No contest. Being single is no excuse for not eating a ridiculous, decadent dessert. And this quick and easy recipe was made just for a Valentine’s
with your besties. It’s non-traditional (no chocolate) while acknowledging the holiday (deep red raspberry sauce), and just happens to be one of my all-time favorite – just like my girlfriends.

Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 45 min.
Cost: $30

Cake Ingredients:
¾ cup sugar
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp.
3 large eggs
1 8oz. can almond paste (hidden on some high shelf of the baking aisle)
½ tbsp. almond extract (and no more. This stuff is potent – but I’m an almond fan)
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking powder
1/3 cup flour
1 late-80s and/or early-90s movie (to taste)

Preheat oven to 350. Butter an 8-inch cake pan (or something around that size). Cream butter, sugar and eggs together until combined. Scoop almond paste out of the can and add it to the mixture in little chunks. Add extract. Cream this mixture until it’s lump-free.

In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients. Mix dry into wet and pour into the cake pan. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a knife placed in the center comes out clean.

Sauce Ingredients:
1 10 oz. bag of frozen raspberries
2 tbsp. sugar
½ tbsp. lemon juice

Pour all ingredients into a pot, over a medium heat. Stir/mash with a wooden spoon, until the berries are completely pulverized and the mixture is hot. Strain the sauce over a bowl (I used a colander with small holes) until all the liquid comes through. You should have a smooth but seeded, rich red sauce.

Pour sauce over individual pieces (for pretty points) and serve to your awesomest friends.

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