Valentine’s Day Treats to Devour

Valentine%E2%80%99s+Day+Treats+to+Devour

Madison Isom

Love is in the air, hearts and chocolates fill the isles of many stores. Cheesy Valentine’s Day cards flood children’s school backpacks for the class exchanges. Valentine’s Days is a very special day to show love to that special someone or even your best friend. They say the best way to someone’s heart is through their stomach, so why not make some yummy treats for that special someone?

 

Classic Chocolate Covered Strawberries

7 ounces milk chocolate chips

  • 2-½ teaspoons shortening
  • 7 ounces fresh strawberries with leaves intact

Step 1:

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and shortening, stirring occasionally until smooth. Stick toothpicks into the tips of the strawberries (you can either cut off leaves or leave them on). Holding the toothpicks, dip the strawberries into the chocolate mixture.

 

Step 2:

Turn the strawberries upside down and stick the toothpick into some styrofoam to let the chocolate cool.

 

Real Strawberry Cupcakes

  • 8 large fresh strawberries
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 or 2 drops red food coloring
  • ¾ cup softened cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 large strawberries sliced

Step 1:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Spray cupcake cups with cooking spray, or line with cupcake liners.

 

Step 2:

Place 8 strawberries into a blender, and blend until smooth. Pour the puree through a strainer to remove seeds. Puree should equal about 3/4 cup. Set the puree aside.

 

Step 3:

In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, white sugar, vegetable oil, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, lemon zest, and strawberry puree until well combined. Stir in the flour, baking powder, salt, vanilla pudding mix (for a moist cupcake), and red food coloring to reach a desired shade of pink. Spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake cups, filling each about 2/3 full.

 

Step 4:

Bake in the preheated oven until the cupcakes have risen and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 23 minutes. Allow the cupcakes to cool at least 10 minutes before frosting.

 

Step 5:

To make frosting, beat cream cheese and butter together in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer until smooth, and mix in confectioners’ sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract to make a lump-free icing. Frost each cupcake with about 2 tablespoons of icing, and top each cupcake with a strawberry slice.

 

Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars

  • ½ cup cranberries
  • ½ cup frozen raspberries thawed
  • 1 tsp. grated orange zest plus 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup sugar divided

–        4 tablespoon unsalted butter

–        1 9 oz package of chocolate wafer cookies

–        3 8-oz packages of room temperature cream cheese

–       ¾ cup sour cream

–       2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

–       2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

–        3 large eggs

Step 1:

In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, raspberries, orange zest and juice and 1/4 cup sugar. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until cranberries burst and sauce thickens, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer mixture to food processor and puree until smooth. Strain into medium bowl, let cool 10 minutes, then refrigerate until ready to use.

 

Step 2:

Heat oven to 375°F. Grease a 9- by 13-inch baking pan with some butter. In clean food processor, pulse chocolate wafers into fine crumbs. Add melted butter and pulse to incorporate. Press crumb mixture into the bottom and 2½ inches up sides of the pan. Bake until the crust is set and fragrant, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.

 

Step 3:

While crust is cooling, in large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese, sour cream, flour, vanilla and remaining 3/4 cup sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Transfer ½ cup filling to a bowl; set aside. Pour remaining filling into cooled crust.

 

Step 4:

Whisk reserved filling into cranberry mixture (it will be thin) and transfer to resealable plastic bag. Snip tiny corner off bag and pipe lines lengthwise over batter. Drag skewer across lines to form pattern. Bake until cheesecake is just set (center should still wobble slightly), 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely, then refrigerate at least 3 hours before cutting into bars.

 

Strawberry Valentine’s Chex Mix

  • 4-6 cups Rice Chex cereal
  • 1 8- oz bag Strawberry Candy Melts or 1 bag of white chocolate baking chips (12 oz)
  • 1 bag of white chocolate baking chips (12 oz)
  • 1 box of Strawberry Creme Jell-O Pudding** {pudding NOT gelatin!}
  • Valentines M&M’s and/or Sprinkles

 

Step 1:

Measure out Chex cereal into a large bowl. Note: if you’re using the Strawberry Candy Melts, you’ll use 4 cups of cereal. If you’re using the white chocolate chips + pudding mix, you’ll use 6 cups of cereal.

 

Step 2:

Pour chocolate into a small glass dish. Add 1/2 tsp shortening, if desired, to help the chocolate coat the cereal easier. Microwave for 1 minute 20 seconds. Let sit in the microwave for 3 minutes. Remove and gently stir. If chocolate loves its shape and looks smooth, it’s done. If not, return to the microwave in 15 second increments, letting it sit for 2-3 minutes each time, until melted and smooth.

 

Step 3:

If you used White Chocolate Chips + Pudding Mix: Add 4 TBSP of the strawberry creme pudding into the white chocolate and stir gently until smooth. Add 2 drops of red food coloring, if desired.

 

Step 4:

Pour the chocolate mixture over the Chex cereal and stir gently to coat. Transfer cereal mixture to a large piece of wax paper. Sprinkle with M&M’s and Valentines sprinkles, if desired. Let cool to set. Break pieces and store in an airtight container to save. Candy can be made up to 3-4 days ahead, if desired.

 

Chocolate Covered Pretzels

  • 10 large pretzels
  • Melted dark, milk, white and strawberry chocolates

Step 1:

Dip pretzels fully or halfway in chocolate, tapping off excess, then transfer to a waxed-paper-lined baking sheet and let set. Drizzle with another color or same chocolate and let set before serving.

 

     

 

*Recipes are from Good Housekeeping and Food Network