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Some holidays are just meant for indulging your sweet tooth, and Valentine’s Day is definitely on the top of that list (at least, it is in my book). Regardless of what you have planned for this year’s day of love—a romantic date with your partner, a low-key night with friends, or a solo evening of treating yourself—a heavenly dessert should be on the menu. If you’re looking to indulge in something that’s more than just candy, we have some suggestions to match every palate (and baking skill level).
Homemade chocolate truffles might sound like an intricate process only mastered by pastry chefs, but they don’t have to be. This base recipe only calls for two or three ingredients, with the opportunity to make the truffles your own by adding whatever flavor is calling your name (espresso, Oreo, mint, etc.). Or you can make homemade truffles the star of your date night, with this Truffle making kit which includes all the ingredients and tools you need to bring it all together (minus the cream) to make this dessert more of a breezy experience you can share.
2. Chocolate-covered fruit
Let’s be real: Almost nothing is as sexy as chocolate fondue. The melty, decadent liquid makes everything from shortbread cookies and pretzels to strawberries and bananas go from a mundane snack to a bite of luxury. That’s why we’re convinced that sharing your evening over a good fondue pot—we recommend the Cuisinart Electric Fondue Maker—will take your Valentine’s-night-in to the next level.
3. Heart-shaped cookies
Sometimes the best things in life are a little corny. A fresh batch of heart-shaped cookies with decorative frosting goes a long way—either in showing your partner how much you care or in a love letter to yourself. It doesn’t have to be a huge project, either: Just grab a pack of pre-made cookie dough, roll it out until it’s in one big piece, then use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to personalize your cookie shape. These cutters also work great with fresh fruit, like pineapple and kiwi, for an easy-yet-special V-Day-themed breakfast.
4. Chocolate lava cake
There’s an inherent romantic appeal to an oozing and warm chocolate lava cake. It might seem like a major feat to pull off a recipe like this, but if you have an Instant Pot, you can whip up this easy lava cake recipe in 9 minutes. Just don’t forget the ramekins.
5. French macarons
Wow your friend group or significant other by whipping up a batch of fresh macarons that look like they came out of a Parisian bakery. This beginner’s recipe is traditionally gluten-free, and it comes together easily with a handy macaron kit, which includes a reusable baking mat with traceable guidelines for the perfect macaron shape, plus pastry bags and piping tips to help it all come together.
6. Cake pops
Who can resist those alluring spheres of sweet, cakey goodness that stare back at you in cafe display windows? Certainly not me. Bring that magical feeling to your Valentine’s baking date with this recipe and a cake pop kit that’ll help make your couples’ baking session less stressful and more fun.
7. Sweet crêpes
Transport yourself to an al fresco European café with sweet homemade crêpes, a dessert that feels high-effort but isn’t really. Our recipe calls for a crêpe maker (or non-stick pan), ingredients that are probably already in your fridge, and 30 minutes worth of prep. When it comes to filling, you can’t go wrong with Nutella (store-bought or homemade) and some fresh fruit like strawberries or bananas. But feel free to get creative with options like cream cheese and blueberries, or lemon and ricotta.
8. Homemade ice cream
Too cold for ice cream? Never! Put aside the Ben & Jerry's and spend Valentine's Day making your own with an ice cream maker. (Our favorite after testing is the Cuisinart ICE-21.) Create a new ice cream flavor by combining you and your partner’s favorites, indulge in making your own go-to flavor, or experiment with the classics by adding ingredients and making something new.
9. PB Blossom cookies
It’s not Valentine’s day without a kiss. These nostalgic Hershey’s Kiss cookies are bound to conjure all the joyful, nostalgic feelings of your childhood. Make them extra festive by swapping the traditional kisses for seasonal Hershey’s Kiss Roses, which have a velvety chocolate center that take this dessert to the next level. We love this recipe, and recommend using a cookie scoop to ease the baking process.
10. Baked by Melissa cupcakes
Don’t feel like baking? This is your sign to get professionally baked goodies sent straight to your door—no one has to know you didn’t whip them up yourself. We tried Baked by Melissa’s mini cupcakes last year and couldn’t get enough. Plus, the brand offers special Valentine’s Day packs that are photo-ready and perfect for sharing with loved ones.
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