One of the most memorable things I ever made for Valentine’s Day was in high school – before I learned to bake. I was dating a boy at the time and I wanted to bake a treat for him like the other girls did for their boyfriends. I baked a boxed chocolate cake in a bundt pan, but it was still hot when I tried to “frost it.” I think I poured chocolate syrup (like you make chocolate milk with) on top because it was just getting soaked into the hot cake. I still have the picture of him holding it on Valentine’s. He and his friends ate the entire thing at lunch.
They say cooking and baking are the ways to truly show your love for someone. Most people have a happy memory associated with food made by a loved one. It’s only natural that you’d want to make something for your valentine. Unfortunately, not everyone’s level matches their ambition. Here are some suggestions for do-able Valentine’s Days treats for school, work, or that special someone.
Level 1: Chocolate Covered Fruit
I’m not going to pretend that this is magically easy for everyone. Stick with easy to cut fruits that pair well with chocolate like strawberries and bananas. If you don’t like fruit or have allergies, then pretzel sticks are a good choice too!
- Line a plate or baking dish with wax, parchment paper, or aluminum foil. This should be able to fit in your freezer.
- Prep your fruit first before you step near the microwave. Peel and cut bananas (slices or in larger chunks). Wash and dry strawberries.
- Microwave store-bought chocolate chips in a glass bowl for 30 seconds. Stir then microwave again if the chocolate isn’t completely melted. Continue until the chocolate is melted.
- Dip the fruit in the melted chocolate. You can use a fork, toothpick, or skewer so you don’t burn your fingers. Let the excess drip off. Place the dipped item on the baking sheet.
- Step up the decor! While the chocolate cools, sprinkle jimmies/sprinkles over top!
Brownie Points: Buy pink or red chocolate discs from Michael’s or other craft stores. I use Wilton brand. You can get cute holiday sprinkles too!
Level Two: Bake from a Box
There are a few options here. For the easiest options, I would go for boxed cupcake mix or boxed brownie mix. Don’t try and “hack” the recipe if you don’t usually have luck with these. Follow the recipes and it should be tasty. No one needs to know it’s a boxed product if you don’t tell them. To make these more festive, you can use pink store-bought frosting and sprinkles. Make sure to look at the flavor of the pink frosting to make sure it matches your flavors.
Brownie Points: Valentine’s Day themed cupcake liners or cut the brownies (once cool) into hearts with a heart-shaped cookie cutter.
Level Three: Bake from Scratch
I will share some tried and true recipes that I love dearly for chocolate chips cookies (the secret ingredient is pudding mix!) and chocolate red-wine cupcakes. For something no-bake and unique, try Brazilian brigadeiros.
Brownie Points: Dip the chocolate chip cookies in pink chocolate and use sprinkles.
For those of you looking for a challenge: Nutella Stuffed Cookies
If none of these sound appealing, food is not the only way to show your love. If you want to make something and it falls apart, buy some flowers and chocolate. You can never go wrong with chocolate. It’s the thought that counts!
Happy Valentine’s Day!