Tag Archives: valentine’s day recipes

Valentines Day Desserts_featured

5 (Fairly) Easy Desserts to Impress Your Sweetheart on Valentine’s Day

Valentines Day DessertsWant to do something sweet (literally) for your sweetie? Whether you’re at ease in the kitchen or just learning your way around, try your hand at one of these heartwarming desserts.

You can earn a lot of brownie points for the effort put forth in making something homemade this Valentine’s Day.

Thankfully, there’s plenty of inspiration to be found in this month’s food and cooking magazines with recipes inspired by everything from the traditional sweet staple (chocolate) to the popular color of the season (red).

Even if you’re crunched for time or want to slowly test the waters, these five fairly easy Valentine’s Day desserts will help you impress your sweetheart with your thoughtfulness.

Chocolate-Cinnamon Pudding, Taste of the South: Pudding isn’t just for kids anymore, not with this dressed-up version topped with chocolate shavings and cinnamon sticks. You’ll have to use the stovetop to make this dessert—no instant shortcuts here—so if you can manage that, you can pull this one off. But, judging by the photo, it looks like it’s worth the risk.

Valentine Sorbet Sandwiches, Everyday Food: A lighter, heart-healthier version of the ice cream sandwich, this treat makes use of sorbet that’s store-bought for a time-saving bonus. The cookie part of the sandwich is made from scratch but isn’t too complicated for a curious or experienced baker to pull off. Some may want to have a store-bought backup just in case.

Red Velvet Cheesecake, Food Network Magazine: This incorporates (almost) all you need for a perfect night: chocolate, red velvet and decadent cheesecake. The magazine says this recipe clocks in at a little over 30 minutes of active preparation, but you’ll want to keep in mind that you’ll have to chill this treat for at least four hours before you can slice and serve.

Strawberry Jam Cake, Cooking With Paula Deen: This fresh confection is perfect for the person who’s not much of a chocolate fan. The light cake gets its berry flavor from strawberry jam spread between its layers, which are then topped with a frosting that incorporates fresh berries. This one’s a little higher on the difficulty level but definitely not impossible.

“Puppy Love” Cherry Crunchies, Every Day With Rachael Ray: You read that right. If the love of your life (at least right now) is your four-legged friend, remember him or her this Valentine’s Day with these dog biscuits flavored with dried cherries. Bonus points for using heart-shaped cookie cutters when cutting out the dough. But either way, your pooch will love you.

Valentine's Day Recipes_featured

Not Made in the South? Red Velvet Cake Recipes Outnumber the Myths Behind Its Origins

Valentine's Day RecipeFor Valentine’s Day, you may be searching for the perfect red velvet something to whip up for your sweetie. But how many of these myths about this colorful treat have you heard?

Love will soon be in the air, and that means you’re sure to find recipes for some variation of red velvet in this season’s food magazines—not to mention any holiday cookbook you have on hand.

The fascination with the moist, decadent, seasonally appropriate-colored cake (for Valentine’s Day or Christmas) topped with cream cheese has spun off into cupcakes, cookies, waffles, even fried chicken.

But who or what do we have to thank for the iconic dessert that started it all? Perhaps the free-wheeling flappers of the 1920s? Canadians? Turns out, no one can really say for sure, though there is proof that red velvet was around long before it made its dubious appearance as an armadillo-shaped groom’s cake on the movie Steel Magnolias.

Several food columnists point to one can-you-believe-it story about the cake’s origins that sounds a lot like what’s behind a famous cookie recipe that’s been circulating in cyberspace.

The story goes that in the 1920s a patron who dined at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York was so smitten with the red velvet cake she ate there that she requested the recipe from the chef. Her request was granted to the tune of $350, which she paid. But to even the score, so to speak, she passed out copies of the recipe to as many others as she could.

This led to red velvet cake also being known as Waldorf-Astoria cake, $100 or $200 cake—none of which I’d ever heard before. Like others, I assumed it was among the many regional delicacies the South holds dear.

Other theories about the origin of the name come from what is believed to be a chemical reaction between the baking soda and chocolate. But that one doesn’t hold up either.

Because the large amounts of red food coloring are what give the cake its color, red velvet cake can be nearly any hue you choose. Blogger and Southern Living editor Christy Jordan includes a recipe for green velvet cake in her Southern Plate cookbook. And I’ve even seen an orange velvet cake on television (and later put that idea to use for a groom’s cake).

But if you’d rather stick to the traditional and seasonally-appropriate color, there’s more than enough ideas for cakes—and otherwise—to keep you in the red.