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.