Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Women get wine and roses, but what do men get? The secret to a man’s heart, they say, is through his stomach. Let’s go that route.
I highly recommend going out for dinner at one of the local restaurants of your choice. The Swedesboro area has a wide selection.
Then save some money and eat dessert at home with these simple and elegant recipes.
CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRY BROWNIES
This one is really delicious and easy.
You can use your favorite brownie recipe, buy a box mix, or go to your bakery and buy plain brownies.
You’ll need some strawberries. Soak them for 10 minutes in a solution of water and a little vinegar. Rinse afterwards and dry. This will make them keep a little longer and rid them of any unwanted tiny visitors.
A bottle of storebought chocolate syrup.
Bake the brownies, top with sliced strawberries and drizzle it with chocolate syrup.
Voila, a beautiful dessert with minimal work.
VALENTINE TRIFLE DESSERT
Here is another easy one.
4 c. cheesecake flavor instant pudding
3 to 4 c. whipped cream. Make it yourself or buy it.
2 to 3 c. cake cubes (about a 9×13 size cake) again, make it or buy it.
Make the pudding according to package directions. Whip your cream (or open the container). Cut your cake into cubes. Slice your strawberries.
If you have a trifle bowl or any glass sided bowl, this looks special. If not, your stomach really doesn’t care what this is served in, as long as it’s served.
Now you’re ready to start layering. Start with a layer of the pudding, then layer with cake, then whipped cream, then the fruit. Actually, you can layer in any order. Keep doing this until you get to the top or run out of layering.
Now, dig in and enjoy.
Cherry Cream Cheese Hand Pies
1 store bought pie crust
4 ozs. cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
A sprinkle of flour for dusting your work surface
3/4 c. canned cherry pie filling
1 beaten egg
1 tbsp. sugar
Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.
In a small bowl, mix together your cream cheese, 2 tbsp. of sugar, and vanilla extract. Set aside.
Sprinkle a little bit of flour on your counter or a board large enough to hold your pie crust and unroll your pie crust onto the floured board. Roll the dough a little bit thinner.
Using your cookie cutter, cut out as many pieces as you can. You can use a 3 inch heart to make the holiday.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicon mats and lay out your cut-outs. Spoon 1 tbsp. of the cream cheese mixture onto half of them (The other half will be the tops of the pies)
Then take a heaping tbsp. of the pie filling and spoon it on top of the cream cheese mixture. Try to stay clear of the edges as best you can.
Dip a pastry brush in the beaten egg and run it around the inside edge of each pie then place the remaining pie pieces on top to cover and seal each pie. You can press the edges tightly together or use a fork to crimp the sides.
Brush the tops of each pie with a little bit of the egg wash and then sprinkle each pie with sugar.
Cut 2 slits in the top of each pie. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly before eating.
And let’s get fancy with this Valentine’s Day charcuterie board
HEARTS N HONEY
Mini heart shaped cutter.
1 c. walnuts – or other nuts
8 ozs. cheese varieties – such as manchega, brie, and cranberry wensleydale, white cheddar, pepper jack
1/2 baguette – sliced
4 slices bread – for cutting into hearts
6 ozs. prosciutto – salami, etc.
4 large brownies – cut into small bites
1 c. strawberries
1/2 c. raspberries
2 tbsp. honey
Use a small heart cutter to cut into the sliced bread to make small hearts. Toast until crispy.
On a large board, begin by arranging cheeses, toasts, meats and more. Use small bowls for honey or other dips or glazes.
Tuck in fudge or brownie bites throughout. Add in any other desserts (like macarons or cookies).
Garnish with small flowers if desired.