Valentine’s Day is the holiday where you get to express your love for that someone special in your life. That expression depends a lot on how long that person has actually been in your life. If this is your first Valentine’s Day together, then you might not be breaking out the diamond engagement ring. You can still make something special that is sure to generate a lot of smiles. These tasty treats would be the perfect way to cap off (or start!) a night of romance:
Chocolate Bread Pudding
Can it really be a Valentine’s Day celebration without at least one taste of chocolate? This rich recipe takes your standard bread pudding to a whole other level of deliciousness.
- 2 ounces semisweet chocolate
- 1/2 cup half-and-half cream
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup 2% milk
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 slices day-old bread, crusts removed and cut into cubes (about 3 cups)
- Optional toppings: Confectioners’ sugar and whipped cream
- In a small microwave-wave bowl, melt chocolate; stir until smooth.
- Stir in cream; set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, milk, egg, vanilla and salt. Stir in chocolate mixture. Add bread cubes and toss to coat. Let stand for 15 minutes.
- Spoon into 2 greased 2-cup souffle dishes. Bake at 350° until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 30-35 minutes.
- Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and top with a dollop of whipped cream if desired.
Chocolate and strawberries are a perfect match. Nutella and strawberries open up a whole new flavorful combination. It’s also a treat that requires no baking. Just a little finesse.
- 12 large fresh strawberries
- 1/4 cup Nutella
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips, melted
- 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
- Confectioners’ sugar
- Remove stems from strawberries. Using a paring knife, cut out centers; pipe Nutella into strawberries.
- Insert a toothpick into the side of each strawberry. Holding toothpick, quickly dip stem end of strawberry into melted chocolate; allow excess to drip off. Sprinkle with hazelnuts; place strawberries on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet, point side up. Remove toothpicks; refrigerate strawberries until set. Just before serving, dust with confectioners’ sugar.
Candy Pizza Heart
Valentine’s Day can be a family celebration, too. This is a great treat that you can get the kids involved with in the making. It might just end up being a new family favorite.
- 1-1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
- 1 cup butterscotch chips
- 3/4 cup miniature marshmallows
- 3/4 cup chopped salted peanuts
- 3/4 cup crushed potato chips
- 2 tablespoons sweetened shredded coconut
- 7 maraschino cherries, halved
- 1/4 cup milk chocolate M&M’s
- 2 tablespoons vanilla or white chips
- 1/2 teaspoon shortening
- Using a pencil, draw a 10-in. heart on a waxed paper. Place paper, pencil mark down, on a baking sheet; set aside.
- In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate and butterscotch chips; stir until smooth. Stir in the marshmallows, peanuts and potato chips. Immediately spread on prepared pan into heart shape. Sprinkle with coconut; top with cherries and M&M’s.
- In a microwave, melt vanilla chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Drizzle over top. Refrigerate until firm, about 1-1/2 hours. Remove waxed paper. Let stand for 10 minutes at room temperature before cutting.