It’s that time of year again! Stores are filled aisle to aisle with heart shaped candy boxes, giant teddy bears and walls of love gushing greeting cards — all in preparation for the holiday of love: Valentine’s Day. Enjoyed by lovers and loathed by others, Valentine’s Day is a tradition marked by romance and a holiday celebrated by mostly couples. But if you are not booed up, fear not! Valentine’s Day is also a holiday filled with all things sweet, which is something we can all enjoy — single or not. With flavors such as berry, chocolate and caramel, it’s hard to settle on one treat to enjoy. Here are three sweet treats that are perfect for sharing with your significant other, friends or keeping all to yourself!
STRAWBERRY MILKSHAKE FUDGE
- 6–8 large fresh strawberries, pureed
- 7 tablespoons of maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
- 8 tablespoons of coconut oil
- 3/4 cup of cashew or cookie butter
- 2 tablespoons of flour
While most people associate fudge with chocolate and cocoa, this recipe sheds light on the many possible ways of preparing fudge! Both vegan and no-bake, strawberry milkshake fudge is the perfect alternative for those who have no desire for chocolate. To start, blend the strawberries into about one cup of strawberry puree. Stir in the vanilla extract and maple syrup. Pour in cashew or cookie butter and coconut oil and blend until a smooth milkshake-like mixture is formed. Add flour and blend until thickened. Spoon the mixture into an ice cube tray or chocolate mold and freeze for 30 minutes. Store in freezer for a couple of months or move to the fridge to enjoy a more soft texture.
- 8 ounces of semisweet
- chocolate chips, chopped
- 8 ounces of white chocolate chips, chopped
- 1/2 cup of conversation heart candies
- 3/4 cup of freeze dried strawberries
- 1 tablespoon of pink or red sprinkles
A rival to the traditional peppermint bark, this dessert is an easy, no-bake treat that can be stored in the fridge and enjoyed for a couple of weeks. Begin by melting the semisweet chocolate chips until smooth in a microwave safe bowl for 15-second intervals, stirring after each are melted completely. Next, do the same with the white chocolate chips. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper and pour the semisweet chocolate into the baking sheet — spread into a large rectangle. Drizzle the white chocolate over the semisweet mixture. Using a fork or skewer, swirl the two chocolates together to create a marble pattern. Fill in any gaps by scattering conversation hearts, strawberries and sprinkles into the mixture. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm. Break mixture into large chunks and serve.
VALENTINE’S DAY PUPPY CHOW
- 1 cup of granola
- 1 cup of salted pretzel sticks, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 cup of dried cranberries
- 1 cup of almonds (optional)
- 1 cup of dried cherries
- 1/2 cup of raspberries
A holiday spin off of regular puppy chow, this dish lies on the border between snack and dessert. With ingredients such as almonds, berries and granola, this dish is perfect to take to class or share with a group of friends. To start, line two baking sheets with waxed paper and set aside. Grab two small bowls and place granola in one and the pretzels in the other. Microwave 2/3 of the chocolate chips for 30 seconds, and then stir. Continue microwaving for 10-second intervals — stir until chocolate is smooth and melted. Add the remaining 1/3 cup of chocolate and stir until smooth again. Next, divide the melted chocolate mixture evenly between the granola and pretzel bowls and stir each until evenly coated. Put the contents of each bowl on the baking sheets and let stand for 1–2 hours at room temperature. Once chocolate is set, break or chop the chocolate covered mixtures into bite sized morsels. Place in large bowl and stir in remaining ingredients. Serve immediately or store in the fridge to enjoy later!