February 10, 2015

Impress your Valentine with these desserts

478765041There is less than a week until Valentine’s Day. Do you know what you’ll be cooking your sweetheart on the special day? Use your Austin culinary arts school skills to make these fun treats:

Brownie sundaes
A classic dessert that never gets old? Brownies and ice? cream. Real Simple has a seriously-good brownie recipe that uses heart-shaped cookie cutters for a festive touch. Add some fruit reduction sauce (raspberries, strawberries and pomegranate are all red and will add to the theme) for an extra bit of sweetness. If you have time, pair the brownie with homemade ice? cream. Serious Eats suggests creating rich, creamy ice? cream with a high ratio of cream to milk and some extra sugar. If you have kids, you can make this recipe really fun by using a kickable ice? cream maker like the one by YayLabs. Just use rock salt, ice? cream mix and your family’s foot power to make this tasty fresh dessert.

Strawberry cheesecake bites
Cheesecake is so rich it can sometimes be a little too much to eat an entire piece. Make your Valentine’s Day memorable with Better Homes and Gardens’ strawberry cheesecake bites. These bitty desserts are perfect to pop in your mouth. The recipe calls for three steps – making the crust, the filling and the sour cream honey topping. You can make the crust a day ahead of time if you’re going to try whipping this dessert up after work and might be short on time. Be sure to have aluminum foil on hand to make the bites on. This way you can easily lift them from the pan and cut them from their original larger format. Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to make V-Day-themed bites or add chocolate-covered strawberries to the top for a truly elegant confection.

Grapefruit sorbet
Is your significant other not a huge chocolate fan? We’ve got you covered. Try making Emeril Lagasse’s red grapefruit sorbet. This exquisite frozen final course is not super sweet. It combines the lush flavor of Texas’ state fruit with a lingering hint of black pepper to blow your Valentine’s mind. Plus, it’s pink and perfectly on theme for the day. Add a few sprigs of mint leaf to to the top or drop a few sorbet balls into a glass of champagne for a bubbly, sensational delight.

Chocolate cannoli
The Italians know how to do dessert. Take your lovebird on a momentary escape to Sicily when he or she bites into a creamy cannoli. These treats use ricotta cheese and sugar for the insides and require delicate handling of the thin shells. If your sweetie loves chocolate, go the cocoa route. Add chocolate chips to the insides and sprinkle the outsides with a dusting of chocolate powder. Not a huge fan? Put some vanilla extract in the cream mix for the middle. Decorate the cannoli with candied fruit or unsalted nuts.

Chocolate panini
We love bread and we love chocolate. Put them together and what have you got? A self-indulgent and totally easy dessert. Place a piece of your favorite sweet bread (think banana or almond-cranberry) on a panini press. Cover the top with chocolate chips and then add the second piece on top. Press until the chocolate is gooey and the bread is browned. You can also add some extra awesomeness with dried cranberries, white chocolate or even nuts. Kids love this easy panini just as much as adults and it’s great to make in a pinch where you need dessert quickly. Make your own bread and you’ve got an entirely homemade treat that everyone will love.