If you're looking for some fun, easy desserts to share with your Valentine -- anyone from your beloved to your neighbor to your best friend -- here are a couple that are sure to melt their hearts!
Fabulous Fudge Bars
|I didn't add nuts or fleur de sel to the top -- but you can!|
My book club friend Lynne brought these to a meeting. They were not only a hit there, but with everyone I shared them with when I made them at Christmas!
1) Prep a 9x13 pan with parchment (Yes, this makes a LOT!) and preheat the oven to 400F.
- Pulverize six ounces of chocolate wafers or Teddy Grahams
To that, add:
- 6 Tablespoons of melted butter
- 2 Tablespoons of sugar
- Pinch of Salt
Press the crust in pan and bake 10 minutes. (I use the bottom of a flat measuring cup to really press it down and into the corners -- and Ina Garten trick!)
While that's baking, in a double boiler melt:
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 1 pound of bitter sweet chocolate (chips or chunk work well)
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 Tablespoons whole milk
Spread over cooked crust. If desired, sprinkle with 1/2 c. chopped nuts or fleur de sel.
|You can see the crust is quite thin -- but still a full crust.|
Put in the fridge for two hours. Cut into small bars. Very small, as these are very rich and you will feel less guilty if you go back for seconds!
Super Easy Puff Pastry Palmiers
- Up to 1 c. granulated sugar (divided)
- 1/2 t. cinnamon
- 1 sheet of puff pastry
- Preheat oven to 450F.
- Combine the sugar and cinnamon and spread about 1/3-1/2 c. on your counter, a board or a parchment sheet. Spread it evenly around. (I used 1/2 cup here and in the recipe. You want them to caramelize, so I'd lean toward around 1/2 cup (maybe a little less) but overall they were too sweet for me, so I'd adjust on the "inside" top layer next time.)
- Roll out pastry to about 13-14 inches on top of the sugar. Any sugar that "escapes," lift pastry from parchment gently and brush it under.
- Now you have a flat sheet of pastry with cinnamon/sugar on the parchment side.
- On the top, spread the remainder of the sugar cinnamon mixture evenly and use your rolling pin to roll it in.
- (I haven't done this but next time I might add a thin layer of extremely finely chopped nuts to the top layer -- probably pecans. If you do that, roll those in, too.)
- With the long side, fold the bottom about 1/4 of the width of the pastry and then again to the middle.
- Do the same with the other side, again, folding 1/4 of the width, and again to the center.
- (An alternate fold is to fold the long side in half to the middle both ways and then fold it again so one side is on top of the other)
- Cut about 1/2" thick and place on parchment with the cut side down.
- Bake for about six minutes on one side; turn them over and go 4-5 minutes on the other side. You are looking for caramelized sugars, which will make a nice crunch.
- These are wonderful with coffee or tea as well as on a dessert plate or just as a sweet gift!