Easy Valentine’s Day Desserts

Valentine's Day is right around the corner. And whether you'll be celebrating it with your sweetheart or spending the night with your friends, it's necessary for everyone to be spoiled with sweets. Even if you're not a fan of the holiday, make sure you take advantage of the day to indulge. Here are a few simple yet decadent recipes for the perfect Valentine's Day treats.

1. Chocolate Covered Strawberries
This classic dessert makes the perfect Valentine's Day gift or dessert. Follow this easy recipe by Better Homes and Gardens magazine and your work will resemble the professional's. You'll need:

  • A baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  • 4 cups medium-sized strawberries
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips or morsels
  • 1 tablespoon shortening
  • 6 ounces candy coating – vanilla flavored is suggested
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, coconut – optional.

First, rinse the strawberries and gently dry with a towel. Next, using a small glass mixing bowl, combine chocolate and shortening and set aside. Next, fill a larger glass mixing bowl with 1 inch of hot water – make sure it's not boiling. Place the smaller bowl containing chocolate inside the larger bowl. Stir chocolate constantly until it melts down into a smooth consistency – this should take about 20 minutes to perfect. If the water seems to get cold, replace it as you mix.

Next, chop candy coating and place in a small saucepan. Using low heat, melt the coating and stir frequently.

Holding each strawberry by the stem, dip halfway into chocolate or candy coating. Place strawberries on the baking sheet and decorate with pecans, coconut, or extra candy coating if desired. Enjoy!

2. Molten Chocolate Lava Cake
This decadent molten chocolate lava cake recipe from Midwest Living magazine will have you craving more than one serving, and it makes six so you'll have plenty to indulge in! You'll need:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 8 ounces bitter sweet chocolate – chopped coarsely
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • Powdered sugar for garnish.

First, preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Then, grease 8 to 10 souffle dishes with 2 tablespoons butter and set aside. Combine chocolate and remaining butter in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat until chocolate melts, stirring frequently. Remove chocolate from saucepan and set aside for later.

Next, use a large mixing bowl to combine the eggs, egg yolks, granulated sugar and vanilla with a mixer set on high speed until thick – this should take about 10 minutes. Fold 1/3 of the chocolate into the egg mixture. Then, fold the remaining chocolate and flour into the batter. Divide batter evenly amongst the souffle dishes, filling each about 2/3 full.

Bake the cakes until cake edges are firm – this should take about 12 minutes. Cool souffle dishes on cooling rack for about 3 minutes. Then, take the cakes out of the souffle dishes using a knife for support around the edges. Flip cakes over onto dessert plates and garnish with powdered sugar. Make sure to serve immediately for maximized molten-chocolately goodness!