Put the right finishing touch on Valentine’s Day dinner with one of these homemade desserts.
Secret Admirer Lemon Pound Cake
Submitted by Lisa Panzariello, Union County
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Prepare the cake mix according to package. I used a red velvet cupcake mix and buttered a 9 x 13 inch bake pan and it worked just fine. While the cake is in the oven, get your lemon zest ready (and it’s fine to use some extra here).
3. Once the cake is done, let it cool before using the heart cookie cutter. I used a 1 1/2 inch one, but feel free to make it as big or small as you wish. “Whatever your heart desires,” as my mom likes to say.
4. In a large mixing bowl with an electric attachment, cream the cream cheese and butter together until soft and creamy.
5. Add in sugar, eggs, vanilla, and 2 teaspoons of lemon zest.
6. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Slowly mix the wet ingredients to the electric mixer.
7. The cake should be cooled by now, so use the cookie cutters and cut out as many as you can. I used about 15 for the loaf pan. (I had leftovers, which made for cute red-velvet-and-cream-cheese heart sammies.)
8. Grease a loaf pan and pour a small layer of the pound cake batter—enough to cover the bottom of the pan.
9. Line the hearts in the middle of the loaf pan. Make sure they are touching each other and try and squeeze in as many as possible. If you’re into making them straight, then it may be helpful to have an extra hand to hold them in place. (I made these at 3 a.m. when my boyfriend was sleeping, and our dogs don’t have thumbs, so they were a little crooked. Let’s just say it has personality.)
10. Once the hearts have a base, it’s time to pour the rest of the batter over the hearts. It doesn’t have to be pretty, it just has to look nice.
11. Bake for about an hour and 10 minutes. I had to cover up the side about 30 minutes in because of browning. I would check it between 30 and 50 minutes in, depending on your stove.
12. While the pound cake is baking, make the glaze. Using an electric stand mixer, beat the butter and confectioners sugar, while slowly adding in the heavy cream. Slowly add in the remaining lemon peel and vanilla and continue to beat just until combined.
Raspberry Nutella Brownies
Submitted by Sabrina Szteinbaum
These brownies step it up to a level of decadence only Nutella could bring. Add any jam flavor if you’re looking for a fruity kick!
Click here for the recipe, originally from The Baking Robot.
Strawberry Yogurt Pie
Submitted by Sabrina Szteinbaum
This is, hands down, one of the simplest desserts I have ever made. It took longer to cut the strawberries into hearts than to actually make the pie! Perfectly festive for Valentine’s Day.
Click here for the recipe, originally from Mother Thyme.
Chocolate Icebox Cake
Submitted by Kathy Mathieu, Bergen County
Want to treat your sweetie to a homemade chocolate dessert on Valentine’s Day, but
short on time to bake? A classic chocolate icebox cake made from Nabisco’s FAMOUS Chocolate Wafers may be just the thing. Make it the day before, cover tightly (I use my cake keeper) and refrigerate. Open a bottle of bubbly or any romantic libation that suits your fancy.
Based on a recipe from Nabisco’s snackworks.com. Click here for the complete recipe and additional photos.