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Just like flowers and perhaps a glass or two of champagne, chocolate on Valentine’s Day is a must. This year, however, instead of resorting to store-bought candies, try making simple red velvet desserts for you and your special someone to enjoy together. Boasting a subtle cocoa taste instead of an overpowering punch of chocolate flavor, red velvet treats pair naturally with smooth cream cheese frosting, and their distinct crimson color just can’t be beat when it comes to a red-themed holiday like Valentine’s. We’ve rounded up Food Network’s top-five red velvet recipes below to help you prepare easy-to-love favorites that will have your sweetie swooning in no time.
5. Red Velvet Swirl Brownies — Before baking Sunny’s brownies, gently run a knife tip through the decadent layers of red velvet batter and sweetened cream cheese to achieve an attractive swirled topping.
4. Red Velvet-Cherry Cake Roll — The secret to executing this can-do cake is rolling it while it’s still supple and warm. After it’s cooled, unroll it and stuff with an almond-laced cream cheese frosting before gently rerolling the cake and serving.
3. Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies — Although it’s tempting to quickly assemble the sandwiches as soon as the cookies are baked, it’s best to let these buttery bites cool completely before filling them, so that the coconut-cream center doesn’t melt from the heat.
2. Red Velvet Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting — Finished with a fluffy topping of whipped cream cheese and butter, Paula’s tried-and-true cupcakes turn out moist and light, thanks to a cup of tangy buttermilk.
1. Red Velvet Cheesecake — After quickly baking the chocolate-cookie crust, fill it with a duo of batters — classic cream cheese plus red velvet — then swirl them together to create Food Network Magazine‘s ultimate showstopping cheesecake (pictured above).