Have you got a last-minute dessert emergency on your hands? Did you forget about the bake sale? Or maybe some friends stopped by unexpectedly. Consider this blondie your sweet life vest.
Good news for all you V-Day procrastinators: The holiday that celebrates chocolate, floral arrangements and, you know, love is on a Sunday this year. So even if you’ve waited until now to plan a date night, you still have plenty of time to get it right. And might we suggest making your Valentine’s Day dinner extra special this year?
Here are some of our favorite dishes that take a wee bit more time and effort to complete than, say, your typical taco night. Resist the urge to scramble for a restaurant reservation, and give one of these a try instead. After all, nothing says “I love you” like a home-cooked meal.
Coq au Vin (above)
Ina Garten convincingly (and unsurprisingly) proves that this classic French dish is easy to make, but it’s not really a one-pot meal. Still, the construction is rustic and uncomplicated, simple ingredients give way to deep savory flavors, and the dish feels special as soon its name leaves your lips.
Chocolate gets all the love on Valentine’s Day, but it’s even better as part of a couple — when it’s the right match. Here are our top picks for chocolate’s most-compatible food partners. (If we were you, chocolate, we’d swipe right for all of them.)
Chocolate + Peanut Butter
These two rich and creamy delicacies were truly meant for each other. When enrobed in milk chocolate, Food Network Kitchen’s peanut butter cookie dough (eggless and safe to eat raw!) takes on a whole new dimension. Ina Garten’s chocolate cupcakes are a perfect vehicle for fluffy peanut butter frosting, and Ree Drummond’s Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie (pictured above) with a crunchy Oreo crust makes the case that these two should never, ever break up. Read more
Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is just a few weeks away, which can mean one of two things, depending on how you feel about this day devoted to romance. Either you’re smitten with the idea of spoiling your significant other, in which case you’ll want to make him or her this over-the-top-decadent Pin of the Week, or you’re determined to look the other way about this holiday and focus on something else, like this Pin of the Week. Ina Garten’s top-rated dessert is ideal both as an extra-special treat for your sweetie — and as an indulgent treat to gift yourself. This gooey, rich showstopper boasts all the fudginess of a brownie but the thickness and shape of a tart.
Get the Recipe: Brownie Tart
Meal planning over the weekend for a few nights’ worth of dinners during the week indeed has its merits; after all, who doesn’t want to come home to a nearly-ready-to-eat meal? But you know what’s perhaps even more enticing than supper at the ready? Dessert at the ready. Take a few hours today to prep one of these over-the-top indulgences — think towering chocolate cake, the easiest chocolate chip cookies and buttery lemon bars worthy of citrus season — and get set for some sweet treats during the week when the craving hits.
When I first started making cookies, I always baked them one tray at a time in the center of the oven. It certainly drew the process out, but I had found that two trays baked at the same time never produced consistent results. Baking one sheet at a time was the only way to guarantee perfect treats. This all changed, however, when I got an oven with a convection setting — and it just happens to be ideal for baking these peanut butter whoopie pies. Read more
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Chocolate and peanut butter is the world’s best combination. You can’t go wrong with this creamy, sweet, salty and indulgent duo. Of course, peanut butter blossoms are a crowd favorite right about now, but they shouldn’t be the only reason you pull out your jar of peanut butter this holiday season. Choose a new kind of chocolate-peanut butter treat to bring to your festive soiree this year.
Peanut butter cookie, brownie and macaroon … need we say more? The three-in-one dessert created in Food Network Kitchen is similar to fudge, so a little square goes a long way — something to consider before you double the recipe because of how ridiculously amazing it sounds.
As you shuttle from at-work celebrations to cocktail parties and host casual family gatherings and the elegant Christmas Eve feast alike, there’s no shortage of opportunities to indulge in your favorite fare during the holidays. But perhaps the best, most-decadent dishes come not from the savory buffet, but rather from the dessert table, in the form of decadent cakes, cookies, trifles and fudge. Check out Food Network’s favorite holiday desserts below, each a wow-worthy pick sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Gingerbread and Lemon Curd Trifle with Blackberry Sauce
Bobby Flay celebrates the beloved flavor combo of gingerbread and lemon in his layered trifle, featuring a crimson-colored blackberry sauce, which he whirls in the blender for smooth results. Follow Bobby’s lead and save time in the kitchen by opting for store-bought lemon curd; it brightens up the fluffy whipped cream layers in his big-batch dessert.
In New York, where I live, peaches mean summer. While rock-hard peaches can often be found in the produce section of my supermarket, a perfect summer specimen usually comes from the farmers market. Those sweltering summer Saturdays at the market are the best. I always try to eat one ripe piece of fruit while I amble home, bags of groceries swinging from my arms, and inevitably soak myself in peach juice. I wait for that experience all year round. And when it finally comes, it’s over before I know it.
A peach that has been picked too early may never fully ripen. But a juicy tree-ripened fruit is too delicate for shipping. That means that those greenish peaches that you see in the supermarket, plucked far before they were ready in some place far away, won’t ever become that delicious. What’s a peach lover to do?
I can’t close my cupboards. Baking pans and rolling pins stick their sharp edges against the doors and make it impossible for me to tidy up. Metal mixing bowls roll out and topple onto the floor every day. I have stacks of rimmed baking sheets resting precariously against the wall just waiting to topple and crush my toes. I know I have too much baking equipment, and I fantasize about making a change. I plan for one glorious day when I’ll sort through the piles and take stock of what I truly need. I’ll create a clean and clutter-free work environment. Does any baker really need 12 offset spatulas?
When that day finally comes, I know the one pan I will surely keep. It’s not the most functional of the bunch. One might say it should be the first to go. But I will never get rid of it. It’s the one pan that just makes me smile to look at it. It’s my 9-inch fluted tart pan with the removable bottom. Amidst all of my overflowing baking clutter, it’s my favorite.
I love it because it’s the perfect size. Nine inches of tart is plenty to feed a small crowd, but not too big to be portable. I love it because everything made in a fluted tart pan looks pretty. And I love the action of slipping off the sides to reveal a perfect fluted edge. It’s a dainty pan. It’s decorative and frilly. And it is beloved. If I could, I’d make every dessert in a 9-inch fluted tart pan.