As the most lovey-dovey holiday of the year, Valentine's Day has garnered quite the reputation for being all about folks with significant others. Well, for some of us, those significant others are simply our best friends. Gather your girls (or guys!) together and celebrate Valentine's Day in style with some recipes that are dainty and special (hello, chocolate covered strawberries) and others that truly signify the art of friendship and sharing (pizza and fried chicken, anyone?) With these all-star recipes, your Galentine's Day celebration will definitely be one to remember.
Cookie-Brownie Treats for Valentine's Day
A fudgy chocolate brownie sandwiched between chocolate chip cookies is the perfect treat to celebrate singleness this Valentine's Day. The best part is, you don't have to share!
Strawberries and Rosé Cake
This impressive blush-tone cake is inspired by two of our favorite summer treats: rosé wine and fresh strawberries. Perfect for a bridal shower, birthday party, or any number of other special gatherings, this cake is as spirited as it is elegant. If you are a big frosting fan, you may want to consider doubling the buttercream component of the recipe, as this was developed as a more delicately iced cake. Leave enough frosting after filling the layers to swipe a light crumb coat around the exterior of the cake, if you like that look--or you can simply keep the frosting in between the layers for a fully "naked" cake aethetic.
Easy Chocolate-Bourbon Fondue
Make this a kid-friendly dessert by omitting the bourbon and increasing the vanilla to 1 1/2 teaspoons. You can also serve 10 thin pretzel sticks for dipping, but note that this will add about 21 calories and 96mg sodium.
Mocha Truffle CakeA quick spin in the food processor makes this cake's prep easy enough for a weeknight dessert for your family. Its bold chocolate flavor is so satisfying that it's unlikely you'll be able to think about seconds.
Oreo Truffles are an easy way to impress guests at your next get-together. Guests will never have to know they only require four ingredients!
Family-Style Taco Night
For family taco night, set out the filling, taco shells, and toppings, and let everyone craft their own unique creations. Rather than a store bought taco mix pack, we created a simple homemade blend of basic pantry spices. It takes no more than five minutes to measure it all out and blend it up, and provides excellent flavor to a comforting, uncomplicated meal.
Cherry Berry Cocktail
This vodka cocktail is berry bliss. Garnish with a handful of your favorite berries skewered on a cocktail pick or straw.
Dark Chocolate-Covered Strawberries
Chocolate-covered strawberries are always a crowd pleaser and are loaded with antioxidants and vitamins.
Brighten a homemade version of a take-out favorite with two different colors of bell peppers. Use your own color combo, or any bell peppers you have on hand.
Peanut Butter and Pretzel Brownies
Irresistibly nutty and salty, these peanut butter pretzel brownies are for the die-hard chocolate lover in everyone's lives. Incorporating Reese's candies, crushed pretzel bits, and a heaping spoonful of creamy peanut butter, these rich, decadent squares are perfect for you next potluck dessert party, special occasion, or late night craving. For an added bonus, go ahead and eat them warm out of the oven with a scoop of ice cream.
Chocolate Tiramisu Poke Cake
The poke cake technique is incredibly easy, but that doesn't mean that poke cakes have a simple flavor. Enjoy the irresistible textures of pudding, cake, and crushed espresso beans in each bite of with this chocoatey take on Tiramisu.
Strawberry Margarita Jell-O Shots
Get your next party started with a round of boozy Jell-O shots. As our most popular shot to date, you not only get the fun of a jelly shot, but also the spiked strawberry that holds the shot is edible making cleanup a breeze. Cheers to that!
The Ultimate Grilled Cheese
With only 3 simple ingredients, this truly is the ultimate grilled cheese. Perfect for a tight budget or someone who's short on time, this uncomplicated comfort food sandwich is the perfect any-time meal. Use mayonnaise instead of butter for added flavor and to keep the bread from burning.
The Red Velvet Cake
The origin of red velvet cakes came about from the result of baking soda interacting with natural cocoa and other acids in the batter. Through the years, the red velvet craze has only continued, fueled in part by the red velvet cakes that have graced the Southern Living Christmas cover three times.
Fudge Cakes with Jasmine Tea Whipped Cream
This sensual dessert--adapted from Nicole Krasinski, chef-owner of State Bird Provisions in San Francisco--offers intriguing flavor combinations and textures that range from cloudlike to crunchy. Krasinski tops her cakes with a tasty fennel-hazelnut granola; for simplicity, we've used toasted hazelnuts. For her recipe, see sunset.com/granolarecipe.
Sweet Tea-Brined Fried Chicken
A marriage of Southern favorites: Our salty-sweet brine of brown sugar and freshly brewed tea infuses this picnic-perfect chicken with juicy flavor before frying. Bonus: The tannins in tea act as a natural tenderizer.
Dark Chocolate Chunk CookiesFor an even chewier texture, substitute 1/2 cup hazelnut or almond flour for 1/2 cup all-purpose flour.
Chocolate Chip Cream Puffs
Deb likes to stir the chocolate chips into the warm dough by hand because the power of the mixer would forcefully combine the melting chips into the dough, making it brown chocolate dough instead of dough studded with chocolate chips.
Tricolored Beet Tart
If you or your guests are not beet fans, substitute sweet potatoes: Wrap 4 (4-ounce) sweet potatoes in parchment paper, and microwave at HIGH 3 minutes. Then cool, peel, and slice. You can also sub feta for goat cheese and pecans or walnuts for hazelnuts.
Can't-Be-Beet Tart with Goat Cheese
This is the dessert you cook when you want to make a big impression. Everything about it--from the ginger kick in the crust to the sweet earthiness of the beets in the filling to the rich goat cheese in the topping--comes together in beautiful harmony. Be sure to use an 11-inch tart pan to accommodate the filling; a 10-inch pie plate will work in a pinch. Look for buttermilk powder on the baking aisle or with the powdered milk.
Layered Buffalo Chicken Dip
This buffalo chicken dip is a completely homemade labor of love, and your guests will fall head over heels for this incredible appetizer. This dip offers the complete buffalo chicken experience all in one dish and combines layers of different ingredients and flavors along with a unique scratch-made carrot ranch dressing. There is a crunch, a richness, and a level of spice all mixed together in this wow-worthy dip that make it the perfect contributiion to any party or tailgate. This dish delivers intense flavor and an all-inclusive and truly delicious buffalo chicken experience.
Pink Grapefruit CupcakesBake cupcakes in advance so they have time to cool before you frost them.
Spiked Strawberry MilkA favorite childhood beverage gets an adult twist thanks to strawberry liqueur in tasty Spiked Strawberry Milk.
Champagne TrufflesThese rich, fudgy, tender Champagne Truffles are a small treat that are mind-blowingly good. Savor every bite of these goodies.
Roast Beef and Cheddar Sandwich with Horseradish Sauce
We are not thinkin' Arbys-- not after a roast beef sandich like this one. A classic creamy cheese sauce makes this sandwich super rich, while a horseradish sauce adds a kick. We love the onion bun, preferaby bakery-made, but you could also use a pretzel bun instead. Make this sandwich the centerpiece of your Super Bowl Spread or serve along with beer and fries for a crowd-pleasing meal.
Chocolate Pasta with Boozy Raspberry-White Chocolate Sauce
Homemade chocolate pasta isn't as hard as you think, however you can substitute 12 ounces of storebought chocolate pasta (available online and in specialty stores). If you're not a fan of white chocolate liqueur and/or booze, just leave it out. When buying white chocolate, look for one that has a higher amount of cocoa butter (not mostly milk, oil, and sugar), as most of the lesser quality white chocolate on the market contains very little, if any, cocoa butter. This will likely make extra sauce, which you can use over ice cream—or for more chocolate pasta.
Creamy Macaroni and Cheese
Creamy macaroni and cheese is a recipe for comfort, while mustard, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce add some zip.
Blood Orange and Bittersweet Chocolate Sorbet
The marvelous merger of orange and chocolate gets even better when you pair blood oranges' raspberry nuances with dark chocolate and a little Campari for complexity. The herbal, slightly bitter liqueur also helps keep the sorbet from getting icy.
Brie with Strawberries and Honey
Grilled Apple and Cheddar Sandwiches
Upgrade your grilled cheese sandwich by adding a mustard spread and sliced apples.