Cheap But Chic: Surprise Your Valentine With These Sweet Treats

Cheap+But+Chic%3A+Surprise+Your+Valentine+With+These+Sweet+Treats

 

Looking for something sweet and unique to give your Valentine February 14th? Cheap but Chic has got you covered, this Valentine’s Day with three unique treats.

Conversation Heart Cheesecakes (this recipe makes 18)

EQUIPMENT

  • Roasting pan
  • Silicone heart molds

Crust

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (15 squares)
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted

Cheesecake

  • 16 ounces (2 blocks) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 pint (16 ounces) sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • food coloring – pink, purple, blue, green, yellow, and red

DIRECTIONS

  • Fill a roasting pan with enough water to come halfway up the sides of the silicone heart molds.
  • Set the pan in oven.
  • Heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Mix together the graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon, and melted butter.
  • Equally divide the crumbs among 18 heart shaped silicone mold cavities.
  • Press the crumbs into an even layer and refrigerate until needed.
  • Beat cream cheese until creamy and smooth.
  • Add sugar and beat until incorporated.
  • Beat in eggs then add sour cream and vanilla and mix just to combine.
  • Equally divide batter into 6 bowls.
  • Color one bowl of filling pink,another lavender, yellow, orange, green, and blue using food coloring.
  • Equally divide each color of filling among 3 heart cavities.
  • Bake cheesecakes in a water bath for 18-24 minutes until the edges look set but the center is jiggly but not wet.
  • Remove from oven and water bath and allow to cool at room temperature for an hour.
  • Freeze for at least two hours then remove and un-mold.
  • Paint conversation heart phrases onto the tops of the cheesecakes using red food coloring.

Iced Conversation Heart Cookies (this recipe makes 70)

This recipe is a courtesy of marthastewart.com.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Royal Icing
  • Gel-paste food coloring (such as leaf green, lemon yellow, peach, red, rose, and violet)

DIRECTIONS

  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  • Cream butter and sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy.
  • With mixer running, add egg and vanilla.
  • Reduce speed to low.
  • Add flour mixture gradually, beating until just incorporated.
  • Divide dough in half; flatten each half into a disk, and wrap each in plastic.
  • Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour (or overnight).
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees with racks in top third and lower third.
  • Let 1 disk of dough stand at room temperature just until soft enough to roll, about 10 minutes.
  • On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to just under 1/4-inch thickness, adding more flour as needed to keep dough from sticking.
  • Cut out cookies with a 2-inch heart cutter, and place them 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Roll out scraps once, and repeat.
  • Repeat with remaining disk of dough.
  • Freeze cookies until very firm, about 15 minutes.
  • Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through and switching from top to bottom, until edges turn golden brown, 14 to 16 minutes.
  • Let cool on sheets on wire racks.
  • Cookies will keep, covered, for up to 1 week.
  • Divide royal icing into 1/2-cup portions in small bowls.
  • Tint each with a different gel-paste food coloring, starting with just a drop, mixing well, and adding more, drop by drop, to reach desired shade.
  • Transfer 1 bowl of icing to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/8-inch round plain tip.
  • Pipe the outline around edge of each cookie, then fill in with frosting.
  • Poke air bubbles with a toothpick.
  • Transfer decorated cookies to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and let stand uncovered overnight until dry.
  • Arrange stamp letters to create desired phrases. (We stamped LUV U, UR A QT, BFF, LYLAS, B MINE, and 2GTBT.)
  • Fold a paper towel into quarters.
  • Squeeze a small amount of red gel-paste food coloring onto a paper towel, and press stamp in coloring. (You may need to blot stamp a few times on a clean paper towel if coloring is too thick.)
  • Lightly press stamp on top of icing in center of each cookie.
  • Let stand until dry, about 30 minutes.
  • Stamped cookies will keep, covered, for up to 3 days.

Chocolate Sweet Hearts (this recipe makes 42)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 large egg

DIRECTIONS

  • In a bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
  • In another bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water, place chocolate, butter, and brown sugar; stir frequently until almost completely melted.
  • Remove from heat, and stir until completely melted; let cool slightly.
  • Add egg to chocolate mixture.
  • With a mixer on low, beat until well blended.
  • Gradually stir in flour mixture (dough will form a ball).
  • Divide dough in half; roll out each half on a sheet of parchment paper to a 1/4-inch thickness.
  • Transfer each half (still on paper) to a baking sheet; freeze until firm, about 20 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Working with one half at a time, flip dough onto a work surface; peel off paper.
  • Using a 2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out cookies; place, 1/2 inch apart, on 2 baking sheets.
  • Bake until firm and fragrant, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Transfer cookies to a rack to cool.