For Valentine’s Day gifts, your creativity and effort trump big price tags every time. Think homemade over store-bought. Off-beat versus brand name. Don’t get crazy with it.Valentine’s Day is a little out of control, but doing something thoughtful for your significant other (or yourself) doesn’t have to be.
Why not make it a delicious February 14th without dropping a lot of cash or planning a complicated night out? If you’re wondering how to do this, the answer is simple:
You don’t need a lot of fancy ingredients or tools and dessert is just as good after a home cooked dinner as it is after sushi takeout (smart choice). Here are two desserts you can whip together in less than 30 minutes.
Quick and Classy: 5-Ingredient Cheese Board
It’s hard to believe, but some people just aren’t that into sweets. Others prefer savory after-dinner fare. Whatever their dessert preferences, it’s safe to assume most people like cheese.
Serving up some post-dinner cheese is simple. First, gather your ingredients. We recommend a classic cheeseboard variety that includes:
- 1 hard cheese (think classic cheddar or gouda)
- 1 creamy cheese (try a traditional brie)
- 1 blue cheese (be adventurous with Gorgonzola or Roquefort)
- Crackers (we love Firehook)
- Fruit or fruit spread (we recommend Stagg Cherry Chai spread)
Next, arrange your ingredients on a cutting board or something more elegant like our Element Marble Serving Tray. You could dress up the board with some mild salami or a bowl of olives – our ingredients are just a starting point. Finally, add a dessert wine or coffee drink to the menu and dessert is done.
(Maybe light a few candles for added effect)
Fast and Indulgent: Salted Caramel Apple Tart
Possibly the perfect dessert to serve on a stress-free Valentine’s Day at home with your significant other. If you use pre-made pasty, it’s perfect for amateur bakers and takes less than 30 minutes to complete. Here’s what you’ll need and how to do it (courtesy of Kelly Senyei at Just a Taste):
- 1 sheet (half of a 17.3-ounce package) puff pastry, thawed
- 2 small Granny Smith apples
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup homemade or store-bought caramel sauce
- Sea salt, for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.
- Slice the apples into thin (about 1/4-inch) pieces. Place them in a large bowl then add the lemon juice, vanilla extract, and brown sugar to the bowl, tossing to thoroughly combine. Set aside.
- Unfold the sheet of puff pastry onto the lined baking sheet. Lightly score the dough by cutting a border 1 inch from the edges (do not cut through the pastry). Prick the pastry all over with a fork. Shake off any excess liquid from each apple slice then arrange them on the
- puff pastry inside the border area.
- Whisk together the egg with 1 Tablespoon water. Brush the edges of the pastry with the eggwash then bake the tart for 15 to 17 minutes until golden and puffed.
Remove the tart from the oven, drizzle it with caramel sauce and sprinkle it with sea salt. Slice and serve immediately.
For those of you who want to go truly homemade, you can whip up your own dough. Just grab grandma’s secret recipe, Miko’s Element Marble Rolling Pin, and some flour. When it’s done, serve the apple tart (on your Elements Serving Tray, perhaps) with coffee, espresso or a little more wine, and you’re on your way.
How’s that For Sweet?
You’ve just taken the stress out of Valentine’s Day gifting – go you. And, looking back, your very thoughtful V-Day desserts could be a sly way of getting yourself a beautiful new marble serving or marble rolling pin. Could be. But we’re not here to judge. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Do you have any go-to Valentine’s Day gift ideas to share? Let us know in the comments!