V-Day Desserts Perfect for Sharing with 1, 2, or 3 (or just not sharing at all)
Love is in the air this Valentine’s Day, and by love, I mean the sweet smell of amazing treats!! Indulgences, especially chocolate ones, are integral to this day of love, and each one of these desserts is high in indulgence-satisfaction and perfect for sharing with your loved ones or for just treating yo’ self! (Mini = personal in my book, so no one’s judging here). If you’re like me, and your one true love is the kitchen, spend some quality time together by making these decadent sweets for Valentine’s Day. They’re a perfect way to bring all of your valentines and galentines together to celebrate each other and all of the sweet things in life 💕
Ultimate Mini Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie
Mini also means guilt free, right? (Well, between you and me it does!)
This recipe requires a mini cast iron skillet -- where all the flava comes from. If using a 10-inch skillet (the typical size), simply multiply the quantity of each ingredient by 3*
1 Tbsp butter for skillet
1/3 cup white sugar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
4 Tbsp melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup AP flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or desired amount of chocolate chips)
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Put 1 tbsp butter in the center of a mini skillet, then place the mini skillet in the preheating oven to warm up.
In a bowl, whisk together white sugar, brown sugar, and melted butter just until combined. Then, whisk in vanilla and egg yolk until combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: AP flour, baking soda, and salt.
Add the dry ingredients into wet ingredients, stopping just before the two are fully combined.
Mix in the chocolate chips.
At this point, the dough will be very crumbly -- perfect for making a very crispy cookie! [The less moisture in a dough, the crispier (& sometimes denser like in this case) the finished product]
Take your piping hot mini skillet out of the oven.
Put the dough into the hot mini skillet, patting down the top to make sure everything stays together (try to work as fast as you can). The top will still be crumbly, which is good.
Then, put the entire skillet + dough back into the oven to bake for about 25-28 mins, or until the top is browned and the edges are crisp.
Mini Chocolate Caramel Swirl Cakes
For this multi-step recipe, I used an 8-mold mini loaf pan, but if you don’t have that, you can also use a cupcake pan. I also used homemade caramel in the caramel cake and included my recipe below, but you can substitute store-bought caramel in equal amounts if you want to cut down the number of steps to make the mini cakes.
This recipe is not hard but just requires many steps that all contribute to the amazing taste of these mini cakes.
For the homemade caramel:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup heavy cream
For the cake base batter:
2 sticks butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 cup warm water
2 1/3 cups AP flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
For the chocolate half:
½ recipe cake base batter
2 oz chocolate, melted
1 cup cocoa powder
For the caramel half:
½ recipe cake base batter
1/2 cup caramel
For the Raspberry Icing:
1, 1-oz bag freeze-dried raspberries
1 cup powdered sugar
3 Tbsp melted butter
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp salt
Make the caramel: (Omit this step if you are using store-bought caramel).
In a saucepan on medium heat, whisk together sugar and water. Once the sugar dissolves and the mixture starts to boil, let it continue to boil for about 10-15 minutes, or until it turns amber in color. Be careful to not let it get too dark, which can happen very easily once the mixture starts to turn brown. The final color should be in between the color of honey and maple syrup.
Take the saucepan off the heat and stir in the heavy cream and salt.
Let the caramel come to room temperature.
Make the cake base batter:
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray each mold of an 8-mold mini loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand-held electric mixer, which is what I used), cream the butter and sugar for about 3-4 minutes or until lighter in color and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time until just combined, then add the vanilla until just combined.
In a separate bowl, combine the liquid ingredients: buttermilk and warm water.
In another separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Pour in ½ of the liquid ingredients into the butter-sugar mixture in the stand mixer bowl and mix until combined.
Then, add in ½ dry ingredients into the butter-sugar mixture in the stand mixer bowl and mix until almost combined.
Repeat steps 6 & 7 until all ingredients are fully combined in the stand mixer bowl- stop when they are fully combined, do not overmix.
Divide the batter in half: each half should be in its own bowl.
Make the chocolate cake batter:
In a bowl with ½ the cake base batter, stir in melted chocolate and cocoa powder, stopping when just combined, then set aside.
Make the caramel cake batter:
In a bowl with ½ the cake base batter, stir in caramel, stopping when just combined.
Into each mold of the mini loaf pan:
Spread 2 Tbsp chocolate cake batter onto the bottom of each mold. This layer should be about 1-cm thick.
Next, spread 2 Tbsp caramel cake batter on top of the chocolate cake batter layer in each mold.
Then, spread 2 Tbsp chocolate cake batter on top of each caramel layer in each mold.
Finally, bake in the oven for about 23-25 minutes, or until the sides of the mini cakes start to pull away from the pan and the centers spring back when touched.
Make the raspberry icing:
Crush the freeze-dried raspberries into a powder, then place in a large bowl.
Whisk in powdered sugar.
With an electric mixer, beat in the melted butter, milk, and salt for about 3-4 minutes.
Ice the cakes:
Spread a desired amount of icing (I used about 2-3 Tbsp) onto the tops of the cooled mini cakes.