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sweets for the sweetest

Make this Valentine’s Day extra special with candy and chocolate to share with your sweethearts.

Chocolate Strawberry Mousse


For the chocolate base layer:

  • 7 oz (about 1¼ cups) Ghirardelli Bittersweet 60% Cacao Baking Chips
  • ½ cup Unsalted butter
  • 3 Large eggs, separated
  • ½ cup Granulated sugar
  • ½ cup Almond meal
  • ¼ cup All-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp Vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp Almond extract
  • ¼ tsp Kosher salt

For the strawberry mousse layer:

  • 3 Tbsp Water
  • 1 pkg (.25oz) Powdered gelatin
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 4 Large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup Granulated sugar
  • 4 oz (5 or 6 large) Fresh strawberries, hulled and finely chopped or pureed
  • 2 Tbsp Strawberry preserves
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 cup Heavy whipping cream
  • Drop of pink food coloring (optional)

For the garnishes:

  • 3 Tbsp Heavy whipping cream
  • 2 oz Ghirardelli White Chocolate Baking Bar, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Light corn syrup
  • 1 cup Heavy whipping cream, whipped softly with ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 9 Ghirardelli Strawberry Bark SQUARES


To make the chocolate base layer: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F, mist a 9x9-inch square baking pan with non-stick spray, and line it with parchment.  
  2. Place the Ghirardelli Bittersweet 60% Cacao Baking Chips in a small bowl, and microwave in 30 second increments, stirring, until melted and smooth. 
  3. Place the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl, and whip until pale and doubled in volume.
  4. Fold the chocolate mixture into the yolks, along with the almond meal, flour, extracts, and salt. 
  5. Place the egg whites in a medium bowl and whip until they can hold stiff peaks.  
  6. Fold the whipped whites into the chocolate mixture, a little at a time. 
  7. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.  
  8. Cool completely, then top with strawberry mousse.

To make the strawberry mousse:

  1. Place the water in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin on top.  
  2. Heat the milk in a small pot over low heat. 
  3. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a medium bowl, until pale and doubled in volume. 
  4. When the milk is steaming, pour it into the yolk mixture in a slow, thin stream, while whisking.  
  5. When all the milk has been added, transfer the mixture back to the pot and cook over low heat, whisking, until slightly thickened (about 5 minutes).  
  6. Stir in the gelatin mixture, the fresh strawberries, strawberry preserves, lemon juice, and salt. 
  7. Cool the mixture to room temperature.  
  8. Whip the cream until it holds stiff peaks, then fold into the strawberry mixture. Tint with food coloring, if using.  
  9. Pour the mousse over the chocolate base, and refrigerate for 2 hours or until set.

To garnish: 

  1. Place the cream, white chocolate, and corn syrup in a heat-safe measuring cup, and microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring, until melted and smooth. 
  2. Pour the glaze over the mousse.
  3. Allow the glaze to set, then cut into bars. 
  4. Top each bar with whipped cream and a Ghirardelli Strawberry Bark Square.



  • 1 pkg (17.5oz) Sugar cookie mix
  • 1 pkg (8oz) SOUR PATCH KIDS Candies


  1. Heat oven to 375°F.
  2. Prepare cookie dough as directed on package for drop cookies. Add SOUR PATCH KIDS; mix well.
  3. Shape dough into 20 balls; place, 3 inches apart, on baking sheets. Use bottom of glass sprayed with cooking spray to flatten balls into 2-1/2-inch rounds.
  4. Bake 6 to 8 min. or until edges are lightly browned. Cool 1 min. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.

Conversation Heart Whoopie Pies

Cake Ingredients

  • 1 box Yellow cake mix
  • ¾ cup Water
  • ½ cup Vegetable oil
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 box (4-serving size) Vanilla instant pudding and pie filling
  • BRACH’S® Large Conversation Hearts

Frosting Ingredients

  • 4 cups Powdered sugar
  • 1¼ cup Solid vegetable shortening
  • 3 Tbsp (¾ stick) Unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp Clear vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup Cold water

Cake Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Put the BRACH’S® Conversation Hearts in a bag and then put the bag inside a second bag. Place the bags on a sturdy cutting board and use a hammer or mallet to break into small pieces. Set aside.
  3. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  4. In a large bowl, blend the cake mix, water, eggs and oil with electric mixer on low speed until smooth and completely blended.
  5. Spoon the batter into a re-sealable plastic bag. Seal the baggie and cut a small hole off of one of the bottom corners.
  6. Pipe batter into 36 small circles onto cookie sheets about 1 inch apart to allow for spreading.
  7. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until edges start to brown slightly. Allow to sit for 2-3 minutes.
  8. Remove from cookie sheets and place on cooling rack. Cool completely.

Frosting Instructions

  1. Blend together the shortening, butter and vanilla extract until creamy.
  2. Slowly add the powdered sugar and mix until well blended.
  3. While the mixer is going, slowly add the water in a thin stream and continue to beat until absorbed and the frosting becomes fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Put the frosting into a re-sealable plastic bag. Seal the baggie and cut small hole off of one of the bottom corners.
  5. Pipe a layer of filling onto one of the whoopee cake halves and top with a second.
  6. Roll the edge in the crushed pieces of BRACH’S® Conversation Hearts firmly so the candy sticks.
  7. Refrigerate until almost 15 minutes before serving.

Valentine’s Day Candy
Whether it’s candy or chocolate, sweethearts or friends, Meijer has a wide variety of sweets and treats to share this Valentine’s Day. And if you want to go the extra mile, try a recipe featuring you favorite candy.