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:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F, mist a 9x9-inch square baking pan with non-stick spray, and line it with parchment.
- Place the Ghirardelli Bittersweet 60% Cacao Baking Chips in a small bowl, and microwave in 30 second increments, stirring, until melted and smooth.
- Place the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl, and whip until pale and doubled in volume.
- Fold the chocolate mixture into the yolks, along with the almond meal, flour, extracts, and salt.
- Place the egg whites in a medium bowl and whip until they can hold stiff peaks.
- Fold the whipped whites into the chocolate mixture, a little at a time.
- 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.
- Cool completely, then top with strawberry mousse.
To make the strawberry mousse:
- Place the water in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin on top.
- Heat the milk in a small pot over low heat.
- Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a medium bowl, until pale and doubled in volume.
- When the milk is steaming, pour it into the yolk mixture in a slow, thin stream, while whisking.
- 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).
- Stir in the gelatin mixture, the fresh strawberries, strawberry preserves, lemon juice, and salt.
- Cool the mixture to room temperature.
- Whip the cream until it holds stiff peaks, then fold into the strawberry mixture. Tint with food coloring, if using.
- Pour the mousse over the chocolate base, and refrigerate for 2 hours or until set.
- 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.
- Pour the glaze over the mousse.
- Allow the glaze to set, then cut into bars.
- Top each bar with whipped cream and a Ghirardelli Strawberry Bark Square.
SOUR PATCH KIDS Sugar Cookies
- 1 pkg (17.5oz) Sugar cookie mix
- 1 pkg (8oz) SOUR PATCH KIDS Candies
- Heat oven to 375°F.
- Prepare cookie dough as directed on package for drop cookies. Add SOUR PATCH KIDS; mix well.
- 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.
- Bake 6 to 8 min. or until edges are lightly browned. Cool 1 min. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.
Conversation Heart Whoopie Pies
- 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
- 4 cups Powdered sugar
- 1¼ cup Solid vegetable shortening
- 3 Tbsp (¾ stick) Unsalted butter
- 1 Tbsp Clear vanilla extract
- ¼ cup Cold water
- Heat oven to 350°F.
- 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.
- Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, blend the cake mix, water, eggs and oil with electric mixer on low speed until smooth and completely blended.
- Spoon the batter into a re-sealable plastic bag. Seal the baggie and cut a small hole off of one of the bottom corners.
- Pipe batter into 36 small circles onto cookie sheets about 1 inch apart to allow for spreading.
- Bake 10 to 12 minutes until edges start to brown slightly. Allow to sit for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from cookie sheets and place on cooling rack. Cool completely.
- Blend together the shortening, butter and vanilla extract until creamy.
- Slowly add the powdered sugar and mix until well blended.
- 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.
- Put the frosting into a re-sealable plastic bag. Seal the baggie and cut small hole off of one of the bottom corners.
- Pipe a layer of filling onto one of the whoopee cake halves and top with a second.
- Roll the edge in the crushed pieces of BRACH’S® Conversation Hearts firmly so the candy sticks.
- 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.