CakePieHow to CookBakingDessertValentine's Day

14 Impressive (But Not Hard!) Valentine's Day Desserts

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Don't cop out with a box of chocolates. (Kidding, kidding—we're only saying this to get you to keep reading! If you like chocolates, buy them.) Instead, make one of the 14 desserts below. They're impressive, yes, but difficult only in appearance.

Our resident baking expert, Erin McDowell, breaks down even the most complicated of desserts into an easy to understand (and make) format. She's the only person we know who can make a sky-high roulade seems like a manageable baking project.

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With Erin's help, you, too, can stun the heck out of your significant other, friends, family, or whomever you're baking for this Tuesday. Here's what to make (and we do think they're a better form of affection than any ol' greeting card):

Put a Cookie on Top of a Cream Puff And...
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Put a Cookie on Top of a Cream Puff And...

You can use any kind of cookie you like: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry (one commenter suggested matcha!). They're crispy, craggy-topped, and ready to be filled with whipped cream.

How to Make Any Kind of Custard (& Avoid Any Dastardly Clumps or Curdling)
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How to Make Any Kind of Custard (& Avoid Any Dastardly Clumps or Curdling)

Like butterscotch pudding, milk chocolate panna cotta, and crème anglaise!

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If You Want to Fill Doughnuts with Jam, Pastry Cream, Apples... Read This!
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If You Want to Fill Doughnuts with Jam, Pastry Cream, Apples... Read This!

Donuts for desserts sounds like the dream, amirite? (For a non-yeasted option, see below.)

Cake Doughnuts 101: The Completist's Guide to Shaping, Glazing, Frying (& Baking!) Your Own
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Cake Doughnuts 101: The Completist's Guide to Shaping, Glazing, Frying (& Baking!) Your Own

You can bake or fry these guys. Plus, if you're more of a fan of denser, cake-like (who would've guessed?) donuts, these are for you.

It's Not Fall Yet, But Apple Dumplings Make Us Giddy at the Thought of It!
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It's Not Fall Yet, But Apple Dumplings Make Us Giddy at the Thought of It!

It's still not fall and we're still giddy at the thought of apple dumplings—the lightly sweet, cinnamon-y fruit wrapped within a crispy pie crust shell.

How to Make a (Fancy!) Mousse Cake, Step by Step
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How to Make a (Fancy!) Mousse Cake, Step by Step

Filled with mousse instead of frosting. Covered with a silky-smooth glaze. That's what you call a win-win.

How to Build a Lofty Layer Cake from the Ground Up
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How to Build a Lofty Layer Cake from the Ground Up

What's that saying? Pretty as a picture?

Everything You Need to Know to Make Mousse
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Everything You Need to Know to Make Mousse

You can assemble this few days ahead, then pull it out on Valentine's Day like you've been in the kitchen, mousse-making all day.

How to Make a Pie Inspired By Ferrero Rocher
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How to Make a Pie Inspired By Ferrero Rocher

A Nutella-like filling and you don't have to even bother with a pie crust.

Cheesecake Pie: Why Didn't We Think of This Earlier?!
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Cheesecake Pie: Why Didn't We Think of This Earlier?!

And why haven't you made this for Valentine's Day before?

Peanut Butter and Jelly Pie: What Dreams are Made Of
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Peanut Butter and Jelly Pie: What Dreams are Made Of

Make this pie and February 14th will henceforth be known as the day dreams come true.

How to Make Any Hot Chocolate (Creamy, Caramelized, or Otherwise)
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How to Make Any Hot Chocolate (Creamy, Caramelized, or Otherwise)

Pour mugs of hot cocoa (topped with whipped cream or marshmallows, if you like) and get comfy on the couch with a cutesy movie on. You're welcome.

The Cheater's Pain-Free Puff Pastry
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The Cheater's Pain-Free Puff Pastry

Aw, and they're heart-shaped! How perfect.

Learn to Love (and to Make) Roulade
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Learn to Love (and to Make) Roulade

What says "love" more than a vertical cake that seems to defy all cake limits and frosting boundaries?

What are you making for Valentine's Day? Tell us in the comments!