CakeCookies!What to CookDessertIce Cream & Frozen DessertsChocolateValentine's Day

18 Valentine’s Day Desserts You Can Make Right Now

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I’m less of a Valentine’s Day gal and more of a Galentine’s Day gal. But I appreciate both holidays for the same reason—a perfect excuse to make that dessert recipe I’ve been eyeing up for months. Chocolate is classic, but anything sweet is, well, a sweet gesture for that special someone, a significant other or oldest friend or yourself or all of the above.

This year, Valentine’s Day is on a Wednesday (and Galentine’s on Tuesday), so the trick will be finding a dessert you can make on a weeknight without feeling frenzied—if anything is a total buzzkill, it’s stress. This year, let’s not do that. Let’s plan ahead. Forethought is sexy!

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The good news is: Plenty of desserts can be prepared from start to finish, then frozen, and this doesn’t diminish their quality. Think of it like recipe hibernation. A weekend project now, a pat on the back (or a smooch on the lips?!) in a couple weeks. Happy Valentine’s Day to you.

ICE CREAM

I need not tell you that ice cream, ahem, freezes well. But I will say this: Remember to pull it out 15 or so minutes before you want to eat. This way, you can enjoy a creamy, melty scoop, not an icy block.

Lemon, Blackberry, and Poppy Seed Ice Cream

Lemon, Blackberry, and Poppy Seed Ice Cream by Ashley Rodriguez

Malted Vanilla Ice Cream with Chocolate-Covered Pretzels

Malted Vanilla Ice Cream with Chocolate-Covered Pretzels by fiveandspice

Thai Iced Tea Ice Cream

Thai Iced Tea Ice Cream by Chris W.

Preserved Lemon Ice Cream

Preserved Lemon Ice Cream by Yossy Arefi

CAKES

Well-wrapped cakes are so happy to hang out in the freezer. If you’re making a frosted cake, you can freeze the layers, then thaw—at room temperature, not in the fridge—and build while still very cold. (This actually makes frosting easier—fewer crumbs.) But this holiday doesn’t need all that fuss. These everyday showstoppers ask less of you: just a shower of powdered sugar or scoop of ice cream and they’re ready for date night.

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Maialino's Olive Oil Cake

Maialino's Olive Oil Cake by Genius Recipes

Louisa's Cake

Louisa's Cake by Jennifer Wagner

Chocolate Bundt Cake

Chocolate Bundt Cake by Kelsey Banfield

One-Bowl Vanilla Cake

One-Bowl Vanilla Cake by Alice Medrich

COOKIES

You can freeze cookies two ways. One: formed. So scoop your oatmeal-raisin, roll and cut out your sugar cookies, etc. Then freeze on a sheet tray and collect into a plastic bag. Two: baked. Complete the recipe from start to finish, let cool completely, then freeze in a plastic bag. My rule: If the cookies are great warm (hi, chocolate chips), I’ll freeze them formed and bake to order (no scented candle can beat the smell of just-baked cookies). But if they would have to cool anyway before eating (hey, shortbread), I’ll freeze them baked. Oh, and if you’re doing a cut-out cookie, now is the time to do Xs and Os.

Quinoa Cookies with Coconut & Chocolate Chunks

Quinoa Cookies with Coconut & Chocolate Chunks by Loves Food Loves to Eat

Swedish Rye Cookies

Swedish Rye Cookies by Heidi

Divine gluten-free chocolate cookies. No seriously.

Divine gluten-free chocolate cookies. No seriously. by Jestei

Roll-Out Sugar Cookies

Roll-Out Sugar Cookies by Erin McDowell

BARS

Three ways to freeze bars: One, uncut, in their natural state (do this only if you’re planning to eat the whole pan post-thaw). Two, cookie-style—cut into squares (itty-bitty ones are all the better to feed each other with), frozen on a plate, then transferred to a plastic bag. Three, cut into squares and wrapped individually.

Coconut Dream Bars

Coconut Dream Bars by Posie Harwood

12 Ways to Take Brownies Where They've Never Been Before

12 Ways to Take Brownies Where They've Never Been Before by Sarah Jampel

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CHOCOLATES

Nothing says Valentine’s/Galentine’s Day like dressed-up chocolate. If you want to go all out, make a few varieties and freeze in a petite, pretty box. No hints—only tasting and guessing—for that you-never-know-what-you’re-gonna-get effect.

Hazelnut Brittle with Chocolate

Hazelnut Brittle with Chocolate by Phyllis Grant

Alice's House Truffles 4.0

Alice's House Truffles 4.0 by Alice Medrich

Scottish Toffee

Scottish Toffee by Lizthechef

Ancho Chili-Cinnamon Chocolate Bark

Ancho Chili-Cinnamon Chocolate Bark by wanderash

Do you have any romantic dessert traditions? Share your tips and tricks in the comments below!

Tags: Valentine's Day, Desserts, romantic