Valentine’s Day Sweets That Look Like Works of Art
But are unbelievably easy to make (and they’ll impress even the toughest critics: teens).
Pistachio and Raspberry White Chocolate Bark
- When breaking bark into pieces, hold it over a rimmed pan in case any toppings fall off.
- Two other flavor combos to sprinkle over the white chocolate (in place of raspberries, pistachios and cocoa nibs - keep the flaky salt, because...salt!): freeze-dried strawberries and toasted chopped almonds, or freeze-dried mango and toasted coconut flakes.
Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes
Tips for working with ganache and a piping bag
- There are two ways to thin out your ganache frosting if it gets too thick: Try stirring in a little warm heavy cream until it loosens up, or gently reheat it in a double boiler set over simmering water, stirring until smooth.
- To get neat lettering on the cupcakes, skip that fourth cup of coffee! Also, pick up a small writing tip (the smaller the opening, the better). For simple squiggles, snip a small corner off a quart-size plastic bag and go nuts.
Marbled Vanilla Sugar Cookies
Tips for working with fondant
- If at all possible, pick up pre-tinted fondant so you can skip the step of tinting it yourself. If you do have to work the food coloring in, put on a pair of thin plastic gloves to avoid staining your hands.
- Always keep fondant covered—either in a sealed bag or under a damp towel. When rolling or patting out fondant, use confectioners’ sugar or cornstarch to keep it from sticking to the work surface, rolling pin or your hands.
Tips for using gold leaf
- Gold leaf can be difficult, but boy, is the payoff worth it! Two helpful tools are a set of fine-detail food-grade paintbrushes and some tweezers. Check Amazon and craft stores for both.
- Once your cookie surface is dry, paint a little water on the fondant where you’d like to add the gold leaf. Pick up a small piece of gold and place it on the wet area. Tap down the gold leaf for a smooth finish, or leave it bumpy for some 3-D glam.