Valentine's Day is legit only a real holiday cause it's an excuse to eat sweets and make desserts. Or maybe just for me 'cause I'm single. The only thing that will stop me from making these desserts on Valentine's is if I have a much of assignments due that day, which is honestly sad but is my life right now. The following desserts are traditional, with the occasional European dessert that usually takes up the whole day in baking (joking! But not really!). If you're like me and like to be challenged, make anyone one of these! But if you're looking for a more chill dessert, brownies are probably the way to go (but please I am literally begging you to not make boxed brownies because it literally just tastes like the box).
1. Russian Napoleon Cake
My favorite dessert, that is actually pretty common in Mexican panaderias! It's multiple thin puff pastries with pastry cream in between each layer, and if made in a panaderia, usually with some cajeta (Mexican caramel sauce) in the bottom or top layer.
A classic and honestly who doesn't like cheesecake. Even seen in the name, dairy is one of the primary ingredients, but there are some variations where cashews can be easily substituted to make a vegan version. AND if you end up with a cracked top, it could easily be covered with some fresh berries and a compote!
Another classic that literally takes 30 minutes, with them being homemade. Because nothing is worse than a box brownie and anyone can fight me on this (i.e. the boxed brownies that literally just taste like the box). Top with some whipped cream or ice cream and sprinkle with some powdered sugar.
4. Apple-Puff Pastry Rose
One of the most difficult desserts that require ALOT of patience. But when they're done it is so worth it! And is pretty impressive when you give them out. The main ingredients are puff pastry and apples (that are thinly sliced and not peeled).
5. Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Cupcakes: easy (especially red velvet because it's just chocolate with red food coloring). Frosting: a simple cream cheese frosting. Both of these together make an amazing dessert that complements each other so well and is a perfect fit for Valentine's day!
6. Petit Fours
Not necessarily difficult, but definitely time consuming. Especially in the decorations. But like the apple rose pastries, they're such an impressive dessert that will literally have people think you're a professional baker.
Truffles are pretty much just chocolate (okay ganache, but chocolate either way). I'm honestly not the biggest fan of this, but it wouldn't be Valentine's day if a chocolate dessert wasn't included in this list...
8. Crepes (Crepe Cake!)
This seems easy... but it's actually a bit harder than it looks. The trick here is to make sure whatever filling you use is the same for each layer. For a more clean look, you can also trim around the edges using a large plate fitted over the cake.
9. Mini Cream Cheese Danishes
With wontons or puff pastry, cream cheese danishes are usually simple but can be so versatile as you can see above. But a variety of fruit fillings and create different designs with the puff pastry-- whatever you do it will not only taste good but look good too.
Besides eclairs, this is the biggest challenge that I have faced in the kitchen. Probably because I measured in volume and not in mass, but honestly once you get the hang of it and practice a few times, you can easily make these cute treats. The problem I'm still having is having a proper filling for the cookie since I'm not the biggest fan of whipped cream or buttercream. Besides buttercream, berry compote and jelly are also common, contrasting with the sugary taste of the macaron cookies.
11. Cream Puffs
As you can see in the picture, there's a layer of pastry cream and then one of whipped cream. With puff pastries, although it is traditional to fill with pastry cream, it is a bit heavy. By mixing some whipped cream into the mixture (or even stacking the two fillings on top of each other as seen in the picture) it creates a more balanced flavor and a lighter mixture.
12. Mini Eclairs
After failing countless times and failing for each, I have stil not mastered the art of eclairs. And I wouldn't say that they are the most difficult of this whole list, but they are up there. It consists usually of a pastry cream filling (or what I do is mix the pastry cream and whipped cream together), a choux pastry and a piping bag.
13. Decorated Shortbread Cookies
A sugar cookie does not have to be decorated (or professionally created), but cookies that are able to be enjoyed and not just stared at.
14. Danish Butter Cookies
Nope it's not actually the sewing kit. No more being disappointed when you found the metal can but it's filled with miscellaneous files
15. Crème Brûlée
I've never tried this before, but I am assuming that it is like flan, except in a smaller form such as in a ceramic cup or small coffee cup. And if this was presented in this same way, not only will you be impressing other people, but the people you're spending V-day with get to also be impressed.