Today's recipes are all designed for you and your sweetie. Recipe researcher Sheila Kern put her heart into the search and came up with Valentine-themed meals and desserts to match. Enjoy!
Makes 4 pizzas
1 can (13.8 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated classic pizza crust or 1 can (11 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated thin pizza crust
1 can (8 oz) pizza sauce
24 slices turkey pepperoni with 70% less fat
3/4cup shredded mozzarella cheese (3 oz)
1.If using classic crust: Heat oven to 425°F. Lightly spray or grease large cookie sheet. If using thin crust: Heat oven to 400 F. Spray or grease 15x10-inch or larger dark or nonstick cookie sheet.
2.Unroll dough on work surface. With sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut dough into 4 rectangles. Place rectangles on cookie sheet. Cut 1-inch slit in center of wide edge of each dough portion; on opposite wide edge across from slit, pinch dough together to shape point of heart. Slightly separate each cut slit, and gently press dough into a 6x5-inch heart, creating slight rim on edge of dough.
3.Divide pizza sauce evenly onto hearts, spreading to within 1/2 inch of edges. Top each with 6 slices pepperoni and 3 tablespoons cheese.
4.Bake classic crust 13 to 16 minutes, thin crust 9 to 13 minutes, or until crust edges are golden brown and cheese is melted.
Tip if using classic crust: For a crispier crust, prebake crusts 5 minutes, then add toppings; bake pizzas 7 to 9 minutes.
Feeling tropical? Substitute pineapple tidbits and thin-sliced deli ham, and bake as directed.
Be bold! Substitute a thin layer of barbecue sauce in lieu of red sauce, top with your choice of meat and cheese, and bake as directed. Or coat chicken chunks in spicy barbecue sauce for quick and zesty buffalo pizza!
From cute to cuter: Use a small heart-shaped cookie cutter or paring knife to cut pepperoni slices into hearts to adorn your pizza.
Marmalade Chicken for Two
Makes 2 servings
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon orange marmalade
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
8 ounces chicken tenders
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
⅛ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 large shallot, minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
1. Whisk broth, vinegar, marmalade, mustard and cornstarch in a medium bowl.
2. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
3. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and shallot to the pan and cook, stirring often, until beginning to brown, about 30 seconds. Whisk the broth mixture and add it to the pan. Bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer; cook until the sauce is slightly reduced and thickened, 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Add the chicken; return to a simmer. Cook, turning once, until the chicken is heated through, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in orange zest.
Chocolate-Dipped Heart Cookies
Makes 2 dozen cookies
1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated sugar cookies
1/4 to 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon shortening
1.Heat oven to 350°F. Remove half of cookie dough from wrapper; refrigerate remaining dough until needed. Sprinkle about 3 tablespoons of the flour onto work surface; coat sides of half of dough with flour. With rolling pin, roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness, adding additional flour as needed to prevent sticking.
2.With floured 3-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out hearts. Gently brush excess flour from hearts; place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Repeat with remaining half of dough.
3.Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.
4.In 1-quart saucepan, heat chocolate chips and shortening over low heat, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Dip half of each cookie into melted chocolate, allowing excess chocolate to drip off; place on waxed paper-lined cookie sheets. Sprinkle with colored sugar.
Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Serves: 24 frosted cupcakes
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 pound cream cheese, softened
2 sticks butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
Chopped pecans and fresh raspberries or strawberries, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers.
In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.
Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.
Garnish with chopped pecans and a fresh raspberry or strawberry.