Valentine’s Day is the time of year when you show those you love that you really “heart” them.

Yes, yes, every day should be a day to show LOVE, but I’m talking HEART. Like, heart-shaped chocolate, heart-shaped balloons, heart-shaped baked goods....

There’s something warm and fuzzy about receiving such a bold statement of affection. My husband and I have been happily together for just over 7 years (married for 2!), and we use any excuse to celebrate – heart-giving holidays included.

But lovey-dovey homemade gifts don't have to be time-consuming, especially if they're a gift for the heart AND stomach. Enter in these recipes and tips for easy Valentine heart recipes.

All you really need is a set of heart-shaped cookie cutters. That, and a tiny bit of time and desire to follow along with the recipes and to be a little crafty. Easy enough, right???

Valentine Hearts via @kingarthurflour

Chocolate Valentine Hearts

Prepare and bake your brownies as directed in the Chocolate Valentine Hearts recipe.

The recipe asks that you flip your brownies upside-down onto a new piece of parchment before cutting. This ensures a smooth, flat surface. If you would prefer a more textured top, ignore that step. The chocolate chips in the brownies do make the surface a little bumpy – but as we all love chocolate chips, we're totally fine with that!

How to make Valentine Hearts via @kingarthurflour
I ended up flipping my brownies over after cutting them. Made cutting the crisper edges a bit easier this way.

Use a 2" heart cutter to cut 3 dozen hearts out of the brownies. (Or use a smaller or larger cutter to cut more or fewer hearts.) Place the hearts on a rack set over a piece of parchment or waxed paper.

Combine in a microwave-safe bowl:
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
6 tablespoons heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons corn syrup

Heat until the cream is very hot, but not boiling. Stir the mixture until the chips melt, then drizzle over the brownie hearts. Once the drizzle cools, gift away.

 

Valentine Hearts via @kingarthurflour

Chocolate-Caramel Valentine Hearts

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line an 8" x 8" pan or 9" round cake pan with parchment.

Following along with the Chocolate-Caramel Valentine Hearts recipe, spread the pecans evenly over the bottom of the pan.

Roll or flatten the caramel into a thin sheet, and place it evenly on top of the pecans. We prefer using our delicious, large caramel block, but smaller candies work well, too. If you're using individual caramel candies, roll them individually, then place them, overlapping slightly, over the pecans.

How to make Valentine Hearts via @kingarthurflour

Put the pan in the oven and heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until the caramel softens and begins to melt. Remove the pan from the oven, wait 1 minute, then evenly distribute the chocolate over the softened caramel. Sprinkle the Fleur de Sel or sea salt atop the chocolate.

Once the caramel and chocolate have cooled and set, use the parchment to help you lift the candy out of the pan. Use a small (about 1 1/2") heart cutter to cut the candy into lovely Valentine hearts.

It takes a little skill to have as little scraps as possible – I don't possess those skills. I gifted the hearts and kept all the chocolate-caramel scraps for myself!

Both desserts are great to make with your kiddos. They can gift them to their little classmates – provided they're allowed. Adorable baked goods really blow those paper Valentines out of the water. Not only are these adorable, Valentine hearts are also delicious AND easy, once you give them a go.

Do you have any desserts that are a must-make for your sweets? Let us know in the comments!

Gwen Adams
The Author

About Gwen Adams

Gwen Adams grew up in northern New Hampshire, on top of a mountain, surrounded by nature and not much else. After graduating from Lyndon State College in 2010, Gwen sought a career that combined her passion for writing with her love of baking. She found it at King Arthur Flour, where she currently happily spends her work hours on our magazine, Sift, as well as blogging, creating recipes, social media, and marketing.

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