Palentine’s Day Board
Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to have dessert for dinner — and to gather all your favorite gals and pals. Our friend greens & chocolate has the perfect repast for such a party: a board laden with sweets and a sparkly mocktail.
Since having kids, Valentine’s Day hasn’t been a big holiday that we celebrate. Actually, it never really has been. A nice home-cooked dinner and a yummy chocolate dessert is really all we ever need. Now that we are parents, we also try to include our kids in the fun, and we’ve also been getting together with friends and their kids on Valentine’s Day for what we call Palentine’s Day!
Another fun trend that I’ve seen people doing is getting together with their girlfriends for Galentine’s Day. A celebration of our love for the women in our life?! YES!
I love the idea of making a Palentine’s or Galentine’s Day dinner fairly casual and just fun. Instead of one dessert, how about an entire dessert board?! In fact, this dessert board could be a meal in itself. I included baked Brie topped with raspberry jam for a little bit of savory, and you could also throw in a bowl of Marcona almonds and some salami to really round it out, if you prefer.
For the sweets, I stuck with the Valentine’s Day theme and have heart-shaped chocolates, chocolate dipped strawberries, chocolate covered pretzels, raspberries, heart shaped gummies and red velvet cake balls. Everything takes minimal effort, and I’m sharing my recipe for Red Velvet Cake Balls below.
Of course we need a drink to go along with everything. Since I’m pregnant, I made a Raspberry Mojito Mocktail that is super refreshing and perfect for Palentine’s Day. This cocktail is quite simple and starts with a homemade simple syrup. If you’ve never made your own simple syrup before, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is. It’s an equal combination of water and granulated sugar, which you cook on the stovetop for about 5 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved.
After that, you’ll muddle a bit of the simple syrup together with fresh raspberries, fresh mint and lime juice, and then top it all off with club soda. The Raspberry Mojito Mocktail is refreshing, lightly sweet and super festive! If you want to jazz it up a little, you can certainly make it a cocktail by adding one shot of white rum.
This mocktail recipe and dessert board are surprisingly easy and will be a hit at your Valentine’s/Palentine’s/Galentine’s Day celebration!
Raspberry Jam Baked Brie
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
1 wheel Brie cheese
½ cup raspberry preserves
Apples and crackers, for serving
- Heat oven to 350 F.
- Place the Brie on a small parchment paper-lined baking sheet and top it with the raspberry preserves.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the cheese is softened.
- Serve with apples and crackers.
Raspberry Mojito Mocktail
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
⅓ cup sugar
⅓ cup water
8 raspberries, plus more for garnish
4 mint leaves, plus more for garnish
1 lime, plus wedges for garnish
1 ½ cups club soda
- First, make the simple syrup: In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium heat. Heat until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside.
- Divide the raspberries and mint leaves between two cocktail glasses.
- Add 1 tablespoon simple syrup and the juice of ½ lime to each glass.
- With a spoon, crush the raspberries into the mint leaves for about 30 seconds.
- Top each glass with ice and club soda. Stir gently with a spoon.
- Serve topped with additional raspberries, fresh mint and a lime wedge. Enjoy!
Red Velvet Cake Balls
Yields: 30-35 cake balls
Prep Time: 60 minutes (includes chilling time)
Cook Time: 25 minutes
1 box Red Velvet Cake mix
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 package vanilla almond bark
Red and pink sprinkles, for decoration
Red chocolate melting candies, for drizzling (optional)
- Prepare the Red Velvet Cake according to package directions. I find it’s easiest to bake it in a 9 x 13 dish so there are fewer edges than round cake pans or 8 x 8 dishes.
- Let the cake cool completely.
- Once cool, use a fork to fluff the cake into crumbs.
- Transfer the crumbs to a large bowl.
- Add the cream cheese and combine it with the cake crumbs. I find it is easiest doing this with a wooden spatula or your hands.
- Using a cookie scoop, form the cake mixture into balls — about the size of 2 tablespoons.
- Place the balls on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, melt the vanilla almond bark according to the package directions.
- Dip a cake ball into the vanilla almond bark, and then place it on the parchment paper. I like to use two forks to do this.
- Immediately add the sprinkles: the almond bark hardens quickly so you have to do it after dipping each one! Repeat until all the cake balls are dipped. Optional: I drizzled red chocolate melting candies on some of the cake balls.
- Serve and enjoy!