Valentine's Desserts

I actually enjoy Valentine's Day, but not for all of the romance and imposed spending of money.  My mom taught us early on that it's a holiday to celebrate those you love.  She would make us kids a "red dinner" (not to be confused with the Game of Thrones "Red Wedding", gah!), complete with spaghetti that was dyed pink with food coloring added to the boiling water, marinara sauce, and a sparkling pink cocktail (usually sprite mixed with cranberry juice).  We got little candies and cards, and I remember one year even getting perfume!  It made me really love the holiday, and not because I wanted to force a boyfriend to shower me with gifts and expensive dinners.  It also instilled in me a need to celebrate the love around me.  I made all of my architecture studio classmates cookies one year; just because I was single didn't mean I couldn't celebrate!  I still get a card from my parents for V-Day, and I think it's awesome.

So I think you should celebrate the love around you, whether you're part of a couple or not.  In fact, the AppleTV remote is my favorite companion some nights.  I wonder if the AppleTV remote likes brownies?

I don't know what your plans are for the holiday, but I think all of them would be better with some baked goods.  I've compiled some of my favorite dessert recipes that you should totally make to celebrate the occasion.  Chocolate is what I think is needed, but I added an option or two without...

Because sometimes brownies are even better with the add-ins.  These brownies are the perfect mix of fudgy and cakey, and who doesn't love a good s'more?
Deep, dark chocolate with a sweet caramel glaze.  A pinch of sea salt brings out the flavors of both the caramel and the chocolate.  I doubt your toddler will appreciate these, but your adult Valentine's sure will!
Brownies (Gluten Free)
Because brownies should be available to all!  These don't need any special flours, just a lot of cocoa powder.  I used up my mint chocolate chips in these and I loved the end result!
Hot Fudge Pie 
Ice cream mandatory.  This legitimately tastes like hot fudge in chewable form, and I mean that in the best way possible.
Triple Chocolate Chunk Cookies (Ben's Cookies)
Even if you've never had the original, these cookies should become a part of your rotation.  Use chips if you don't have discs, but get all three flavors of chocolate all up in there.  Each bite is deliciously different!
Baconutter Crunch Cookies
All the flavors.  Peanut butter, bacon, bourbon, and potato chips.  A glorious melding of salty and sweet.
Rosy Apple Tarts
Don't you just want to spend an afternoon making these gorgeous tarts with your girlfriends?  It's relaxing and super simple, but super impressive at the same time.  You can even refrigerate ahead of time and bake during dinner!

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