Chef Lisa's cupid-approved desserts for Valentine's Day

Chef Lisa O'Connell serves up her "cupid-approved" recipes guaranteed to win heart on Valentine's Day.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Sauce Anna Lisa creator, Chef Lisa O'Connell has been burning the midnight oil coming up with something sweet and savory to melt hearts on Valentine's Day. Now she is ready to share some recipes she claims are "cupid-approved."

Sauce Anna Lisa

www.sauceannalisa.com

cook well, cook slow, cook often~

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Strawberries and cream on chocolate

15 medium strawberries or about 1 lb. package

4 Ounces mascarpone or cream cheese, room temperature

1¼ Cup heavy whipping cream

3 Teaspoons confectioner sugar

1 Teaspoon vanilla

6-8 ounces dark chocolate chips

Wash strawberries and pat dry with paper towels. Remove stem with a pairing knife leaving a flat surface so that the strawberry can sit. Cut across the tip in an” x” almost to the bottom- leaving enough so that it can still hold its shape.

Alternatively, you can core out the top and make a little well with a pairing knife. Whip the cream cheese in a small bowl until soft and there are no clumps. In a larger bowl whip the heavy cream by hand or with a mixer on medium to high speed until it forms soft peaks that collapse. Add the cream cheese to the whipped heavy cream and continue whipping on high speed until it forms stiff peaks. Add in the sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until combined.

Melt chocolate chips in microwave for 30 seconds, then stir and melt in 10- second increments until most are melted. Remove chocolate from microwave and stir to combine.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place a spoonful of chocolate in a circular shape about ¼ inch thick. Make enough for the amount of berries you have prepped. Place cream into a piping bag or a plastic bag with the corner cut about ½ inch thick and pipe each berry with the cream filling. Place the filled berries flat side down on the chocolate. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until chocolate has hardened. Serve chilled and topped with shaved chocolate if desired.

Super quick shortcakes with cream and berries

1 Can prepared buttermilk biscuits

16 Ounces of fresh strawberries

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4 Ounces mascarpone or cream cheese, room temperature

1¼ Cup heavy whipping cream

3 Teaspoons confectioner sugar

1 Teaspoon vanilla

½ Cup melted butter for coating biscuits

½ Cup sugar for coating biscuits

Preheat oven as directed for biscuits. Pull apart each pre made biscuit in to two halves and dip in melted butter, coat with sugar and place on baking sheet. Bake as directed, remove from oven and allow the biscuits to cool.

Whip the cream cheese in a small bowl until soft and there are no clumps. In a larger bowl whip the heavy cream by hand or with a mixer on medium to high speed until it forms soft peaks that collapse. Add the cream cheese to the whipped heavy cream and continue whipping on high speed until it forms stiff peaks. Add in the sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until combined.

To assemble biscuits, place one round biscuit on plate, top with a spoonful of fresh whipped cream, and a spoonful of fresh chopped berries and add the next round topping again with cream and berries.

Finish with a piece of mint for garnish and sprinkles of confectioners sugar if desired. Serve immediately.

Buttery caramels with sea salt

12 Teaspoons butter

1 Can sweetened condensed milk

½ Cup sugar

3 Tablespoons light corn syrup

1 Teaspoon vanilla

In a medium saucepan over low to medium heat combine sugar and butter and stir until sugar is dissolved and butter is melted. Add condensed milk and corn syrup and bring to a bubbly boil stirring consistently once it starts to bubble. Reduce heat to medium and stir for 7-9 minutes or until the caramel starts to change color, slightly darker and it will begin to pull away from the sides as you stir.

Pour caramel into an 8x8 parchment wax paper lined pan and sprinkle with sea salt. Refrigerate to harden and cut to desired size once caramel is set.

Take it a step further and make your caramel squares into sprinkled caramel pops by inserting a stick into the square and dredging the caramel in chocolate, sprinkles or crushed nuts. These make a great party or holiday treat. Wrap each caramel in wax paper to keep for a few days at room temperature of up to a few weeks in the refrigerator.

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