Masthead

True Colors

Not in love with artificial red dye? You can still make sweet and festive Valentine’s Day treats.


By KATIE SULLIVAN MORFORD, R.D.N.
photographs by DANE TASHIMA FOOD STYLING BY CLAUDIA FICCA PROP STYLING BY CARLA GONZALEZ-HART

Eat up! This frozen goody melts fast.

“Be Mine” Fro-Yo Bark

This better-for-you treat is at its creamy best when made with whole-milk yogurt.

Active | 15 minutes Total | 3 hours 15 minutes Makes | 25 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1½ cups plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 3 Tbs. honey
  • 1 tsp. Homemade Pink Food Coloring
  • ¾ cup freeze-dried strawberries, crushed
  • ¼ cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbs. unsweetened shredded coconut

MAKE IT

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, honey, and food coloring until blended and smooth.
  2. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the yogurt in a thin layer on the baking sheet in a roughly 13x9-in. rectangle.
  3. Scatter the crushed strawberries evenly over the yogurt, followed by the chocolate chips and coconut. Put in freezer for 3 hours or until frozen.
  4. Remove from freezer and quickly break the bark into about 25 pieces. Immediately transfer to a resealable bag and store in the freezer.

NUTRITION PER SERVING 40 calories; 1g protein; 2g fat (1g sat. fat); 5g carbs; 0 fiber; 5g sugar; 0 iron; 17mg calcium; 5mg sodium

Raspberry-Gingersnap Cheesecake Bars

Keep these no-bake, make-ahead treats chilled until you serve them.

Active | 30 minutes Total | 2 hours 30 minutes Makes | 16 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 25 gingersnap cookies, finely crushed (6 oz.)
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 Tbs. cold water
  • 1½ tsp. unflavored gelatin
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup Homemade Pink Food Coloring
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 16 fresh raspberries

MAKE IT

  1. Line an 8x8-in. baking pan with parchment paper so that it drapes over two opposite sides.
  2. In a medium bowl combine the crushed cookies and butter. Stir until well combined. Firmly press cookie mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  3. Place water in a small saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin over the surface of the water (do not stir). Let stand 5 minutes. Heat the saucepan over medium heat until gelatin dissolves. Stir in the sugar. Cook and stir just until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in the food coloring.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the heavy cream with an electric mixer on medium speed until cream reaches stiff peaks (tips stand straight).
  5. In a separate large bowl beat the cream cheese and vanilla for 30 seconds. Add the gelatin mixture and beat until completely combined, about 2 minutes. Add the whipped cream and beat on low just until combined. Pour over crust in pan. Chill 2 hours or until firm.
  6. Run a knife along the edges of the cheesecake. Use the parchment to lift from pan. Cut into 16 bars and top each one with a fresh raspberry.

NUTRITION PER SERVING 176 calories; 2g protein; 12g fat (7g sat. fat); 17g carbs; 1g fiber; 10g sugar; 1mg iron; 31mg calcium; 100mg sodium

Cupid’s Cloud Parfait

The secret ingredient in this dreamy dessert is crème fraîche. Plain whole-milk Greek yogurt is a tasty alternative.

Active | 20 minutes Total | 20 minutes Makes | 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • ¼ cup crème fraîche
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbs. Homemade Pink Food Coloring (below)
  • 2 cups chopped fresh strawberries
  • 6 whole fresh strawberries

MAKE IT

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the crème fraîche and 3 Tbs. of the sugar until smooth.
  2. In a separate large bowl, whip the cream with an electric mixer on medium speed until it reaches stiff peaks (tips stand up straight).
  3. Add the whipped cream and vanilla to the bowl with the crème fraîche. Gently fold together until blended. Fold in the food coloring until evenly pink.
  4. In a medium bowl, stir together the chopped strawberries with the remaining sugar. Divide the strawberries into six 6-oz. jelly jars or juice glasses.
  5. Thinly slice 3 fresh strawberries and press slices firmly into glasses just above the chopped strawberries. Spoon the cream mixture on top.
  6. To make the garnish, use a paring knife to cut a V-shaped notch across the top of each whole strawberry (removing the stems in the process). Cut each strawberry in half, and top off each parfait with a strawberry heart.

NUTRITION PER PARFAIT 242 calories; 2g protein; 18g fat (12g sat. fat); 18g carbs; 2g fiber; 16g sugar; 0 iron; 59mg calcium; 13mg sodium

Homemade Pink Food Coloring

Stir this all-natural dye into yogurt, whipped cream, or frosting a teaspoon at a time to reach your desired color.

Active | 10 minutes Total | 10 minutes Makes | ⅔ cup

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups frozen raspberries

MAKE IT

  1. Place the raspberries in a medium bowl and microwave on high for 1½ minutes. Use a fork to stir and smash the raspberries.
  2. With the back of a spoon, press raspberries through a fine-mesh sieve; discard seeds. Store in the refrigerator. Freeze leftovers in an ice-cube tray for future use.

NUTRITION PER TEASPOON 5 calories; 0 protein; 0 fat (0 sat. fat); 1g carbs; 1g fiber; 0 sugar; 0 iron; 2mg calcium; 0 sodium

Sweetheart Tarts

Store-bought dough makes these treats even easier than pie.

Active | 30 minutes Total | 1 hour 15 minutes Makes | 8 tarts

INGREDIENTS

  • All-purpose flour for rolling the dough
  • ½ 14-oz. pkg. refrigerated piecrust (1 crust) or 8 oz. homemade pie dough
  • 8 tsp. raspberry jam
  • 1½ tsp. milk plus additional for brushing
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ tsp. Homemade Pink Food Coloring (at left)

MAKE IT

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Use a rolling pin to roll the piecrust into a 13-in.-diameter circle. Cut 16 hearts into the pie dough using a 2½-in. heart-shaped cookie cutter.
  3. Use a spatula to transfer 8 of the hearts to the baking sheet. Spoon 1 tsp. jam onto the center of each of the 8 hearts. Spread the jam across the dough, leaving a ⅓-in. border. Lightly brush the borders with milk. Transfer the remaining 8 pieces of pie dough to top the jam-covered hearts, being sure the edges line up. Use the tines of a fork to seal the edges of the dough.
  4. Bake about 18 minutes or until the tarts are golden brown around the edges with the tops just beginning to brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
  5. Make the frosting in a bowl by whisking together the powdered sugar, butter, 1½ tsp. milk, and food coloring until creamy and smooth. Spread the frosting over the tarts.

NUTRITION PER TART 165 calories; 1g protein; 7g fat (3g sat. fat); 25g carbs; 0 fiber; 11g sugar; 0 iron; 4mg calcium; 133mg sodium