Sunday is Valentine's Day — a day you love if you're in a relationship, a day you dread if you're not. Although, thanks to an episode of the TV sitcom "Parks and Recreation," we single ladies can now celebrate Galentine's Day, a celebration of female friendship, on Saturday, Feb. 13.
In these days of quarantining and social distancing, the perfect Galentine's Day or Valentine's Day get-together is best kept to that special BFF or two or just you and the love of your life. Maybe movie night with your favorite rom/com movie, accompanied by a sweet charcuterie board — a dessert tray, featuring sweet dips and dippers, fresh fruits and bright red candies.
Feeling overwhelmed by all those Instagram-worthy sweet charcuterie boards? The maker of Amoré hazelnut and almond chocolate spreads gave me some simple tips for easily creating your own board:
GATHER YOUR INGREDIENTS
Dips: No Valentine’s Day celebration would be complete without a rich, velvety chocolate dip.
Using a high-speed mixer, blend one cup hazelnut chocolate spread with 8 ounces cream cheese, 1/4 cup champagne and 3/4 cup Cool Whip (defrosted). For a healthier option, mix 1/2 cup chocolate spread with 1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt.
Or try whipping up a simple fluffernutter dip: Mix 1/2 cup peanut butter with 1/2 cup marshmallow cream.
Dippable treats: Items to pair with the dips can include fruit (strawberries, raspberries, and apples), meringue cookies and shortbread.
Chocolate-covered strawberries: Mix 1/4 cup chocolate spread with 2 tablespoons coconut oil. Dip strawberries into the mix and then place in the freezer for 10 minutes to set.
Candy: Look for pink, red and white candies, like red licorice bites, pink M&M’s, and fluffy mini marshmallows — and don’t forget the conversation hearts!
Salty items: A few savory items, like pretzels, popcorn and nuts, will add texture and crunch to your board. In addition, cheese and chocolate are a match made in heaven, and a triple-cream cheese is an especially good fit here.
ASSEMBLING THE BOARD
Start by placing small bowls around the board to fill with dips and nuts. From there, arrange the bigger items like pretzels, cheese, chocolate-covered strawberries, and cookies, alternating colors and textures and stacking items to vary the heights and create visual interest. Fill any gaps with your small candies.
Of course, since Once Again Nut Butter sent me a jar of each of its chocolate spreads, I just had to make a half-batch of each dip last weekend for my Super Bowl snack. I confess that when I made the fluffernutter dip, I used the almond chocolate dip in lieu of peanut butter — next time, I'd like to try using both the peanut butter and the chocolate almond spread. (I also confess to drinking more than half of the bottle of leftover champagne.) For dippers, I used Nilla Wafers and some brownies I had made a few weeks ago and frozen.
No matter with who or how you chose to celebrate, have a wonderful Galentine's or Valentine's Day!