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Updated Feb 2021
I had the pleasure of returning to Home & Family this week to make one of my Valentine’s Day Dessert Boards and show off the art of the HEART APPLE. As always, Debbie Matenopoulos and Cameron Mathison were the most welcoming hosts!
The best Valentine’s Day Sweater
Before getting to the board, I don’t think I’ve ever received so many questions about a single item of clothing. This pink sweater was definitely a hit (color is “neon berry”).
Home & Family Segment
Now let’s get to it… The full segment is available on youtube below:
Valentine’s Day Dessert Board How-To
Step 1: gather fitting sweet treats
There are two things to think about:
- Color palette: for VDAY that means lots of fitting red, pink, purple, white and chocolate brown items.
- Novelty sweets: any fun love-themed treats, like heart jelly beans, heart cookies, lip gummies, etc. In particular, I like to go to Sockerbit NYC and Trader Joe’s for dye-free candies.
Step 2: place your ramekins
- Similar to how we do with the cheese boards, I like to place ramekins first to create a symmetrical foundation (vs. being an afterthought and having them squished together).
- Ramekins are great to corral smaller candies together.
- For a holiday board, themed ramekins are great. These heart-shaped ramekins fit the bill.
Step 3: add in the heart apple
- So far, Envy apples are my favorite for this trick. I try to pick out the reddest, roundest apples. See heart apple tutorial below.
- I like to surround the heart apple with a contrasting-colored item (like the blueberries) so the heart pops.
- Because these apples are face-down and held together, they aren’t that susceptible to oxidizing. But, if you’re looking for ways to protect your apples from browning, the traditional solve is brushing them with lemon juice, but that actually makes the apples taste bitter, so choose a sweeter citrus option like orange juice or pineapple juice
Step 4: move onto larger scale items
- Items like cookies, brownies, larger gummies.
- I like to line this up on the edges of the board to create a barrier for the smaller items so they don’t fall off.
- Arrange them in fun ways around the board (fan out on edges, around ramekins, create rows) to create visual interest and varying textures on the board.
Step 5: pay attention to color distribution
- Spread out similar colors to create visual interest and balance.
Step 6: fill in the holes
- Place smaller candies in gaps to make the board look abundant.
- These fun scoops are great for guests to self-serve the candy. I’d suggest putting out bags for guests to take home doggie bags with leftovers too.
The Apple Heart
For those of you that are new around here, last year, I came up with this cute way to display apple slices (in the shape of a heart) and it just might be the cutest way to serve apples you ever did see. Here’s the HEART APPLE tutorial on my IGTV:
What if I need to make a smaller serving?
My boards are often large to showcase my tips (especially on a show like Home & Family, I like to “go big or go home.”), but all these tips can be applied to a smaller board. Just choose 3-5 different sweets and arrange them on a small platter (as simple as a dinner plate) for a similar affect on a smaller scale.
Show Me Your Boards
And, if you liked this board recipe, please rate and review.
Photos from Home & Family by Keith Castillo/ Alexx Henry Studios, LLC.
Galentine’s Day Dessert Board
- apples Envy apples are great for this
- Heart Cookies Cookie bin at Whole Foods
- Chocolate Pretzels with pink sprinkles Cookie bin at Whole Foods
- Jelly filled Round Heart Cookies Cookie bin at Whole Foods
- Skull Gummies Sockerbit
- Lip Gummies Sockerbit
- Licorice Pinwheels Dylan's Candy Store
- X's & O's Gummies Trader Joe's
- Vanilla Meringues
- Pink Chocolate Covered Almonds Sockerbit
- Chocolate Shortbread Hearts Trader Joe's
- Heart Gummies Sockerbit
- Various other gummies & candies from Sockerbit