While many say that there is always a perfect gift for your loved one, I beg to differ. The older we get, the more we value the time spent and our experience together. I'm not saying I dislike expensive gifts, but they can be a very hit or miss and feel like a missed opportunity. The best gift my husband gives me is not getting discouraged by the cold and still going out to get me sunflower seed simit when I'm working. Of course, he doesn't have to, but he still does, making my breakfast snack so much better.
So here I am to suggest to you a couple of recipes for your loved one as a sweet little gesture to warm their heart!
Before diving into the recipes, I recommend wrapping these gifts in cute ways. Using some normal paper that you have lying around as your own packing paper is fun and can be very personal. Don't be shy and get creative!
You literally need only three ingredients and a bit of patience but the result is to die for. I have made many different versions of meringues over the years, especially when recipes called for only the yolk egg, leaving egg whites behind. While I'm a sucker for dark chocolate, you can, of course, make this with milk chocolate as well. However, white chocolate could be problematic due to the high-fat ratio, making the whole recipe bad.
Chop the chocolate into smaller pieces and melt it by either tossing it into the microwave for 20-second intervals and stirring each time thoroughly or making a double boiler (meaning to melt it with the heat of steam over a pot). Once completely melted, set aside, get a clean, dry bowl, and start whisking the egg whites. Once they start to form a bit of a bubbly texture, add the sugar and continue beating it until stiff peaks form. If you have a stand mixer (a great time saver!) aim to beat them for 10 minutes to get the ideal texture. Get your baking tray ready with some baking paper and heat your oven to 120 degrees Celsius (248 degrees Fahrenheit).
Now carefully drizzle the chocolate over the egg mass and gently fold it in. With the help of a spoon, scoop equal-sized pieces onto the baking paper. You can make them as big or as small as you like. If you use a tablespoon you get a nice size that will need about 50-60 minutes to bake in the oven. If you'd like to have bigger ones, you will need to bake them longer. If you double them in size to about two tablespoons, it will take them about 80 minutes to cook, so do keep that in mind. Once they have cooled, store them in an airtight container and enjoy them together with a cup of tea or coffee!
When you have a good base, the rest is up to your imagination. Especially with some fruit, chocolate spread or the like, you can make a very simple dessert worth the envy of any cafe. And one thing is for sure – the result is most definitely cheaper than any fancy cafe out there. The only real requirement would be a decent waffle iron. The recipe makes for a nice lightly crunchy but still airy waffle that I usually just dust with some powdered sugar to enjoy.
Melt the butter and set it aside to cool off a bit. Whisk together the other ingredients and add the butter at the end. You don’t want to cook your eggs after all. Lightly oil your iron and add about a scoopful of the batter and let it bake through. Depending on the iron and its settings this can take about five minutes. Let it cool off slightly and serve.
I mean it. These are so simple it is ridiculous but it makes sense for a cute and very quick snack. Puff pastry is easily available and if you have some cookie cutters you can make this dessert in a minute or two (plus baking time of course). While these sugary hearts are delicious on their own, I like to have a few different jams in small bowls to dunk them into to make this even better. Plus, a bit of color while serving has never hurt anyone.
Depending on the kind of puff pastry, prepare it to be rolled out at least a little bit (even if they are already in sheet form). Whisk the egg with a fork to break it up and make it a bit more fluffy. Brush the egg onto the puff pastry and sprinkle the sugar all over it. Cut out the hearts with a cookie cutter and bake according to the instructions. The leftover pastry should be baked as well, just maybe in a separate run so as not to burn the thinner parts. Once cooled, serve.
Why stop at only sugar? You can of course drizzle some chocolate on once baked. Or if you are more of a savory type, experiment with some spices and bake it like that.