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This charcuterie board contains chocolate-dipped pretzel rods, chocolate-covered Rice Krispie treats, Valentine’s Day bark and assorted candies. 

Valentine’s Day is usually a night full of couples at candle-lit dinners and endless boxes of chocolates. But, not everyone has a significant other to share this holiday with. Instead, plan a dinner party with friends or Galentine’s festivities with a group of singles. These three easy dessert recipes are simple to make on a college budget and will help create a fun and festive charcuterie board.

Chocolate-dipped pretzel rods

This recipe is, by far, the easiest dessert to make in a pinch or for the less experienced baker. It strikes the perfect balance between sweet and salty and allows for some personal creativity to shine through in the decorations. To make the process even easier, transfer the melted chocolate to a tall container so that the pretzel rod can be dipped most of the way into it. Otherwise, using a spoon to drizzle the chocolate over the end of the pretzel rod is another simple way to cover it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of pretzel rods

  • 1 package of chocolate candy melts

  • 1 package of pink candy melts

  • Assorted toppings like sprinkles and M&Ms

Instructions:

Microwave the chocolate candy melts according to the package instructions. Dip the pretzel rods into the melted chocolate, or drizzle the chocolate over one end of the pretzel rod. Microwave pink candy melts, and drizzle over the top. Scatter M&Ms, sprinkles and other decorative garnishes over the chocolate.

Chocolate-covered Rice Krispie treats

Rice Krispies are a classic sweet snack, but this heart-shaped version makes them the perfect addition to a dessert board. The pink-colored chocolate drizzled over top enhances the flavors of this simple treat.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of Rice Krispie cereal

  • 3 tablespoons of butter

  • 4 cups of miniature marshmallows

  • 1 package of pink candy melts

Instructions:

Prepare the Rice Krispie treats in a large saucepan according to the directions on the side of the box. Line a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper. Or, coat aluminum foil with butter. Using a spatula covered in butter, spread the Rice Krispie treats evenly over the baking sheet, and flatten. Refrigerate for 10 minutes until solid. Cut with heart-shaped cookie cutters or free-hand with a small knife. Microwave pink candy melts, and drizzle over the Rice Krispie treats. Let them sit for 15 minutes to harden. 

Valentine’s Day bark

This recipe is a Feb. 14 twist on chocolate bark. The crust of strawberry wafers combined with the scattered pink and red M&Ms and sprinkles is a balance between fruity and chocolatey flavors. It’s a no-bake recipe that takes less than 20 minutes, start to finish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of strawberry wafers

  • 1 package of candy melts (cheesecake or vanilla flavored)

  • 4 ounces cream cheese

  • 1 package of M&Ms

  • 1 ounce Valentine’s Day-themed sprinkles

Instructions:

Using a blender, mix together the strawberry wafers and the cream cheese. Line a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper. Or, coat aluminum foil with butter. Cover the bottom of the baking sheet with the blended mixture. Spread it out evenly, and press it down flat. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the candy melts according to the package directions. Pour the melted candy over the crust. Sprinkle the top with M&Ms and sprinkles. Let it sit for 30 minutes or refrigerate it for 15 minutes.

Arrange all of the desserts on a cutting board or platter interspersed with candies and other treats like Twizzlers, Lindt truffles, hard rock candy or strawberries. This festive dessert charcuterie will provide the perfect snack for a rom-com marathon or finger food during a cocktail party. 

Contact Ryann Sheehy at sheehyrl@dukes.jmu.edu. For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter @Breeze_Culture.