NORTHWOODS COOKS: Delicious desserts for Valentine's Day

Readers are invited to submit their favorite recipes to enjoy, along with a note about what makes them special. Send recipes to

Chocolate cheesecake
CTop off a Valentine's Day dinner with a rich, homemade dessert baked with love to make the meal extra special.
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Valentine’s Day is Tuesday. These are three of the desserts featured in “18 Fancy Valentine’s Day Dessert Recipes” at that can make dinner at home special.

Fudge Truffle Cheesecake

1-1/2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder


1/3 cup butter, softened

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

3 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, room temperature

14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk

4 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, mix together crushed vanilla wafers, confectioners' sugar, cocoa and butter by hand. Press ingredients into a 9-inch springform pan.

In the top of a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips, making sure that they are very smooth.


In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy with an electric mixer. Gradually beat in condensed milk until smooth. Mix in melted chocolate, eggs, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until the ingredients are thoroughly blended. Pour the filling into the prepared crust.

Bake at 300 degrees for 55 minutes. The cake will seem undercooked in the center, but will continue to cook after you remove it from the oven. Allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for several hours before serving.

Valentine Strawberries

8 oz. pink candy melts

8 oz. white candy melts

8 oz. bright pink candy melts

24 large fresh strawberries

sprinkles as needed (optional)


Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Microwave candy melts in separate bowls, 1 bowl at a time, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted.

Dip strawberries into desired color of candy melts. Let excess candy drip off, then set on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with another color of candy melts. Top with sprinkles. Chill strawberries until set, at least 15 minutes and up to 2 days.

Chocolate Eclair Cake

16-oz. package graham crackers

4 cups milk

2 (3.5-oz.) packages instant vanilla pudding mix

16-oz. package frozen whipped topping, thawed

16-oz. package prepared chocolate frosting


Line the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with a single layer of graham crackers.

Combine milk and vanilla pudding in a large bowl; whisk briskly for 2 minutes. Fold in whipped topping until combined.

Spread 1/2 of the pudding mixture over graham crackers in the pan. Top with a single layer of graham crackers. Cover with remaining pudding mixture, then top with another layer of graham crackers.

Cook the uncovered container of prepared frosting in the microwave on half power for 1 minute. Pour over the top of the cake and spread evenly to the edges. Refrigerate cake for at least 12 hours before serving.

Readers are invited to submit their favorite recipes to enjoy, along with a note about what makes them special. Send recipes to

Lorie Skarpness has lived in the Park Rapids area since 1997 and has been writing for the Park Rapids Enterprise since 2017. She enjoys writing features about the people and wildlife who call the north woods home.
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