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Sweet treats in celebration of Valentine’s Day

This week's recipes include Chocolate Mandarin Cheesecake and Cherry Cookies
From the Kitchen by Joyce Walter

It is difficult to turn down a sweet treat, especially on holidays or special celebrations, including Valentine’s Day.

This week’s recipes are designed to entice sweethearts to add to the sweetness of the special event.

• • •

Chocolate Mandarin Cheesecake


  • 1 cup chocolate wafer crumbs
  • 3 tbsps. butter, melted

Orange Filling:

  • 3-8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsps. flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 3 tbsps. orange liqueur
  • 1 tbsp. grated orange rind

Glaze and Decoration

  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 4-1 oz. squares semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1-10 oz. can mandarin orange segments
  • 2-1 oz. squares semi-sweet chocolate

For the crust, combine the wafer crumbs and melted butter. Press over the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Bake at 375 degrees F for 10 minutes. Remove from oven.

For the filling, in a large bowl beat the cream cheese, sugar and flour until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, just until blended. Mix in juice, liqueur and rind. Pour over prepared crust and bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes, or until batter is just set. Remove from oven and cool thoroughly on wire rack. Remove pan rim and chill overnight.

To make the glaze, bring cream to a boil over low heat. Remove from heat. Stir in the chopped chocolate until melted and smooth. Pour over the cake.

Lay orange segments out on a paper towel and dry thoroughly.

Partially melt the two squares of chocolate over hot water. Remove from heat and continue stirring until completely melted. 

Dip one end of each orange slice into the chocolate, place on waxed paper and refrigerate until chocolate is hardened. Arrange the orange slices in a circle on the cake. Chill in refrigerator. Makes about 12-15 slices.  

• • •

Cherry Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsps. vanilla
  • 1-10 oz. jar maraschino cherries (about 48)
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl stir together flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and soda.

In another bowl beat together butter and sugar on low speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat well.

Gradually add dry ingredients to creamed mixture and mix until well blended.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Press down centre of dough with your thumb.

Drain cherries, reserving juice. Place a cherry in the centre of each cookie.

In a small saucepan combine white chocolate chips and sweetened milk. Heat until chocolate chips are melted. Stir in reserved cherry juice.

Spoon about 1 tsp. of the milk mixture over each cookie, spreading to cover the cherry. If necessary, the frosting may be thinned by adding more cherry juice.

Bake about 10 minutes or until done. Remove from cookie sheet and cool on racks. Store in airtight container. Makes about 48 cookies.

Joyce Walter can be reached at

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