No gift for V-Day? Easy DIY emergency gifts for the forgetful

Aki Sumulong, Kit Singson, Cynch Molina
No worries. These easy-to-make gifts will endear you to your significant other – and they’re doable in one morning, too

MANILA, Philippines – You wouldn’t be alone if you were too busy to think up the perfect gift for Valentine’s, but one way around that is to exert a little bit of effort, even with just a few days to go before the day in question.  

Here are two easy sweet treats you can make by yourself for your significant other. Choose which to go with depending on your skill level in the kitchen. If cooking is not your thing at all, all the better! Surprise him or her with a present that shows that you took the time to create something for your significant other. 

A note on presentation: plating and packaging can make or break the present. Have the foresight to buy a nice (store-bought) box if you’re not crafty. Take the idea and run with it. Surprise your guy or girl with breakfast in bed, or send your homemade treats directly to their office. These are ideas; make them your own. 

For the novice in the kitchen: Bite-sized graham treats

FOR THE NOVICE. A quick V-day gift you can make on your own. Photos by Kit Singson

What you’ll need (serves two):

WHAT YOU'LL NEED. Photo by Kit Singson

  • 5 long crackers (has three squares each)
  • Condensed milk
  • Evaporated milk
  • Butter
  • Mortar & Pestle or food processor
  • Bowl
  • Oven Toaster
Get started! 
EASY. Don't be intimidated by the steps – you should be able to navigate with minimum fuss. Photos by Kit Singson

Step 1: Beat It

Using your mortar and pestle, pound your crackers until they’re fine. This may take a while so if you have a food processor in the kitchen, utilize it and save time prepping the treats.

Step 2: Mix It Up

In a bowl, pour 3 tablespoons condensed milk, and 3 tablespoons evaporated milk. Put in the powdered crackers and start mixing. The dough should be wet enough to be compacted, but dry enough to hold a shape. 

Step 3: Rolling in the Deep

Line your tray with aluminum foil. Start shaping your dough into balls, roll them in liquid butter, and line them up. The size depends on how “bite-sized” you want them to be. These are about 3/4 inch in diameter. That’s about two bites with a moderate mouthful.

Step 4: Toast!

Toast the treats for 4 minutes or until your butter has completely dried up. The butter also helps hold the shape of the balls. It acts as a sort of crust and adds flavor.

Plate and enjoy! Best served with a glass of cold milk. 

For the slightly more experienced: Chocolate-cranberry pancakes 

SWEET TREAT. These look lovely, but they're surprisingly easy to make. Photo by Cynch Molina and Kit Singson

What you’ll need:

PREP YOUR STATIONS. Get organized before you get started. Photos by Kit Singson and Cynch Molina

(Note: The original recipe is from BBC, but was slightly modified for this specific pancake mix.)  

  • 200 grams of all-purpose flour
  • 350 ml of milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp of canola oil
  • Canola oil for frying
  • 1/2 bar of chopped chocolates
  • 1/2 cup of chopped dried cranberries
  • Heart-shaped cookie cutters
  • 5 drops of red food coloring (optional)
Get started!
WHISKED AWAY. If you have time, try this out on your own to perfect your take on this recipe. Photos by Kit Singson and Cynch Molina

1. Whisked Away!

First, quickly whisk milk and eggs together. Mix this in with the flour. Then, add vanilla extract and canola oil and whisk them all together until you have smooth batter.

2-3. Chocolate and Cranberries

Portion the batter in two by pouring one half into another bowl. Place your chopped cranberries in one bowl and the chocolates into the other. Mix the cranberries well with the batter but take it easy with the chocolates. You want to have little bits of it intact.

4. Pink Please

Pick a batter (chocolate/cranberry-mixed) you want to be pink and add 5 drops of red food coloring. If you prefer a baby pink shade, add 2 – 3 drops only. 

5. Turn Up the Heat!

Spread the canola oil evenly in a frying pan over medium heat. Carefully pour a ladleful of batter in the pan. Flip the pancake over once its underside is golden-brown. This should probably take a good two minutes total depending on the size of your cake.

6. Playing Cupid

Stack two pink and two golden-brown pancakes alternately.. Using your heart-shaped (or any other shaped) cookie cutter, press down and cut your stacked pancakes. You will end up with a nice four-layered treat!  

To finish the look, place your stacked pancake hearts on a beautiful dessert plate and top it off with some dried cranberries. Pair this with hot milk or tea. Serve and enjoy with your better half.

There you have it! Do you have any other sweet treats you’d like to give or receive on Valentine’s? Let us know in the comments below. 

DOUBLE TREAT. Pick one, attempt the recipe for fun, and enjoy. Photos by Kit Singson and Cynch Molina


Note: earlier versions of these recipes first appeared on The Girls’ Room website. 

Cynch Molina, Aki Sumulong, and Kit Singson are the women behind The Girls’ Room, a lifestyle blog that aims to show how to make the most out of the present by upholding the principle that you only live once. TGR wishes to share a positive outlook to girls everywhere—there’s always something beautiful to look forward to.

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