3 Must-Make Treats — in Time for V-Day

Refinery29By Joanna Riedl, Refinery29

Still thinking of that something extra special to do for your S.O. on Friday? Or, for all those fab single ladies, planning to treat yourself to a colossal, heart-shaped box of candy? Well, for V-Day this year, we recommend switching things up a bit. We paid Wholesome Bakery's Mandy Harper a visit at her new Mission spot, where she showed us how to wow our sweetheart (or ourselves!) by whipping up some healthy, vegan, and oh-so-tasty treats.

This year, surprise your lover with rich, lavender-chocolate truffles, or plan to start the day swooning over gluten-free, orange-zest morning buns. An added incentive: If or when sexy time rolls around, you'll be super glad you stayed away from other heavy desserts. Plus, everyone knows the surefire way to the heart is through the stomach, right?

Meet our baking babe Mandy Harper, who's about to show us that the way to our love's heart really is through the stomach. Throw on your apron, and let's get to it!

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Orange-Zest Morning Buns

¾ cup warm water
½ cup warm coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1⅛ tsp baking soda
1⅛ tsp baking powder
1½ tsp apple cider vinegar
Zest of two oranges
1½ cup coconut sugar
½ tsp salt
4 cups barley flour (sifted)
1 tsp cornstarch
¾ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cardamom
1½ tsp cinnamon
½ cup vegan butter or organic palm shortening (chilled)

12 cup mini-muffin tin

1. In one bowl, add together the warm water, warm coconut milk, vanilla extract, baking soda and powder, apple cider vinegar, and zest of one orange. Set aside.

2. In another bowl, combine one-fourth coconut sugar, salt, barley flour, cornstarch, and nutmeg.

3. Slowly pour wet ingredients from the first bowl into the second bowl of dry ingredients, and fold together. Let dough sit covered in a bowl for two to three hours in the fridge.

4. While the dough is setting, create the bun filling by combining one-third coconut sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and zest of one orange in a bowl.

5. Once the dough has set, roll it out with a rolling pin to one-quarter-inch thickness. Cut one-quarter-inch-thick pieces of your vegan butter or organic palm shortening. Place on top of rolled-out dough. Fold dough in half, then begin to cut the dough into pieces. Once cut into pieces, form dough back together, and roll out and cut into again. Do this until the butter or palm is evenly in dough.

6. Roll dough one more time into one-quarter-inch thickness. Try to keep dough even and square. Once rolled, evenly sprinkle filling on dough. Give the dough another roll or two to set the filling into the dough. From here, you are ready to roll your dough as you would a cinnamon bun into a long tube.

7. Grease a 12-cup mini-muffin tin. Slice the dough about two inches thick. Swirl side up, and place one roll into each tin cup. From there, set the tin in a warm place for about 20 minutes.

8. Bake at 325° F to 350° F (depending on how your oven bakes) for about 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.

Refinery29Lavender-Chocolate Truffles

¾ cup agave
¼ cup water
1 tbsp lavender hips
2 cups 78% cocoa wafer
1 can coconut milk (14 to 16 oz)

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Truffle silicon molding

1. In a small saucepan, cook agave, water, and lavender hips on medium-low heat for 20 minutes. Make sure the water has been cooked out, creating a light syrup.

2. In a large saucepan, cook 78% cocoa wafer, coconut milk, and lavender-agave mixture for 20 minutes or until chocolate has thickened.

3. Let chocolate mixture set in the fridge inside silicone molds. If you don't have any molds, place in a bowl to set, then scoop out as desired.

Refinery29Coconut Cardamom Rice Pudding

2½ cups coconut milk
1 cup water
1 cup brown rice
½ cup agave
1 tsp cardamom
½ tsp vanilla extract

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1. In a medium-sized pot, bring coconut milk and water to a boil.

2. Once boiling, add brown rice, agave, cardamom, and vanilla extract.

3. Turn to low for 45 minutes, and stir every five to 10 minutes.

4. Serve hot or cold.

Then, sit back and savor the sweet rewards with your love!

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