Try this crisp, low-fat treat from the Sunset archives
Meringue hearts
Annabelle Breakey

Meringue Hearts
(February 1976)

We’ve slightly tweaked the original recipe, Meringue Heart Sundaes, to use strawberry frozen yogurt instead of ice cream, and we’ve substituted white chocolate curls for the thawed frozen strawberries.

Where was the love? Early on at Sunset, romantic food was nonexistent. Most of our Valentine’s Day stories before 1950 had to do with centerpiece decor ― that is, when the day surfaced at all. More often, Presidents’ Day was the bigger deal.

Valentine’s recipes finally began showing up in the ’50s, but they were family-oriented, for food like heart-shaped French toast for kids. It wasn’t until February 1970 that romance burst onto our food pages, and how: Flaming cherry sundaes for two, anyone? Once lit, love kept burning.

Over the next 20 years, we published recipes for giant German spice-cookie valentines (photographed clasped to the chest of a strapping blonde in a dirndl); a vast heart of candied popcorn; and ambitious projects (doubtless for the strongest of heart) like chocolate boxes, corsages, and even chocolate profiles of one’s beloved.

These meringues, accompanied by a photo of the happy eater nuzzling the cook, were part of a trio of sweet treats for two that were dreamed up to “please someone special on Valentine’s Day.” Airy, crisp, and practically fat-free, they’re as light and fun as a good first date.

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