Dark and white chocolate and sweet strawberries combine for a great Valentine treat.
I have heard there’s no such thing as too many sweets, but I can agree and disagree with that statement.
As a diabetic I know that just about ANY sweets are going to wreak havoc with my blood glucose levels. But on the other hand, if I feel like trying a recipe that’s loaded with sugar, there is no shortage of people I can give the treats to. When I worked in an office, that was a great place to dispense treats because they were gone in a matter of minutes.
I am not much for celebrating Valentine’s Day, but I understand it is a significant day for many people. It is fun to dig through recipes that I can share and it is always my hope that those recipes will put some smiles on the faces of readers and their families. Stay as sweet as you are.
True love truffles
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter (no substitutes)
1 can (5 ounces) evaporated milk
2 packages (4.67 ounces each) Andes mint candies (56 pieces total)
1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
22 ounces white baking chocolate, divided
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Green food coloring, optional
In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar, butter and milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat; cook and stir until a candy thermometer reads 236 (soft-ball stage). Remove from heat.
Stir in candies until melted and mixture is well blended. Stir in marshmallow creme and vanilla until smooth. Spread into a buttered 15-by-10-by-1-inch pan; cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Cut into 96 pieces; roll each into a ball (mixture will be soft). Place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet. In a heavy saucepan or microwave-safe bowl, melt 18 ounces of white chocolate and the chocolate chips.
Dip balls in melted chocolate; place on waxed paper to harden. Melt the remaining white chocolate; add food coloring if desired. Drizzle over truffles. Store in an airtight container. Makes 8 dozen.
Red-hot molded hearts
This doesn’t use chocolate, and you probably wouldn’t have much success trying to hide gelatin in your closet or underwear drawer if you didn’t want to share, but this is so easy and so tasty I had to include it.
1/4 cup red-hot cinnamon candies
1 cup boiling water
1 package (3 ounces) strawberry gelatin
2 1/2 cups applesauce
In a bowl, dissolve candies in the boiling water. Stir in gelatin until dissolved. Fold in applesauce.
Pour into 12 oiled 1/3-cup individual heart molds, a 4-cup heart-shaped mold or a 1-quart bowl. Chill for at least 3 hours. Makes 10 to 12 servings
Triple chocolate kisses
2 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 square (1 ounce) semisweet chocolate, grated
42 milk chocolate kisses
In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar; beat until soft peaks form, about 6 minutes. Gradually add sugar, beating until stiff peaks form, about 6 minutes. Beat in extract. Fold in grated chocolate.
Insert a medium open-star tip in a pastry or plastic bag. Fill with the meringue. On a lightly greased baking sheet, pipe 42 1-inch circles. Press a chocolate kiss into the center of each. Pipe meringue around each kiss in continuous circles from the base to the top until kiss is completely covered. Dust with cocoa.
Bake at 325 for 15 to 18 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Immediately remove to wire racks to cool. Makes 3 1/2 dozen.
Chocolate dipped strawberries
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, chopped
3 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1 pound long-stemmed strawberries (about 20), washed and dried very well
Place the semisweet and white chocolates into 2 separate heatproof medium bowls. Fill 2 medium saucepans with a couple inches of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off heat; set the bowls of chocolate over the water to melt. Stir until smooth. (Alternatively, melt the chocolates in a microwave at half power, for 1 minute, stir and then heat for another minute or until melted.)
Once the chocolates are melted and smooth, remove from the heat. Line a sheet pan with parchment or waxed paper. Holding a strawberry by its stem, dip it into the dark chocolate. Lift and twist berry slightly, allowing any excess chocolate drip back into the bowl. Place berry on the parchment or waxed paper. Repeat with remaining strawberries and dark chocolate.Dip a fork into the melted white chocolate and drizzle over the berries. The chocolate will set in about 30 minutes.
A different kind of s’more
This recipe isn’t fancy, but put a platter of these treats out and don’t expect them to last long.
10 graham crackers, divided
1 package (8 squares) semi-sweet baking chocolate
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, divided
1 package (10 ounces) miniature marshmallows
1 package (13 ounces) chocolate-flavored dry, crisped cereal, such as Cocoa Pebbles
12 large marshmallows, halved
Line a 13-by-9-inch pan with foil; grease bottom and sides. Place graham crackers in single layer on bottom, cutting crackers to completely fill pan. Coarsely crush remaining crackers; set aside.
Microwave chocolate and 2 tablespoons butter in a microwave-safe bowl on HIGH 2 minutes; stir until chocolate is melted. Spread half of the chocolate in a thin layer over crackers.
Microwave remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a 4-quart microwave-safe bowl on HIGH 45 seconds or until melted. Add miniature marshmallows; toss to coat. Microwave 1 1/2 minutes, until marshmallows are completely melted, stirring after 45 seconds.
Add cereal, mix well. Press gently over chocolate-coated crackers to form an even layer. Top with marshmallow halves, cut side down, and crushed graham crackers. Drizzle with remaining chocolate. Cool; cut into squares. Makes 2 dozen.