Everybody Loves Chocolate

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By Adrianna Zampieri

Embrace your sweet tooth because Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and that means chocolate, lots and lots of mouthwatering chocolate! But rather than buying prepackaged, possibly stale treats from the store, brave the kitchen to make your own. It’ll be a confectionary delight perfect for this Day of Love, whether you’re sharing it with your significant other or hosting a party for you and your single friends.

I4S16Feb10_chocolate strawberries plated 11 WOS (Chris Shepperd's conflicted copy 2016-02-08) Strawberry Hearts

Chocolate-dipped strawberries are a classic dessert consumed on Valentine’s Day. While they are delicious, they also can run a bit expensive when buying them from a store. With a tutorial from “Walking on Sunshine,” you can enjoy this juicy treat at a cheaper price by making them yourself. Sure, they might not look quite as fancy as the store-bought ones, but you’re making them from the heart.

What You Need:

  • Strawberries
  • Toothpicks
  • Milk chocolate almond bark
  • White chocolate almond bark

How to Do It:

  1. Take the stem off of the strawberries. Don’t cut the stem; just pull it off.
  2. Then cut the strawberries in half and lay them flat on a cutting board. Place them together with the pointy bottoms touching.  
  3. Now, secure them with a toothpick, and you have a heart. Try not to put the toothpick all the way through so you have something to hold on to while you dip the strawberries in the chocolate.
  4. Melt the milk chocolate according to the directions on the package. Dip the strawberries in the melted chocolate, trying to get the whole strawberry covered. Once they’re dipped, they begin to look like hearts.
  5. Set the strawberry hearts on a piece of wax paper to dry completely. After they’ve dried, you may need to trim some of the melted chocolate away.
  6. Now melt the white chocolate and drizzle on top of the hearts.
  7. All done! They’re easy, delicious and beautiful.

I4S16Feb10_Red-Velvet-Truffles-Step-Long Red Velvet Truffles

OMG Chocolate Desserts” has replaced the Oreo Truffle with the Red Velvet Truffle as a Valentine’s Day favorite. Rich and delectable, this melt-in-your-mouth recipe will be sure to woo your taste buds. With a white chocolate coating and deep red center, even Cupid would be impressed.

What You Need:

  • 1 box red velvet cake mix (plus ingredients listed on the box to prepare the cake)
  • 8 oz. cream cheese-softened
  • 16 oz. white chocolate bark
  • 2 oz. dark or semi-sweet chocolate bark

How to Do It:

  1. Prepare the 9 x 13 inch cake according to package instructions, let it cool completely, and then crumble the cake in a large bowl.
  2. Add softened cream cheese and knead gently with your fingers until cream cheese is fully incorporated.
  3. Roll about 1 tablespoon of the mixture into balls and place on a baking sheet lined with a parchment paper. You will get about 35-40 balls. Set in the fridge to chill.
  4. Melt the white chocolate, remove the cake balls from the fridge and using a fork, dip them into the melted chocolate. Place one ball at a time into the chocolate and roll the ball to coat evenly. Then slightly tap the fork against the side of the bowl to trim the excess chocolate and place the truffle on the parchment paper. Set them back in the fridge until chocolate is firm.
  5. Melt dark chocolate, transfer into a small bag, cut the corner off of the bag, and pipe the melted chocolate on top of the truffles.
  6. Store in the fridge.

I4S16Feb10_Chocolate Valentine Kiss Cookies_Platter Chocolate Kiss Cookies

Chocolate cookies are delicious; everyone knows that. But they’re even better when coated with pink sprinkles and finished with a Hershey’s Kiss. “The Kitchen is My Playground” turned the traditional chocolate cookie into something worthy of Valentine’s Day.

What You Need:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 to 1 cup assorted Valentine sprinkles
  • 25 to 30 Hershey’s Kisses

How to Do It:

  1. Combine flour, cocoa, and salt; set aside.
  2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg yolk, milk, and vanilla; mix until incorporated. Reduce mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture until combined.
  3. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 1 hour.
  4. Roll chilled dough into 1-inch balls and roll each ball in sprinkles, completely covering the dough ball with sprinkles.
  5. Place balls about 2 inches apart on a baking sheet. With your thumb, gently press down into the center of each ball just slightly to make a very small indentation.
  6. Chill the baking sheet of dough balls in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees until set, about 12 minutes.
  8. After removing cookies from the oven, immediately place a Hershey’s Kiss in the center of each cookie. Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for about 3 minutes; remove to a cooling rack to cool.

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