JAMESTOWN, NC (WGHP) — Valentine’s Day is fast approaching.
Of course, you could buy chocolates. But if you’re feeling daring… you could Craft a treat for your darling. Don’t they deserve something special?
Shannon Smith shows us some easy chocolate recipes for Valentine’s Day with the help of culinary instructors at Guilford Technical Community College in Jamestown.
Chef Al’s Protein Packed Chocolate Peanut Butter Valentine Hearts
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter at room temperature
- 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup vanilla protein powder
- 10 to 12 oz. chocolate chips OR good quality candy coating
- Line an 8 x 8 inch pan with parchment paper, letting the paper hang over the sides so you can easily lift it later and set it aside.
- Then, in a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients until the sugar is dissolved. Then gradually add the powdered sugar.
- Press the mixture into the prepared dish. Smooth the top with a spatula or simply press down on it with your palms to flatten into a layer about ½ inch thick.
- Place it in the freezer until it is firm enough to cut.
- When the mixture is firm enough, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Using a small heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out the hearts and place them on the tray. Don’t waste any dough, scoop up the scraps, kneel down, press down with your palms, and you can cut out at least a few more hearts.
- Place them in the freezer until firm.
- Then melt the chocolate (or candy coating) and line another tray with parchment paper.
- Using a fork, dip each heart in the melted chocolate to completely cover it. Tap the fork lightly to drip off the excess chocolate. (As the peanut butter mixture softens very quickly at room temperature, I recommend taking only a few hearts out of the freezer at a time, as it’s easier to work with firm hearts!)
- Place the chocolate-covered hearts on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until the chocolate has set. Decorate with sprinkles or icing if desired.
- Store in the refrigerator or freeze for longer storage.
Note: The number of hearts depends on the size of your cookie cutter.
Chocolate fruit cups
(Al calls this the “best of both worlds,” but you’ll have to be the judge.)
- 1 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil (divided)
- Choice of fresh berries or fruit
- any other toppings of your choice
- In a small saucepan, melt 1/2 cup dark chocolate with 1 tablespoon coconut oil over low heat.
- Using a silicone muffin pan or a regular muffin pan with molds, evenly distribute the melted chocolate. Use a brush to brush the chocolate onto the sides of the moulds.
- Place the muffin pan in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes or until the chocolate has hardened.
- Melt another 1/2 cup of dark chocolate with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil over low heat.
- Spread the melted chocolate evenly over the hardened chocolate and brush the sides of the molds again.
- Return to refrigerator for at least 20 minutes or until chocolate has hardened.
- With the remaining 1/2 cup of dark chocolate and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, melt again over low heat. Take the mold out of the fridge and spread the rest of the melted chocolate back into the mold.
- By gently pushing the bottom of the silicone muffin pan, remove the chocolate cups.
- Fill with favorite fruits and other favorite toppings like mousses, puddings, ice cream.
Trio of Chocolate Truffles
- 8 oz white chocolate, dark chocolate or milk chocolate
- 8 ounces heavy cream
- In a bain-marie, melt each chocolate separately with the cream to obtain a white, dark and milk chocolate ganache.
- Pour each ganache into a separate shallow dish and place in the fridge to chill.
- Once cooled, divide each ganache into small balls using a tablespoon or teaspoon.
- Roll each ball to shape the truffles, then roll each truffle in your choice of filling or garnish. They can also be served au naturel if desired.
- Possible toppings: Valentine’s Day sprinkles or other candy decorations, chopped nuts, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, get creative!
Valentine’s Chocolate Bark
- 16 ounces of dark chocolate
- 4 ounces of white chocolate
- red food coloring
- Bark toppings of your choice. (Options include: candy hearts, valentine sprinkles or other candy, pretzels.)
- Tip: Get creative and give your bark some personality…use the candies or favorite things of the person you plan to give the bark to!
- Melt the dark and white chocolate in 2 separate bowls in a double boiler or in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time in a plastic or glass bowl
- Pour the dark chocolate onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper or saran wrap
- Mix 2 oz of white chocolate with food coloring to make red.
- Garnish the dark chocolate with the decorations of your choice, then with your fingers or a spoon drizzle the top with red chocolate and white chocolate and let cool. Then break it or cut it into desired shapes.
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