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Valentine Treats

It’s February! I always want to make treats for my loved ones, but I don’t often have time to stand at the stove for hours on end making fussy, perfect works of art. These recipes are quick, easy to set down and come back to, can even be made with help from little ones, and are super delicious! Pair some of these goodies with a handmade (or store-bought) card and you’ve got a totally sweet, straight-from-the-heart valentine for every sweetheart on your list this year.

Even if you’re not busy penning sonnets on doilies, you might still feel like making these chocolate treats!

Basic Truffle Recipe, with Bonus Options!
Adapted from Ghiradelli

  • 1 3/4 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder (or whatever else you might roll them in—powdered sugar, chopped nuts, etc.)
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream 
  • 6 Tbs. butter

Directions: Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir the butter in until it’s all melted. Add the chocolate chips and stir and stir and stir until it’s so smooth. Remove from heat and pour into a shallow bowl or glass food storage container.

Let it cool, then cover it and throw it in the fridge for at least two hours—you want it to be firm.

Using a spoon, or a melon baller, or a cookie scooper if you’re extra fancy, scoop the firm mixture into one-inch balls. Swirl each one around in the cocoa powder bowl until covered.

These are best eaten at room temperature, but if you’re not going to eat them immediately, they’ll store in the fridge for about two weeks. The best part about these is that they are infinitely customizable!

Vegan Version

  • Use dairy-free chocolate chips (most dark ones are)
  • Use coconut milk instead of cream
  • Use coconut oil or Earth Balance instead of butter

Flavor Ideas
Green Tea and Ginger: Mix 2 Tbs. matcha powder into the melted milk and butter mixture, just before adding the chocolate chips. After removing mixture from heat, stir in a few handfuls of chopped crystallized ginger.

Spicy Sweet: Add 1 teaspoon each of vanilla and cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper to the mixture after it’s removed from heat.

Boozy: Add 2 Tbs. whiskey, spiced rum, Irish cream, or liqueur of choice AFTER the mixture has cooled a bit (but before you put it in the fridge) for a more adult dessert. *NOTE* Because the alcohol is added to a cool mixture, it retains its alcohol content.

Turtle Bark

  • 3 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup roasted and salted pecan pieces (store-bought or homemade, I won’t judge!)
  • 1 batch microwave caramel (ingredients follow)
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick, use salted, trust me)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

Directions: In a medium glass bowl, microwave 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips in 30-second increments, stirring well after each so the chocolate doesn’t scorch, until smooth and melted. Spread the melted chocolate onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Throw it in the fridge while you make the caramel.

In another medium/large glass bowl, add all the ingredients for the caramel. Microwave for three two-minute increments (that’s right, a total of six minutes), stirring well after each. 

Pull the cooled chocolate out of the fridge and pour the caramel on top. Pour it evenly, because if you try to spread it, the caramel and chocolate will get all mixed up and it won’t be as pretty. Immediately after you have poured the caramel, cover the whole thing with pecans and throw it back in the fridge until it’s firm again, about 20 minutes.

Lastly, melt the rest of the chocolate chips in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring until smooth, and pour it over the caramel-y pecan goodness, making sure to cover it all. Back in the fridge until firm.

Once it’s firm and cold, cut it into attractive pieces (I like mine in triangles). You can cut the jaggedy edges off to make it look perfect, and then feel free to eat those jagged edges because they are still super delicious.

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