Whenever I think of Valentine's Day, I think of going to the store and selecting which box of cards I would pass out at school... the Snoopy ones or the Garfield ones. I'd sit in front of the TV and address one for each bud. Now? Kiddo makes her own little cards (as part of homework) and writes a note inside for each of her fellow classmates (they are studying letter-writing). Meanwhile, she's begging for me to make some special goodies to munch on as she does this artistic Cupid-eque task.
My first idea: getting some premade sugar cookie dough and, using some heart-shaped cookie cutters and white icing, creating a platter of sugary love. Thinking outside the box, I may get cutters in the letters L-O-V-E. Cookies are always a hit, right? But, then I stumbled onto two chocolate recipes that seem so ohsosimple that I may have to tackle them.
Now, if they were only calorie-free, they'd be perfect.
Easiest Fudge from Busycooks.About.com
What you need:
1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon cream
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips, if desired
What you do:
Place chips and milk in microwave safe bowl. (You can use just the one package of semisweet chocolate chips, or add the milk chocolate chips for a fudge that is slightly sweeter and creamier.) Microwave on medium power for 2-3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Microwave, stirring at 1 minutes intervals, until chips are melted and mixture is smooth and thick. Stir in butter and cream until combined. Pour into greased 8" square pan and cool. Then cut into squares to serve!
Cocoa Espresso Truffles from AlwaysOrderDessert.com
What you need:
2 cups Heavy Cream
2 tablespoons instant espresso
16 ounces bittersweet chocolate between 60 and 70 percent cacao, chopped
Unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting
What you do:
Place the chopped chocolate in a large glass bowl. In a medium size saucepan over medium heat, heat the cream until it just starts to steam and bubble slightly on the edges. (Do not let it boil). Remove from the heat immediately and quickly stir in the instant espresso until it dissolves. Pour the hot cream and espresso mixture over the chopped chocolate and stir until the chocolate is completely melted and the chocolate is incorporated into the cream (it'll take a few stirs until it's really all uniform and slightly creamy). Let the ganache cool to room temperature and then place in the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours until it is completely cold and firm. Use a melon baller or small ice cream scoop to scoop 1 tablespoon sized balls of ganache. Use your hands (dusted with cocoa powder first) to quickly shape them. Don't worry if they aren't perfect; they're supposed to look a little rustic. Set these on a lined baking sheet until you use up all the ganache. If it starts to soften a bit, just pop it into the fridge for 5 minutes before continuing. Roll each truffle in cocoa powder (chopped nuts, shredded coconut, confectioner's sugar, or a blend of cinnamon and sugar also work!). Serve immediately or store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
What sweets are you making for your Valentines?