The Chocolate Theory
by Brenda Hyde
I have a theory. Chocolate is a mom's best friend. Wait, is that a woman's best friend or maybe a kid's best friend? Ok, I have no theory, except that Chocolate is good all year round, any time of day, and especially for Valentine's Day if you need an excuse to serve it. These recipes are appropriately gooey and rich.
8 squares unsweetened chocolate
4 ounces German sweet chocolate
1 can sweetened condensed milk (15 ounces)
1 cup crushed nuts
Melt chocolates together in saucepan over very low heat, stirring constantly until smooth. Add condensed milk and mix until smooth and well blended. Cool a few minutes. Shape into balls, using about 1 tsp. for each. Roll in nuts. Makes about 6 dozen.
1/2 pound soft caramels
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup pecan halves
4 squares semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled
Heat caramels with cream in saucepan over very low heat, stirring constantly. Cool 10 minutes. Set pecans on lightly buttered baking sheets in clusters of 3. Spoon caramel mixture over nuts, leaving outer ends of nuts showing. Let stand to set, about 30 minutes. Spread melted chocolate over caramel mixture. Makes 2 dozen.
1 stick butter, softened; cut into pieces
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
Stir butter and chocolate together by hand. Transfer to covered container, refrigerate or freeze until ready to use. Serve with biscuits, pound cake, croissants, muffins or waffles.
Brownie Caramel Walnut Pie
1 9 inch unbaked pastry shell
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
20 caramels, unwrapped
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons margarine or butter, melted
1 6 ounce package semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
Preheat oven to 325 degree. Sprinkle nuts into pie shell. In small saucepan, over low heat, melt caramels with 2/3 cup condensed milk. Spoon over walnuts. In bowl, combine egg, margarine and remaining milk; mix well. Stir in melted chips. Pour mixture over caramel layer. Bake 35 minutes or until center is set. Cool. Serve warm or chilled. Refrigerate leftovers.
Chocolate Turtle Cheesecake
1 7 ounce package caramels
1/4 cup evaporated milk
3/4 cup chopped pecans, divided
1 9-inch chocolate crumb pie crust
2 3-ounce cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cups milk
1 package chocolate instant pudding
1/2 cup fudge topping
Place caramels and milk in a heavy saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat stirring continually, until smooth, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup chopped pecans. Pour into pie crust. Combine cream cheese, sour cream and milk in a blender. Process until smooth. Add pudding mix: process for about 30 seconds longer. Pour pudding mixture over caramel layer, covering evenly. Chill, loosely covered, until set, about 15 minutes. Drizzle fudge topping over pudding layer in a decorative pattern. Sprinkle top of cake with remaining pecans. Chill, loosely covered until serving time.
Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer and editor. For more old fashioned recipes, crafts and ideas visit her at www.oldfashionedliving.com.