Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I have 3 delicious, chocolate-y treats guaranteed to satisfy you or your loved one’s chocolate craving. The first was my husband’s requested Valentine treat. He loves these type of whippy desserts. I prefer them after a brief stint in the freezer. Then they’re more like a frozen treat. We had our special Valentine’s dinner last night (Hubby has to work on Valentine’s.), and this was a lovely end to our meal. By the way, these are super simple and fast to prepare; just make sure that you have the time to let them set before you need to serve it.
Chocolate Eclair Squares (from Kraft.com)
2 c. milk
1 4 serving size pkg. instant vanilla pudding
1 8 oz. tub thawed Cool Whip
1 box of graham crackers (You’ll use about 2/3 of the box.)
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate (I used semisweet chocolate chips which I had on hand.)
1/4 c. butter
1 1/2 c. confectioner’s sugar
1. Pour 1 3/4 c. milk into a large bowl. Add the pudding mix and whisk 2 minutes. Gently stir in the Cool Whip. Lay crackers into a 13×9 pan, breaking as necessary, to cover the bottom. Top with 1/2 of the pudding mix. Repeat the layers and finish with a layer of graham crackers.
2. In a medium bowl, microwave the chocolate and butter on high for 1 1/2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute. Stir til the chocolate is completely melted. (I did this in a small saucepan on the stove. I don’t trust the microwave not to burn the chocolate.) Add the sugar and 1/4 c. milk; stir til well blended. Immediately spread over the grahams. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
This next recipe was the answer to a chocolate craving that my best friend and I had one night. We didn’t have anything in the house, but we did find a recipe (from Pinterest!) for microwave brownies that only required basic pantry ingredients. Oh my goodness! You’d never believe that something so easy and quick could taste so good. Especially if you put a dollop of peanut butter in the middle of it. These may not be gourmet, but they are a great way to take care of your midnight craving.
Microwave Brownies (2 servings) (from A Crafty Cook)
1/4 c. flour
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 tbsp. cocoa
1 pinch salt
2 tbsp. veggie oil
2 tbsp. milk
1 handful chocolate chips
1. In a small bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients until they are lump-free. Add in the oil and the milk to form a thick paste. Stir in the chocolate chips and divide among 2 microwave-safe mugs or ramekins. (I put a little of the batter down, topped that with a dollop of peanut butter, and then topped it with the rest of the batter. My best friend topped hers with caramel after cooking it.)
2. Microwave each mug separately for 30 seconds. If the cake isn’t done, cook 15-30 more seconds. The top should be a little springy.
And the last dessert is what I brought to our church’s annual chili/dessert cook-off: chocolate-peanut butter cookie bars. These are amazing and decadent with a hefty dose of peanut butter. This year I just wanted to make something easy and tasty, and these fit the bill. I got to bring some home, but they won’t last much longer; they are so good!
Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cookie Bars (tweaked from Kraft.com)
1 pkg. 2 layer size chocolate cake mix
1 3.9 oz pkg. instant chocolate pudding
1/2 c. melted butter
1/2 c. milk
6 oz. chopped, semisweet chocolate
1 c. dry-roasted peanuts
1 c. peanut butter
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13×9 pan with foil; spray with Pam. In a bowl, mix together the cake mix, pudding mix, butter, and milk til blended. (The batter will be like a soft cookie dough.) Press half the batter into the prepared pan.
2. Bake the first layer 10 min. When you remove this from the oven, spread the peanut butter on top of it. Wait a few seconds, then use a spatula to spread over the entire base. Top with half the chocolate chips and peanuts. Roll out the rest of the dough between two sheets of wax paper to form a 13×9 rectangle. Remove one of the sheets of wax paper and place the dough on top of the chocolate chip/peanut mix. Top with the remaining peanuts and chocolate chips and press them lightly into the dough. Bake this 15 minutes. When it’s done cooking, let cool 1 hour. When cool, refrigerate for at least 4 hours before cutting into bars.
I hope that’s enough chocolate for you. Have a great week and a lovely Valentine’s Day!