Simply Perfect Chocolate

Valentine's Day is coming! What better time to enjoy chocolate treats?


Courtesy of Simply Perfect Chocolate magazine.

Serve this cake for morning coffee with a special beverage: Stir 1 tablespoon chocolate-flavor syrup into each cup of coffee. Top with whipped cream and a dash of ground cardamom or nutmeg.

1/2 cup butter or margarine

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup milk

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Beat butter or margarine in a medium mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt; beat till combined. Beat in eggs. Add flour and milk alternately to sugar mixture, beating till smooth after each addition.

Spoon one-third of batter into a greased and floured 6-cup fluted tube pan or ring mold. Combine brown sugar, walnuts, and cocoa powder. Sprinkle half of cocoa mixture over batter. Repeat adding layers to pan, ending with batter.

Bake in a 350 F. oven for 25 to 30 minutes or till top springs back when lightly touched. Cool coffee cake in pan for 5 minutes. Turn out onto serving plate. Serve warm.

Makes 12 servings

Nutrition facts per serving: 231 cal., 11 g total fat (5 g sat. fat), 57 mg cholesterol, 246 mg sodium, 30 g carbo., 1 g dietary fiber, 4 g pro.

Courtesy of Simply Perfect Chocolate magazine.

Have 'em the way you like best -- regular, tiny, giant, or fancy -- all from the same basic recipe.

1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup butter (no substitutes)

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 12-ounce package (2 cups) semisweet chocolate pieces

1 cup chopped hazelnuts (filberts), walnuts, or pecans

Beat shortening and butter in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, granulated sugar,and baking soda; beat till combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla till combined. Beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour, chocolate pieces, and nuts with a wooden spoon.

Drop by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake in a 375 F. oven for 8 to 10 minutes or till edges are lightly browned. Remove and cool on wire racks.

Makes about 60

Nutrition facts per cookie: 105 cal., 6 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 11 mg cholesterol, 29 mg sodium, 12 g carbo., 0 g dietary fiber, 1 g pro.

Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies: Follow recipe above, except substitute miniature chocolate pieces for semisweet chocolate pieces and finely chop nuts. Drop by level teaspoons 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.

Courtesy of Simply Perfect Chocolate magazine.

Make chocolate leaves ahead for an impressive garnish. You'll find the directions after the recipe.

1 teaspoon butter or margarine

1 cup ground almonds

1 pound milk chocolate, chopped

4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

1/3 cup milk

2 tablespoons raspberry liqueur, amaretto, or milk

4 eggs

1 egg yolk

chocolateleaves(optional)

sifted powdered sugar (optional)

sifted unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)

fresh berries (optional)

Grease the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with the 1 teaspoon butter or margarine. Press ground almonds onto the bottom of the pan. Melt the 1 pound chocolate in a heavy saucepan over very low heat, stirring constantly; cool.

Beat melted chocolate, cream cheese, the 1/2 cup butter or margarine, 1/3 cup milk, and liqueur or milk in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium to high speed till combined. Add whole eggs and egg yolk all at once. Beat on low speed till just combined.

Pour filling into the nut-lined pan. Place the pan on a shallow baking pan on the oven rack. Bake in a 350 F. oven about 55 minutes or till the center appears nearly set when shaken.


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