web analytics

Archive | chocolate RSS feed for this section

Chocolate Date Balls

chocolate date balls by The Culinary ChaseI was listening to the radio this morning and the announcer said she only has 2 more paychecks before Christmas! Yikes! Thirty-four days to go and I haven’t done any Christmas shopping let alone any baking. In the next few days I plan to make and freeze any holiday sweets with exception of chocolate date balls…made already, eaten already!  I have to admit I was a bit skeptical these balls would pass the taste test.  They’re so delicious I will be making more and the really cool bit with these date balls is that they’re a healthy treat.  If you’re a novice cook you’ll want to try this recipe – with 6 ingredients it’s simple and easy to make.  Edible gifts are always a pleasure to give and to receive (hint, hint).

Makes 15 balls
adapted from Veggieful

1 1/2 cups pitted dates (add more if the mixture doesn’t hold its shape)
1/3 cup walnuts
1/3 cup almonds
1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2 tablespoons cocoa powder

chocolate date ball ingredients1. Combine ingredients in a food processor (except cocoa powder) and pulse until completely combined.
2. Pour the mixture into a bowl and stir in cacao powder; mix well. Scoop up a tablespoon or so of the mixture, squeeze it in your hand, shape a bit and roll into balls. Refrigerate until needed.

healthy holiday goodies by The Culinary ChaseThe Culinary Chase’s Note: These make the perfect hostess gift.  Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Cups

handmade peanut butter cups by The Culinary ChaseWhen I was little, I wasn’t a huge fan of candy. Mom always had her candy drawer fully stocked but I was never that enticed to ‘snatch’ something from it – unless it was red licorice.  Every Christmas mom would have boxes of Ganong chocolates that would get distributed throughout the holiday season.  I would try to see which chocolate I could eat based on the diagram on the box.  If it looked like a mushy center or alcohol based, I would avoid it like the plague.  And, I would take a small corner bite just to make sure it was the one.  If it wasn’t, I would neatly place it back in the wrapper!  I can distinctly remember checking my Christmas stocking for goodies and hoping I wouldn’t find any ribbon candy in it…I know they were pretty and nostalgic-looking but that was it.  I would use it as a bartering tool later on with my other siblings (sorry mom).  Nothing much has changed since then.  I’ve long since moved away from milk chocolate (eww) and favor dark chocolate.  Visit Women’s Health Magazine for 9 health benefits of eating dark chocolate (at least 70 percent cacao).

Makes 12
adapted from Fifteen Spatulas

16 oz. dark chocolate (70%), chopped
1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup sifted icing sugar

Fill a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners. Melt half the chocolate in a double boiler. Distribute melted chocolate between the cupcake liners by barely filling the bottom of each. I found that using a tablespoon helped. If the chocolate does not lie flat, drop the pan repeatedly on the counter until it is flatten and smooth. Place the pan in the freezer for 15 minutes.

peanut butter cups collage by The Culinary ChaseMeanwhile, using a hand mixer whip the peanut butter, butter, and icing sugar together until light in color. At this point, do a taste test to make sure the sweetness is to your liking. Place small tablespoons of peanut butter into each cup, then drop the pan repeatedly on the counter again, so the peanut butter layer is flattened out or smooth it out with the back of a teaspoon. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Melt the last half of chocolate, and portion small spoonfuls of chocolate into the cups, one cup at a time, immediately dropping the pan repeatedly on the counter to flatten each cup. Do this for each cup as the chill from the peanut butter will harden the top layer of chocolate very quickly. Place the peanut butter cups in the freezer for 15 minutes to set the top layer of chocolate.

The Culinary Chase’s Note: Once you make your own, it will be difficult to go back to a commercial form. Keep the peanut butter cups in the fridge otherwise the filling will be too soft if left out at room temperature for any length of time. I’ll make these again but using less chocolate on the bottom and top…my gauge was a bit off making the top too thick but not too thick to enjoy.  My husband is not a fan of peanut butter but when he tried this, he was hooked.  Enjoy!