Saturday, February 13, 2010

Treats for Valentines

Happy Valentine's Everybody! Since tomorrow is the big day I'm just re-posting a special post I did a year or two ago...with loads of delicious recipes and pictures to drool over. Hope you enjoy and can make a recipe or two for yourselves tomorrow! Perfect for two!

These are raw chocolate Turtles (you can see the caramel peeking through on the first one) and around it are "Chocolate Carmel Bites". I originally found a caramel dipping sauce at Gone Raw by Mish. I tweaked it a bit and made it into just plain caramel.

about 4 TB of tahina
about 4-6 medjool dates (depending on how sweet you like it, but this will make it thicker too)
a wee bit of vanilla
and a few tablespoons of maple syrup until the consistency you desire...but you want it thick, like a dough almost)
Mix it up in the food processor.
Dipping Chocolate
about 3-4 BIG heaping tablespoons of melted coconut butter
a few TB. of organic cocoa powder (you can use carob or cacao, if you have it on hand)
equal parts of agave nectar and maple syrup
You want this to be a bit thicker, not a sauce, but just a nice, smooth dipping chocolate. Because coconut oil is such a stable cooking fat you can melt it by warming it over the stove on the lowest setting. It's still raw. ;0)

Make little balls of the caramel and slide a pecan in the middle of it. Flatten it a little and with a fork, dip it into the chocolate mixture. Put on wax paper. Do this with all of them and then put them in the freezer to harder.
Caramel Bites (above)
With the caramel mixture make little balls and with your finger make a deep dent in the middle. Fill with liquid chocolate. Freeze till hard.
Caramel Chocolate Bites
Do the same as above, but just mix in some carob/cacao/cocoa powder in the caramel.
These are nice little nibbles when you need that little "sweet" during the day.
Caramel Almond Smacks (the picture below, left)
Just make flat, thin circles in the palm of your hand with the caramel. Place on wax paper. With a spoon drop on some chocolate and garnish with an almond.
And now for my favorite of ALL! Oh, these are to die for! (drumroll, please!)
Dark Truffle Fudge (the heart above)
4-5 TB. of melted coconut butter
enough organic cocoa till it's a very thick fudge consistency
equal parts of pure maple syrup and agave nectar to sweetness
And then...thin it out with Coconut Milk for a creamy, milk-ness. It should thicken more when it's been in the fridge or freezer for a while. Place in a small square container and when more firm, score or slice into little fudge bars.
Oh, I could go on and on about the fudge. And I've tried lots of different fudges, or at least some, and I liked it, but this TOPS it! The ingredients may seem simple, but this really just melts in your mouth. It's so creamy and silky smooth (one fudge I can think of, seemed a bit granular, you know). If you're crazy about dark chocolate like me, this if for you! My mind spins when I think of all the incredible things you can do with it. Make balls and cover with a different type of glazing chocolate sauce or use as a layer in a sweet pie...sigh.
As you can see, I topped one or two of them with raw cacao nibs. It's funny, in the picture to the left you can see me (or at least my lips) taking the picture in the reflection. I was drooling over the chocolate, lol! I shaped the fudge into hearts and put a little bit of caramel into the middle of it.
Valentine's Day is a fun family tradition here. We always have a family banquet together, wear red or pink (it's a rule!), and decorate the kitchen table. My Mom always writes out a Valentine for each of us on a red or pink heart and leaves it on our plate, along with a whole pile of chocolate treats for us. This is always special, because she always writes out character qualities that she sees in each of us and tells us how much she loves us. I always save those hearts, they are definitely a dear treasure!
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