Valentines day is synonymous with chocolates. Not that it’s a bad thing. Who doesn’t love the rich ooey gooey goodness found in a mouthful of chocolate as it coats your tongue? But a plain box of chocolates can be boring if you have too much of it. If you haven’t finished your stash of Valentines chocolates, here’s a handful of great ideas that push the boundaries and take your chocolate enjoyment to new territories.
Hot Chocolate Upgrade
Imagine sitting by a roaring fire while clutching a cup of hot chocolate. Each sip is pure bliss as the smooth, rich, warm chocolate goodness floods your mouth and heats up your insides, from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. Drop in a few squares of your favorite gourmet chocolate into a mugful of hot milk and stir until it melts. To up the ante, sheknows.com suggests adding a pinch of cayenne pepper for an extra hot kick, peppermint extract for a minty aftertaste, peanut butter for nutty-salty flavor punch, or lavender buds for an extra fragrant concoction.
If you need something stronger than hot chocolate, choose chocolate drinks laced with spirits and liquors instead. It’s like dessert in a shot glass, with a hit of something heady in the end. If you want to party, this is the chocolate for you. Studentbeans listed a collection of chocolate cocktails that are easy to whip up. Or if you’d prefer just cracking open a bottle instead of making your own, Vodka Chocolate Mudshakes and Chocolate Mudslides are excellent ready-to-drink alcoholic mixes.
Chocolate can make anything yummier. Just look at all the lovely chocolate enrobed fruits at fancy dining buffets. Slice up your favorite fruits and skewer them on long sticks for eating as you go along over a chocolate fondue. Or, melt some of your favorite chocolate, dip your favorite fruits—strawberries, blueberries, apple wedges, bananas—and let chill until the chocolate coating has set. Dried fruits like apricots and mangoes are also great coated with chocolate. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, take a pastry brush and slather on a layer of melted chocolate on bacon or potato chips. While it may sound too unusual at first, the sweet and savory combo will quickly win you over.
Graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate are a match made in heaven. Or more commonly, in the woods, as these ingredients make up the camping treat, s’mores. No need to wait for camping season to come around to enjoy this campfire classic. Dump chocolate, graham crackers, and marshmallows in a skillet for easy indoor s’mores. Or stuff them in an ice cream cone and bake for campfire cones. This gooey mess of melted mallow and chocolate will surely have you begging for some more.
Raw Cookie Dough
We wanted to avoid mentioning the use of chocolate for baking since that’s so expected, but we couldn’t pass up on Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough that’s meant to be eaten raw! Before you flinch from fear of salmonella poisoning, Kailley’s Kitchen makes an eggless version that’s really meant for raw snacking. She even advise against baking it because the absence of egg makes a tough cookie. And because it’s not going to be baked, there is no need to limit yourself to baking chocolate. You can go wild with your selections and use fancy chocolate that doesn’t hold up to heat well. Forget what your momma told you about staying away from raw cookie dough. This is your chance!