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chocolate

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The sweet history of the heart-shaped box of chocolates

Conversation Hearts might be cute and festive, but unless you want to be a sucker this Valentine’s Day, you better gift your sweetie with some serious chocolate. And if you want your true love to know these aren’t just regular chocolates—these are Valentine’s Day chocolates—they better be bundled in, specifically, a bright red heart-shaped box. You could put those chocolates in just about any shaped box—a square, a triangle, a rhombus. Yet, it’s the heart shape that has stood the test of time this holiday. But when and where did the first heart-shaped box of chocolates come from? As with the origins of many holiday traditions, a genius sale and marketing effort was at its core. British chocolatier Richard Cadbury (yes, that Cadbury) created the first heart-shaped box design, but before that, he first had to invent chocolates as we know them today. In the early 1800s, chocolate’s popularity was waning…

New Year’s Eve Sparkling Party Pretzels

Looking for a quick, festive snack to bring to your New Year’s Eve party? These Sparkling Party Pretzels will be a hit with kids and adults alike. Just melt some chocolate, sprinkle generously with the season’s most festive sparkles, and let dry. If you’re looking for great New Year’s Eve-inspired sprinkles, check your grocery store. This time of year, they tend to stock more unusual colors like silver and black. If not, party store chains like Party City carry them. I’ve also had success at Bed Bath & Beyond. If you’re a better planner than I, the internet, of course, opens you up to a whole world of sprinkle colors, shapes and sizes. Also be sure to check out, What’s the difference between Prosecco and Champagne? Happy New Year’s! New Year’s Eve Sparkling Party Pretzels About 2 dozen Ingredients Splash of milk 12 ounces white chocolate chips 24 pretzel rods…

The Best Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

In the holiday wonderland of hundreds of types of Christmas cookies, how does one cookie stand apart? It must be one rich, decadent, and fudgy cookie! These Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are seriously the best! They taste just like a brownie only better. They’re lightly crunchy on the outside, yet irresistibly chewy in the center. You’re about to find a new holiday favorite. Tips for baking the Best Chocolate Crinkle Cookies Make sure all of your ingredients are room temperature. Don’t skip Step 4 (chilling the dough). Dough is super sticky and needs to chill or else it will be too difficult to work with. Chilling also helps create thicker cookies with a fudgy flavor. If they’re too warm when they go into the oven, they’ll spread out too thin. Remember to adjust the baking time to your oven. 10-12 minutes is a suggestion. If you bake too long, they’ll lose…

Cute Christmas Reindeer Cupcakes for Kids

These ridiculously moist chocolate cupcakes are made from scratch and completely adorable. Kids will love the fun, festive reindeer design, but adults with dig the rich, delicious chocolatey flavor. Bring them to a holiday potluck or send them with your kids to school. No matter the holiday occasion, your cupcakes are sure to gather compliments. Homemade cupcakes are always the best, but if you’re crunched for time, there’s no shame in the boxed cupcake mix game either. Just pick up a package of your favorite cupcake mix and frosting and bake according to the box. Let cool, and decorate per the instructions below. Happy holidays! Cute Christmas Reindeer Cupcakes for Kids Makes about two dozen+ cupcakes Ingredients 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour 2 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp baking soda 3/4 unsweetened cocoa powder 1/8 tsp salt 3 tbsp butter, room temperature 1 1/2 cups sugar 2 eggs 3/4 tsp…

How to make homemade Nutella

I don’t buy Nutella that often because, quite simply, I can’t control myself. That sweet, nutty, chocolatey butter spread beckons me in the middle of the night, and before I know it, I’ve eaten several slices of toast heavily smothered in the stuff. (I could easily kill this 6.6 pound bucket — just hand me the bread!) It’s not super healthy, and it is super expensive (about $5 for a tiny jar!), but when I make my own, it becomes not so bad on either front. Check out this restaurant with an entirely Nutella menu. This homemade Nutella recipe is quick and easy to pull off if you have the right equipment. You’re going to need a high-powered food processor or blender along with a microwave and an oven or a toaster oven. As for ingredients, you’re going to need hazelnuts. They might be a little harder to find than,…

A fun sized history lesson on fun sized candy bars

Shouldn’t “fun sized” candy bars be really big and the ones given out on Halloween you eat in one bite be named something less rosy? It’s a question just about every kid in the past 50 years has asked themselves on Oct. 31. But just when did these bite-sized Butterfingers and snack-sized Snickers become the norm? Well, it seems the first shrunken versions of popular candy bars can be credited to the former Chicago-based Curtiss Candy Company. Now part of Nestlé thanks to a series of mergers and acquisitions, the company produced a “Buddie” size Baby Ruth bar in the early 1930s. “Junior” sized versions of their Baby Ruth and Butterfingers candy bars came along in the 1950s. Hershey also got in on the game early when it began selling its sleek “Miniatures” candy bars in 1939. Small candy bars had been well established by the time candy manufacturer Mars…

Is white chocolate actually chocolate?

White chocolate is one of those polarizing foods like black licorice, Brussel sprouts and cilantro — you either love it or you hate it. But what actually is white chocolate, and can it really be considered chocolate? Let’s first look at chocolate in general Chocolate needs no introduction. You’ve had it. You love it in all its forms: bunnies, bars, brownies. But what makes chocolate, chocolate? Well, both the dark kind and the milk kind contain cocoa solids or cocoa powder — which give them their rich brown color — as well as the fatty cocoa butter — the fat that gives them their creamy mouthfeel. White chocolate just has cocoa butter — no cocoa. Both milk chocolate and white chocolate also typically include some amount of milk or cream powder, sugar, and sometimes vanilla or other add-ins. where does cocoa butter come from? Cocoa butter is the foundation of…

Football whoopie pies are a total touchdown for game day desserts

Football season has officially kicked off, so bring on the food! These football-shaped whoopie pies will score points for being delicious as well as adorable. They’ll be the MVP of your tailgating table. Note: If you’re making these in the off season, or if you’re shorter on time, you can, of course, make this recipe without forming cookie batter into footballs.  Football Whoopie Pies Makes about 48 cookies, or 24 gobs Ingredients For the cookies 2 cups all-purpose flour 2/3 cup cocoa 1/4 tsp salt 1 tsp baking soda 1/2 cup hot water (in a large glass) 2/3 cup milk 1/2 cup shortening 1 cup sugar 1 egg 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 tsp butter flavoring For the filling 1/4 cup butter, softened 1/2 cup shortening 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 tsp butter flavoring 3 cups confectioners’ sugar 2 tbsp milk (if necessary) Directions Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a…

Sandy Bottom Shark Bark

Take a big bite out of Shark Week with this fun and festive Shark Bark. (It’s also great for ocean-themed or shark birthday parties, too!) The “sandy” Ritz cracker bottom tastes like delicious toffee. The swirly water layer is made with melted white chocolate. And if you like a little bloody realism to your Shark Bark, add a few drops of red food coloring! Top with big, blue gummy sharks. Then crack into pieces for an incredibly delicious, totally jawsome dessert! What you will need: cookie sheet spoon parchment paper space in your refrigerator for cookie sheet oven set to 375ºF. Sandy Bottom Shark Bark Ingredients Ritz crackers (about 1 1/2 sleeves of standard size box) 1/3 cup butter 3/4 cup brown sugar 1 1/2 packages white chocolate chips blue food coloring red food coloring gummy sharks Directions Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place Ritz…

Peanut Butter Fluff Fat Bomb

Keto friends, prepare to be amazed. This Peanut Butter Fluff is low in carbs and rich in healthy fats, meaning it’s keto diet approved. Plus bonus: it only takes six basic ingredients to create this delicious dessert, so you’ll actually want to make it all the time. Not keto? You’re going to love the rich flavor and airy texture of this easy-to-make dessert anyway. Feel free to substitute your everyday confectioners sugar for the Swerve and use regular milk chocolate or dark chocolate chips if you don’t need to go strictly low-carb. But, if you’re having a gathering catering to a slew of different diets, stick with the low-carb version. Pipe into small jars for presentation. It will be irresistible to all. Peanut Butter Fluff Fat Bomb Makes about 4 servings Ingredients 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream 4 ounces cream cheese, softened 2 1/4 tbsp natural peanut butter 5…