National Chocolate Lover’s Month

By: Leigh Buckley

Did you know there is an entire month dedicated to Chocolate!?  February is National Chocolate Lover’s Month, and we are totally behind this chocolate drenched holiday!  While we don’t suggest indulging in an entire chocolate bar each night, we do have some fun ways to help you celebrate this sweet sweet month.  Check out some of our favorite chocolate recipes below.

 

Blueberry Nut Clusters

This is a simple and healthy recipe if you need a chocolate fix, quick!  All you need is chocolate, blueberries, and your favorite nuts.  For this recipe we used almonds but you can use whatever you like.

Makes between 10-12 clusters

Ingredients:

  • 8oz carton fresh blueberries (do not use frozen)
  • 1 cup slivered or chopped nuts of your choice. (slivered almonds were used in this recipe
  • 2.5 cups gluten free chocolate chips

 

Directions:

  1. Arrange nuts in small piles on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Use 1-2 tablespoons of nuts depending on your preference.
  2. Place 5 large blueberries or 8 medium sized blueberries on top of each nut stack.
  3. In a double broiler, melt chocolate chips, stirring often.  Check often to be sure the chocolate does not burn.
  4.  Once fully melted, spoon chocolate over each blueberry nut cluster until all blueberries are fully covered in chocolate.
  5. After all clusters are finished, place the baking sheet in the freezer for half an hour.
  6. Take the pan out of the freezer, and test to be sure the clusters are hardened.
  7.  For storage, keep clusters in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  8.  Enjoy!

 

Brownie Bites with Chipotle Buttercream & Candied Jalapeno

Combining sweet with spicy has become a more popular dessert arrangement these days.  Check out these incredible brownie bites who’s a spicy flavor component adds an extra dimension to this sweet creation.  It might look a little intimidating but trust us- you will not be sorry after you try them! Hey, they were featured at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, that has to mean something! http://bit.ly/XsxMMj.

 

Ingredients:

Brownie Bites:

  • Udi’s Brownie Bites
  • Butter

Ganache:

  • 2 lbs chocolate
  • 4 cups cream

Chipotle Buttercream:

  • 1 lb butter
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp mile
  • Chili powder

Candied Jalapenos:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Pinch of lime zest
  • 2-3 Jalapenos, thinly sliced

 

Directions

To prepare brownie bites:

  1. Crumble the brownie bites in a bowl. Add melted butter slowly and combine together for a dense consistency.
  2. Once combined, press the mixture into a lightly sprayed baking sheet. Spread as evenly as possible and top with ganache.
  3. Then top with chipotle buttercream and jalapenos

  To prepare the ganache:

  1. Bring cream to a boil. Pour over chocolate and whisk until incorporated and all chocolate is melted.

To prepare the chipotle buttercream:

  1. Cream butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar and whip until light and fluffy. Slowly add milk. Add chili powder to taste

To prepare candied jalapenos:

  1. Bring sugar and water to a boil. Reduce to a syrup and add lime zest. Slice jalapenos to desired size, removing seeds is optional
  2. Drizzle simple syrup over jalapenos and allow to dry.

 

Triple Chocolate Cake Pops

Makes 12 large cake pops.

For when you want the whole chocolate cake!  These bite sized chocolate cake pops are pre-portioned to let you have your cake and eat it too! It will be hard to stop at just one, so we suggest sharing with the family or office.  You can use any flavored buttercream you like, but in honor of National Chocolate Month, we chose Milk Chocolate.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Udi’s Double Chocolate Muffins
  • 1 cup chocolate frosting or buttercream.  If you are using store bought, double check the ingredients to be sure it is gluten free.
  • 3.5 cups dark chocolate chips
  • Chocolate sprinkles.

 

Directions:

  1. Finely crumble Double Chocolate Muffins.  You can do this in a blender or food processor.
  2. Once a fine crumb forms, add in your chocolate frosting  ½ cup at a time until the mixture is fully blended and ‘firm’.  You should be able to see a clear indent if you press your finger into the mix without it crumbling.
  3. Scoop out muffin mixture using a small ice cream scoop or a spoon and drop balls onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
  4. With your hands, roll balls until the outer edges are smooth.
  5. Place the baking sheet with the cake balls into the freezer for 10 minutes.
  6. Once balls are firm (not frozen), take them out and place on your countertop.  Immediately push lollipop sticks into each ball.  Replace tray back into the freezer.
  7. While the cake balls are hardening, in a double boiler melt chocolate chips.
  8. Remove cake balls from the freezer.  Make sure the lollipops are set into each cake ball.  If they ‘wiggle’ place them back into the freezer for an additional 5 minutes.
  9. Take each lollipop stick, and dip cake pops into the melted chocolate until fully submerged.
  10. While the chocolate is still wet, roll the cake pop into the chocolate sprinkles.
  11. Allow to air dry and harden. 

 

If all else fails, there is nothing wrong with warming up one of our Chocolate Chip Cookies, topping with vanilla ice-cream, drenching it in chocolate fudge, and going to town!

 

Do you have a favorite chocolate recipe?  Share below!

 

 

 

 

5 Responses to “National Chocolate Lover’s Month”

  1. Laura says:

    For the blueberry nut clusters… How many cups of chocolate chips should be used?

  2. I am happy to see so many of your products in all the stores in CT…but I WISH that you did not make SO many sugary products!!!! they are displacing healthy products on the shelves and making me go to more expensive “health food “stores

  3. jo says:

    you don’t have the number of cups for the blueberry chocolate recipe.

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