Monday, February 07, 2011

In A Food Mood: Valentine's Day Desserts

I've written before about how we always celebrate Valentine's Day at home with a "red meal." Which means, I make spaghetti and serve red soda. And then, for dessert I always make something chocolate. It's simple, but it's a tradition and honestly, I think the simpler traditions are the best ones-- the ones that we can stick to because we've not overwhelmed ourselves.

And so, this week I am sharing two easy and good chocolate desserts you might want to make for your family for Valentine's Day. Next Monday I will be sharing a pasta meal (red sauce!) you could make. I will post it on Sunday night just in case you more adventuresome types want to get to the store Monday morning and have it made in time for your family on Monday night! Your kids will love being included in the V-Day festivities. Last year we invited another couple over too. Make it fun!

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

(This first one tastes and works like those little individual molten chocolate cups that seem to be on the front of magazines this month. But it makes a big serving so your family can enjoy!)

1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
1 cup flour
7 Tbsp Hershey's Baking Cocoa, divided
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/4 cups hot water

Heat oven to 350. In medium bowl, combine 3/4 cup sugar, flour, 3 Tbsp. cocoa, baking powder and salt. Blend in milk, butter and vanilla, beat until smooth. Pour batter into 8 or 9 inch square pan. In small bowl, combine remaining 1/2 cup sugar, brown sugar, and remaining 4 Tbsp cocoa. Sprinkle mixture evenly over batter. Pour hot water over top. DO NOT STIR! Bake 35-40 minutes or until center is almost set. Let stand 15 minutes. Spoon into dessert dishes, spooning sauce from bottom over top. Serve with ice cream or Cool-Whip.

Mississippi Mud Fondue

(This is what we had last year with marshmallows, strawberries, graham crackers, brownie bites, pretzels, etc. for dipping. It was a huge hit and I am planning to do it again.)

1 cup heavy cream
1 (12 oz) pkg dark chocolate morsels
1 (7.5 oz) jar marshmallow creme
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Bring cream to a boil in a large heavy-duty saucepan over medium high heat. Reduce to low, and simmer. Add chocolate morsels and stir until melted and smooth. Stir in marshmallow creme and vanilla, stirring constantly until smooth. Transfer to fondue pot and keep warm.

(Note: this recipe came from Southern Living, November 2009 edition)

Don't forget to come back next week for the main course!
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