Northwest NEWS

February 11, 2002

Home & Garden

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Dining In: Valentine's Day - It's about love and chocolate

I'm Nuts About You Chocolate Truffles
   1 can milk chocolate frosting
   2-1/2 c. confectioners sugar
   1 c. pecan halves, divided usage
   1 c. semi sweet chocolate chips
   3 Tbsp. shortening
   Combine frosting and sugar in large mixing bowl. Stir until thoroughly blended
   Chop 1/3 c. pecans, set aside. Cover each remaining pecan with 1 Tbsp. frosting mixture. Roll into 1 inch balls; set aside.
   Place chocolate chips and shortening into microwave safe bowl. Microwave at medium (50% power) for 2 minutes; stir. Microwave additional 30 seconds intervals, if necessary; stir until smooth. Dip one candy ball into chocolate mixture until completely covered. Allowing excess chocolate to drip; remove with candy dipping fork or slotted spoon to waxed paper lined baking sheet. Sprinkle top with chopped pecans. Repeat until all candy balls are covered. Refrigerate 5 to 10 minutes or allow to stand until chocolate mixture is set.
   Makes about 3 dozen truffles.
  
   Fudge Truffle Brownies
   1 package walnut brownie mix
   1 Tbsp. milk
   1 Tbsp. butter
   2/3 c. semi sweet chocolate chips, divided usage
   Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
   Prepare and bake brownies according to package directions. Allow to cool 30 minutes or refrigerate 15 minutes.
   For truffle layer: in microwave safe bowl combine milk butter and 1/3 c. chocolate chips.
   Heat on high power for 20-30 seconds. Stir until chips are melted and mixture is smooth.. Spread over top of cooled brownies.
   For glaze: In separate microwave safe bowl heat remaining chocolate chips on high power for 20-30 seconds. Drizzle melted chocolate over top truffle layer. Chill before serving.
   Makes 16 brownies.
  
   Peanut Butter Fudge
   1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
   1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
   2 (6 oz.) packages white chocolate squares or white baking bars, chopped
   3/4 c. chopped peanuts.
   1 tsp. vanilla extract
   Line 8-inch square pan with foil, extending foil over edges. Butter foil; set aside.
   In large saucepan, heat sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter over medium heat until just bubble, stirring constantly.
   Remove from heat. Stir in white chocolate until smooth. Immediately stir in peanuts and vanilla.
   Pour into prepared pan; spread evenly. Cool. Cover and chill 2 hours or until firm. Use foil to lift out of pan. Sprinkle with additional chopped peanuts if desired. Cut into squares. Store covered in refrigerator.
   Makes about 64 pieces.
  
   Cappucino Caramels Royale
   1 c. (2 sticks) butter
   2 (1 oz.) squares unsweetened chocolate, cut up.
   2-1/4 c. packed brown sugar
   1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
   1 c. light corn syrup
   1 Tbsp. instant coffee crystals
   1 c. chopped pecans or walnuts, optional
   Line 8-inch square baking pan with foil. Extending foil over edges of pan. Butter foil; set aside.
   In heavy 3-quart saucepan, melt 1 c. butter and chocolate. Stir in brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk, corn syrup and coffee crystals. Clip candy thermometer to side of pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thermometer registers 248. Mixture should boil at moderate, steady rate over entire surface. Reaching firm ball stage should take 15-20 minutes.
   Remove from heat. Remove thermometer. Immediately stir in nuts if desired. Quickly pour into prepared pan, spreading evenly. Cool.
   When candy is firm, use foil to lift candy out of pan. Use buttered knife to cut into squares. Wrap each square in plastic wrap or place in candy cups if desired.
   Makes about 64 pieces.