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Sweet Treats

This month, treat your sweetheart—or your sweet tooth—to a special homemade dessert. 

Sweet Treats

Peanut Butter Trifles

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Serves 6 to 8
Peanut Butter Trifles

Ingredients

3-ounce package instant vanilla pudding mix
2 cups milk
1 package Nutter Butter cookies
1/2 cup peanut butter
8 ounces frozen whipped topping, thawed in the refrigerator*
1/2 chopped peanut butter cup pieces

Directions

In a small bowl, combine the pudding mix and milk. Mix until thickened; refrigerate. Place the Nutter Butter cookies into a plastic bag and use a heavy object such as a rolling pin to crush them into coarse chunks. Place the peanut butter in a small, microwave-safe bowl and heat until runny, stirring every 30 seconds—about 1 minute to 90 seconds total. Assemble the trifles in individual serving dishes or in a large trifle dish. Place a layer of cookie crumbs in the bottom, followed by a layer of melted peanut butter, a layer of pudding, a layer of cool whip or whipped cream, and a layer of peanut butter cups. Repeat this layering process until the trifle dish is full. Top trifle with cookie crumbs and peanut butter cups. Refrigerate until serving. Note: This is best made several hours or a day beforehand to give the cookies time to soften. *Substitute 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, whipped and lightly sweetened. 




Fudge Truffle Cups

Serves 8
Fudge Truffle Cups

Ingredients

1 tablespoon butter
14-ounce can condensed milk
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup heavy cream
Chocolate sprinkles

Directions

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Once melted, stir in the condensed milk and cocoa until well combined. Cook over medium, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thickened, 5 to 10 minutes (will vary based on stove and pan used). To determine when the mixture is sufficiently thickened, run the spoon across the bottom of the pan. If the spoon creates a divide and the mixture does not run back into it, it’s done. If not, continue to cook. Once done, remove from heat. Stir in the heavy cream. Cool for 15 minutes, or until the mixture is warm. Spoon into individual serving dishes. Decorate the tops with chocolate sprinkles, or other sprinkles. Tip: one-ounce plastic cups from the dollar store hold the perfect serving.




Nutella Molten Cakes

Serves 6
Nutella Molten Cakes

Ingredients

1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter
3 room-temperature eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules (optional)
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup Nutella

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a small bowl, combine the cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon of the flour. Grease 6, 6-ounce ramekins. Dust the ramekins with the cocoa mixture. Place ramekins on a baking sheet and set aside. In a medium, microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips and the butter. Heat in the microwave, stirring at 30 second increments, until mixture is smooth. In a medium bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the eggs, sugar, vanilla, coffee granules and salt. Beat with a mixer on high for 3 minutes, or until the eggs become pale yellow and fluffy. Gently fold the chocolate/butter mixture into the eggs. Fold in the remaining 1/4 cup of flour. Fill each ramekin half way with batter. Place a dollop (about 2 teaspoons) of Nutella into the center of each ramekin. Cover with the remaining batter. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Run a small knife around the inside of the ramekins to loosen. Invert cakes onto serving plates. Serve hot, topped with ice cream. 

Watch the step-by-step video how to make this recipe here!

 




Sweetheart Chocolate Cake

Serves 12
Sweetheart Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

For the cake:
9 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup room-temperature butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
3 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the frosting:
1 cup room-temperature butter
1 cup vegetable shortening
2 pounds powdered sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 3 9-inch cake pans (use a heart-shaped pan if available). Line the bottom of the pans with parchment. To a double boiler over simmering water, add the chocolate. Melt the chocolate, stirring until it is completely smooth. Remove from heat; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar. Beat with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg yolks and coffee and beat for 2 more minutes. Add the chocolate, milk and vanilla and beat until well combined. With a spoon, stir in the dry ingredients, until just combined. In a small bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on high until soft peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter. Pour 1/3 of the batter into each prepared cake pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes. Run a thin knife around the edge of the pan. Cool for 15 more minutes and invert cake onto a wire rack; cool completely. 

For the frosting, add the butter and shortening to a large mixer bowl. Beat with an electric mixer (paddle attachment) for 1 minute. Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Add the cream, vanilla and salt and beat until fluffy about 5 minutes. If icing seems dry, add additional heavy cream. Fit a piping bag with a large, round decorating tip (such as Wilton 1M) and fill it very full with white icing. Color the remaining frosting as desired and divide between 2 to 3 other piping bags with decorating tips. 

To assemble the cake, place the bottom layer on a cake board or cake stand. Around the top, outside edge of the first layer of cake, use the piping bags to pipe dollops of frosting of various colors. Fill the center with the white icing. Gently place the second layer on, taking care not to flatten the frosting on the layer below. Repeat the same piping process as on the first layer. Place the third cake on top, with the bottom of the cake facing upwards. Pipe dollops of frosting on top, this time covering the entire layer in different colors. Start with the bigger decorating tips and fill in holes with the smaller ones.