JAMESTOWN, N.C. (WGHP) — Valentine’s day is coming up quickly. 

Sure, you could buy chocolates. But if you’re feeling daring…you could make a treat for your sweetheart. Don’t they deserve something special?

Shannon Smith shows us some easy Valentine’s Day chocolate recipes with the help of the culinary instructors at Guilford Technical Community College in Jamestown. 

Chef Al’s Protein Packed Chocolate Peanut Butter Valentine’s Hearts

Ingredients

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup Vanilla Protein powder
  • 10–12 oz. chocolate chips OR good quality candy coating

Instructions

  1. Line 8 x 8 inch pan with parchment paper, leaving the paper overhang the sides so you can easily lift it later and set aside.
  2. Then in a mixing bowl stir all ingredients together, until sugar dissolve. Next, gradually mix in powdered sugar.
  3. Press the mixture into prepared dish. Smooth the top with spatula or simply press it with your palms to flatten into about ½ inch thick layer.
  4. Place it in the freezer until firm enough for cutting.
  5. When the mixture is firm enough, line a tray with parchment paper and set aside.
  6. Using small cookie cutter in the shape of heart, cut out the hearts and place them on the tray. Don’t waste any batter, pick up leftovers, kneed, press with your palms and you will be able to cut out at least a few more hearts.
  7. Place them in the freezer until firm.
  8. Then melt the chocolate (or candy coating) and line another tray with parchment paper.
  9. Using a fork, dip each heart into melted chocolate to cover completely. Gently tap the fork to drip of the excess of chocolate. (Since the peanut butter mixture softens really fast at the room temperature, I suggest you to take just a few hearts at the time from the freezer, because it’s easier to work with the firm hearts!)
  10. Place chocolate covered hearts on the parchment paper lined tray. Refrigerate until chocolate has set. Decorate with sprinkles or icing if desire.
  11. Store in the fridge or freeze for longer storage.

Note: The number of hearts depends on the size of your cookie cutter.

Chocolate Fruit Cups

(Al calls this the “best of both worlds” but you’re going to have to be the judge of that.)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoon coconut oil (divided)
  • Fresh berries or fruit of choice
  • any other toppings of choice

Instructions

  1. In a small sauce pan, melt 1/2 cup of the dark chocolate with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil on low heat.
  2. Using a silicone muffin pan or a regular muffin pan with liners, divide melted chocolate evenly. Use brush to brush chocolate onto the sides of the molds.
  3. Place muffin pan in fridge for at least 20 minutes or until chocolate has hardened.
  4. Melt another 1/2 cup of the dark chocolate with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil on low heat again.
  5. Divide melted chocolate evenly over hardened chocolate and brush it on the sides of molds again.
  6. Place back in fridge for at least 20 minutes again or until chocolate has hardened.
  7. With the remaining 1/2 cup of dark chocolate and 1 tbsp of coconut oil, melt on low heat again. Remove mold from fridge and spread remaining melted chocolate throughout the mold again.
  8. Carefully pushing the bottom of the silicone muffin pan, remove chocolate cups.
  9. Fill with favorite fruit and other preferred toppings like mousses, puddings, ice cream.

Trio of Chocolate Truffles

Ingredients
  • 8 oz of white chocolate, dark chocolate or milk chocolate
  • 8 oz heavy cream
Method
  1. In a double boiler melt each chocolate separately with the cream to make white, dark and milk chocolate ganache.
  2. Pour each ganache into separate shallow pan and place in refrigerator to chill.
  3. Once chilled portion each ganache into small balls using a 1 oz scoop or a teaspoon.
  4. Roll each ball to shape the truffles, then roll each truffle into your choice of topping or garnish. They may also be served au natural if you like.
  5. Possible toppings: valentines sprinkles or other candy decorations, chopped nuts, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, be creative!

Valentine’s Chocolate Bark

Ingredients

  • 16 oz Dark Chocolate
  • 4 oz White Chocolate
  • Red food coloring
  • Bark Toppings of your choice. (Options include: candy hearts, valentines sprinkles or other candy, pretzels.)
  • Tip: Be creative and put some personality into your bark…use favorite candies or items of the person you plan on gifting the bark to!

Method

  1. Melt Dark and White Chocolate in 2 separate bowls over double boiler, or in microwave 30 seconds at a time in plastic or glass bowl
  2. Pour dark chocolate on cookie sheet lined with wax paper or saran wrap
  3. Mix 2 oz of white chocolate with food coloring to make red.
  4. Garnish dark chocolate with decorations of your choice, then with your fingers or a spoon drizzle the red chocolate and white chocolate over the top and allow to cool. Then break, or cut into desired shapes.