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Valentine's Day chocolate recipes for your sweetheart to love

Delicious confections are perfectly suited to be shared with those you love

Published: Monday, Aug. 31 2015 8:46 a.m. MDT

Brownie Cookie Bites are tempting but sensible treats. (Covenant Communications) Brownie Cookie Bites are tempting but sensible treats. (Covenant Communications)

Want to do something sweet for your Valentine?

Below are some unique chocolate recipes, taken from "Chocolate Never Faileth" by Annette Lyon and published by Covenant Communications, that make thoughtful, homemade gifts for Feb. 14 — or really any day of the year.

CHOCOLATE DANISH MINI TARTS

My mother-in-law has a Danish background, and to keep some of that culture alive, she makes these at Christmas. She fills them with cherry pie filling, too, but the most popular filling each year is — no surprise — the chocolate filling. Instead of mini tart shells, you can use silicon molds, mini-muffin tins or other small forms. I've personally used only the actual tart tins, but my mother-in-law has reported success using all kinds of other things.

Chocolate Danish Mini Tarts (Covenant Communications) Chocolate Danish Mini Tarts (Covenant Communications)

Tart shells:

1 cup butter

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

21/2-23/4 cups flour

Chocolate Tart filling:

8 ounces milk chocolate (My mother-in-law often uses simple Hershey's bars. I like to use Guittard Milk Chocolate Chips, the giant ones in the silver bag)

18 large marshmallows

1/2 cup milk

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1 cup whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Shells: Lightly coat tart tins with cooking spray.

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and almond extract. Mix in flour as needed to make the dough moist but not sticky. It should be workable with your hands.

Work small amounts of dough into individual tart tins. You'll need less than you think; they should not have thick bottoms. Prick each shell with a fork a couple of times, then bake for about 10 minutes, until barely golden on the edges.

Let cool, then remove from tins and fill. Makes about 24 shells, depending on size.

Filling: In a medium pan, melt the chocolate, marshmallows and milk. Allow the mixture to cool completely to room temperature.

Chocolate Danish Mini Tarts__Brownie Cookie Bites are tempting but sensible treats. (Covenant Communications, Shutterstock, Covenant Communications) Chocolate Danish Mini Tarts__Brownie Cookie Bites are tempting but sensible treats. (Covenant Communications, Shutterstock, Covenant Communications)

Whip the cream, then fold it into the chocolate mixture until fully incorporated, with no chocolate streaks. Fill shells. Chill filled tarts for about an hour before serving. Garnish with a squirt of whipped cream.

— Annette Lyon, "Chocolate Never Faileth"

JUMBO ROCKY ROAD COOKIES

Let's just say that these cookies are huge, delicious, easy and are the perfect solution to a chocoholic's craving. One batch makes only 12 cookies, but they're each a good six inches across. Hoard them as soon as they're cooled, because otherwise they'll disappear quickly. You've had fair warning.

11/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips, melted

3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) butter

2 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons dark chocolate hot cocoa powder (optional, but it gives a kick to the flavor)

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup flour

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup almonds, slivered or roughly chopped

1-11/2 cups miniature marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line three cookie sheets with foil. You don't need to grease the foil, but you must use foil; parchment or greased cookies sheets won't work.

In a medium, microwave-safe glass bowl, melt the chocolate chips and butter for one minute. Stir; heat again for another 30 seconds. Repeat until chocolate is barely melted; don't let it scorch. Set aside to cool slightly.

On high speed in a separate mixing bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, salt and baking powder for at least two minutes — it may take longer — until the mixture is a pale tan and starts to develop small bubbles.

On low speed, mix in the chocolate/butter mixture. Add the flour; mix just until incorporated. Mix in the one cup chocolate chips and almonds.

Using a 1/4-cup measure, drop a cookie at the corners of each cookie sheet, leaving plenty of room for the cookies to spread. The dough should be nice and rounded on top — they'll flatten and spread out on their own, so don't press them down.

Bake for 11–12 minutes.

Remove from the oven just long enough to press marshmallows into the top of each cookie — each cookie can probably hold about 10. Return to the oven for an additional 2–3 minutes so the cookies can finish baking and the marshmallows can toast slightly; don't let them melt.

Slide the foil with the baked cookies onto a cooling rack. When the cookies are fully cooled, peel them off the foil. Makes one dozen.

— Annette Lyon, "Chocolate Never Faileth"

BROWNIE COOKIE BITES

If you like brownies but don't want to tempt yourself with an entire pan, this might be a good option — assuming you can limit yourself to one cookie at a time. Good luck with that.

2 cups sugar

31/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup cocoa

3/4 cup water

1 egg

1/2 cup powdered sugar

Preheat to 350 degrees.

Grease cookie sheets.

In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa. Add water and egg; mix well with a wooden spoon.

Place the powdered sugar in a small bowl. Drop cookie dough by spoonfuls and shape into balls; roll balls in powdered sugar until covered.

Place balls on cookie sheet, and bake for 12-15 minutes or until touching a cookie with your finger leaves only a very slight indentation.

Cool on a wire rack.

Note: To keep these cookies soft, store them in an airtight container after they've cooled completely. On the other hand, if you're like me and love chewy brownies, let them sit out overnight, and they'll take on that awesome chewy brownie texture.

— Annette Lyon, "Chocolate Never Faileth"

CHOCOLATE MERINGUE KISSES

Chocolate Meringue Kisses are the way to go for a sweet treat. They're simple to make. The only hard part is waiting. They take a long time to dry out in the oven, but the end result is worth it.

2/>3 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

5 tablespoons cocoa

8 egg whites

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Line 2–3 cookie sheets with parchment; set aside.

Combine the sugar, powdered sugar and cocoa. Sift.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on high just until stiff, but not dry, peaks form. While still beating, gradually add the cocoa-sugar mixture, a few tablespoons at a time. Beat until the mixture is blended and the whites are firm and shiny.

For the next step, you have a few options, depending on how fancy you want to get.

If you have a pastry bag and a star tip, pipe pretty rosettes onto the parchment.

Or, for most of us, fill a zip-style bag with the meringue, cut a corner off the bag, and pipe chocolate kisses with a pretty peaked top.

Or use spoons to drop the mixture onto the parchment and form it into kiss shapes with a peak at the top.

Allow the kisses to rest for about 10 minutes.

During that time, heat the oven to 220 degrees.

Put the kisses into the oven for about 90 minutes.

The point here is not to actually bake them, but to dry them out. They shouldn't change color in the process. After 90 minutes, turn the oven off, leave the meringues in the oven and let the oven cool completely. When the oven and the meringues are cool, take them out, gently remove them from the parchment with a spatula. They'll be fragile, so be careful not to break them. Store them in an airtight container. Use for garnishes, especially with ice cream, or snacking.

Makes several dozen, depending on size.

— Annette Lyon,

Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company