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Chocolate Delights

Here are several tips when making chocolate delights:
Use good quality chocolate. Melt small pieces of chocolate over double boiler or microwave at a low temperature (less than 115 degF), taking caution not to do it over direct heat or have your vessel touching the boiling water. Do not overheat the chocolate. Never mix water in chocolate as it will create lumps. Always gently stir with a plastic spatula. Gentle stirring is the best method to ensure the chocolate chips melt evenly.

Please enjoy the following yummy chocolate recipes:
- Chocolate Butterscotch Peanut Clusters
- Chocolate Sauce
- 2 minute Microwave Chocolate Mug Cake
Eggless Microwave Chocolate Mug Cake
- Chocolate Chip Doughnut Holes

Chocolate Butterscotch Peanut Clusters
I was introduced to this delight by my roommate. I could eat by the dozens because they are really sinfully delicious.  My roommate is a traditionalist so he only uses milk chocolate chips while I opt for healthier ingredients. I do have to agree with him that milk chocolate gives a silkier texture than dark chocolate. And I'm quite excited to share this recipe because it's so easy to make and requires only 10 minutes of your effort!

Ingredients (Yields 12 to 16 clusters):
1 cup milk chocolate chips, 1 cup dark chocolate chips, 1 cup butterscotch chips, 1 cup salted redskin Spanish peanuts and 1 cup unsalted roasted peanuts 

Procedures:
1. Line two baking sheets with wax paper. Check that your refrigerator can accommodate the baking sheets 
2. Bring a pot of water to boil, ensuring the bottom of your mixing bowl is not touching the water
3. Add chocolate and butterscotch chips in the mixing bowl. Gently stir with a plastic spatula while taking care that your bowl is not overheating. If so, remove bowl onto kitchen towel to cool a little. When 90% of chips are melted together, remove bowl from steam and stir until a glossy sauce is formed
4. Add nuts and cover them with sauce

5. Generously spoon tablespoons of mixture onto baking sheets
6. Refrigerate for an hour  while licking bowl and spatula clean
7. Transfer the clusters to tightly sealed festive containers and store them in the fridge. Or serve with a large glass of milk! ENJOY!

Tips: Feel free to add your fav chocolate variety and nuts... You can even add peanut butter!

Chocolate Chip Doughnut Holes
After 5 days on a low iodine diet, this was the first thing I made to satisfy my chocolate and dessert craving. I modified and used the recipe from Tablespoon.com. So easy to make and quick chocolate fix!

Ingredients (Yields 2 dozen fried yummy goodness):
1.25 cup all purpose flour, 1/3 cup sugar, 2 tsp baking powder, 0.5 tsp salt, 1 large egg, 0.5 cup milk, 2 tbs melted butter, 0.25 cup chocolate chips, and veg oil for frying

 Procedures:
1. Heat pan with at least 2-inch of oil to 375 degF over medium heat
2. Mix dry ingredients except chocolate chips in a bowl. Incorporate wet ingredients in the dry mixture
3. When completely mixed, add chocolate chips
4. Scoop 1 tbs of dough, making sure chocolate chip is covered so it won't melt when it hits the hot oil and gently drop it in hot oil. Repeat until pan is not overcrowded 
5. Fry till all sides of the doughnut holes are crispy and golden browned. Removed them onto a rack to drain excess oil. Cook the rest of the batter
6. Serve with dusting of confectioner's sugar, chocolate sauce, or maple syrup

2 minute Microwave Chocolate Mug Cake
Easy recipe for quick chocolate fix :)

Ingredients (Yields 1 large serving):
3 tbs all purpose flour, 2 tbs sugar, 2 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder, 0.25 tsp baking soda, 0.25 tsp salt, 3 tbs vegetable oil, 3 tbs milk, 1 egg, 0.5 tsp vanilla extract, and 1 tbs dark chocolate chips
1 large microwave-safe mug

Procedures:
1. Sift dry ingredients (except chocolate chips) into mug. Mix well
2. Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl
3. Pour wet mixture into dry ingredients and blend until smooth
4. Stir in chocolate chips and vanilla extract
5. Microwave for 2 minutes on high (may take longer depending on the wattage of the microwave. Don't cook longer than 2.5 minutes)
6. Sprinkle some confectioners' sugar on the top of the cake and serve while warm!

Eggless Microwave Chocolate Mug Cake
Experimented several times and it has consistently came out good! This mug cake is roughly half of the recipe above since this is a better portion for me.

Ingredients (Yields 1 serving):
1.5 tbs all purpose flour, 1 tbs sugar, 1 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder, 0.125 tsp baking powder, 1.5 tbs milk, 1 tbs butter- melted, 0.125 tsp vanilla extract. 
Optional filling: 0.5 tbs dark chocolate shavings and 0.5 tbs peanut butter for topping or filling
1 microwave-safe mug

Procedures:
1. Sift dry ingredients into mug. Mix well
2. Stir in milk, butter, and vanilla extract
3. If you would like to make filling, blend chocolate shavings and peanut butter in a separate bowl. Insert the mixture in the middle of the chocolate cake batter
4. Microwave for 1 min and 15 seconds on high (may take longer depending on the wattage of the microwave. Don't cook longer than 1.5 mins)
5. Top with chocolate servings and peanut butter. Serve while warm! I like to have it with warm milk-- yum!

Chocolate Sauce
This lovely sauce goes well with eating ice cream, decorating cookies and dipping snacks such as pretzels, fruits, bread, etc. It's really an easy recipe!

Ingredients (Yields ~1.5 cup):
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, 0.25 cup milk and 0.5 tbs butter
Microwave-safe bowl

Procedures:
1. In the bowl, mix 0.5 cup chocolate chips, butter and milk
2. Microwave for 15 seconds, stir and microwave for another 15 seconds
3. Remove from microwave and stir in the rest of the chocolate chips until all chips melted and well incorporated. Serve!



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