Fun Facts About Chocolate and Lots of Recipes!

Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to stop everything you’re doing, just to eat a piece of chocolate. It doesn’t matter if your single, taken, married or somewhere in between, chocolate has to make it into your day somehow! To get you prepared for the day o’ love, we’ve got some fun little tidbits about the brown goodness after the jump, plus lots of recipes!

1. Curlies – The best way to make chocolate curls for decorating cakes and pies is to use a potato or vegetable parer. Don’t think that you need specialty chocolate either. Bars of semi-sweet or bitter chocoalte should work just fine. Make sure that chocolate is at room temperature or a bit warmer. Once you begin curling, you can adjust the thickness and length of the curls by the pressure of your stroke.

2. I’m Melting! - To melt chocolate, first you need to finely chop it. Then place it in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave, uncovered, at 100 percent power, stirring every 10 seconds.

3. Not Just Chocolate Chip – We know they’re classic and pretty darn delicious, but we’re challenging you to change up your choco-chip cookie recipe. Here are a few variations:

- Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies: Bake cookies in a 325 degree oven until they are a light golden brown (10-13 minutes). Cool on baking sheets for 3 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

- Chocolate Chunk Cookies: Omit semisweet chocolate chips. Coarsely chop a 3- to 4-ounce bar of semisweet chocolate, and fold it into cookie dough in step 3.

- Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies: After beating butter and sugars, add 1/2 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky). Beat well, then continue as for Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies. Omit chopped walnuts.

4. A Fiberific Snack - Chocolate isn’t exactly what comes to mind when we think fiber. But there’s a way to get all the fiber you need with a little more sweetness. Try mashed bananas and cold-milled flaxseed for a power packed fiber snack or breakfast. Splash a little sugar-free chocolate syrup on it for dessert!

Here are some of the best chocolate recipes on Recipe4Living:

Chocolate Lava Cake: These gooey chocolate cakes are heavenly and the presentation is gorgeous.

Irish Chocolate Dessert: A creamy, whiskey chocolate sauce softens a lady finger crust.

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Ribbon Dessert: This dessert is a mix between a Reese’s Peanut Putter Cup and a chocolate cheesecake – mmm mmm mmm!

Chocolate Mousse: This one comes out looking fancy but is really quite easy to prepare.

Chocolate Pixies: Chocohlics beware; these chocolate cookies are irresistible.

Chocolate Velvet Cake: Thick and rich, this dense cake uses German chocolate for that deep cocoa flavor.

Chocolate Éclair Dessert: Fake the French classic with a little pudding and graham crackers.

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