Happy Valentine’s Day: Brock’s best sweet picks

I have always enjoyed Valentine’s Day.  Specifically, for the sweets.

From the time when I was just a young child, until now, about thirty years later—

I have never become tired of eating candies and dreaming until morning about Hershey’s kisses and Reese’s peanut butter cups.  There are so many recipes that are out there that a person like me can try and tweak.  This week, I have provided you three truly outstanding recipes that I have selected for this year’s Valentine’s Day.  These recipes are recipes which you could prepare for your spouse or partner on the special day, or you can prepare them for your children.  The first recipe is a Hot Fudge Pie recipe that I came across last week.  This is one fine southern recipe.  With some cold vanilla ice cream, this pie makes everything a little better!  The second recipe is a recipe for chocolate bars—Magic Turtle Bars! Do I need to  explain any further? The name says it all. They are certainly magic in your mouth! And finally, your loved ones will flip over my Easy Devil’s Food Peanut Butter Cake.  This is the perfect ending to a delicious Valentine’s dinner…with a nice cold glass of fresh milk!  Brock, you are soooo very  bad this week! I’ll make sure to ask for forgiveness! Happy Valentine’s Day! Enjoy, readers!

Southern Hot Fudge Pie

Note:  This pie is best devoured with a scoop of quality vanilla ice cream (such as Haagen-Dazs)

or Blue Bell.

 

1 cup half and half

One fourth cup unsalted butter

8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped

One and one half cups sugar

Three fourths cup cocoa

One fourth cup all-purpose flour

One fourth tsp. salt

2 large eggs

3 large egg yolks

One 9 inch frozen pie crust, thawed

Preheat oven to 350. Place half and half, butter, and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in microwave for 2 minutes or until butter has melted and chocolate melts when stirred. Stir until smooth. Whisk together sugar, cocoa powder, flour, and salt. Add eggs, egg yolks, and chocolate mixture. Stir until well-combined and smooth.

Transfer filling to pie crust in pan. Bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until the center is set and the edges have begun to crack. Cool 10 minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla ice

cream.

Magic Turtle Bars

Note:  These bars are truly addictive.  They’re like potato chips.  You just can’t stop at one.  And

they’re so simple to prepare!

2 cups crushed Nilla wafers

1 stick melted butter (not margarine)

2 bags semi sweet chocolate chips

1-2 bags Kraft Caramel Bits

2 cups coarsely chopped pecans

1 can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Lightly spray or grease a 9×13 pan. Combine crushed cookies and butter till combined and cookie crumbs are moist. Spread evenly in bottom of pan, pressing down to form a crust. Now start layering the rest of the ingredients. 1 bag chocolate chips, caramel bits, pecans (save out about one fourth cup for the top), second bag of chocolate chips, remaining pecans. Drizzle sweetened condensed milk over the entire pan, make sure to cover everything. Bake for 25-30 minutes, just until milk begins to turn golden. Let cool completely before cutting. Store in airtight container. If you choose to refrigerate these bars, bring them back to room temperature before eating.

Easy Devil’s Food Peanut Butter Cake

Note:  The addition of buttermilk and a pudding mix into the cake mix gives this cake a moistness like no other!

Cake:

1 Duncan Hines devil’s food cake mix (or butter fudge)

1 cup buttermilk

One third cup vegetable oil

3 large eggs

1 small box Jell-O instant chocolate pudding mix

Frosting:

2 boxes confectioner’s sugar, or more

1 cup creamy peanut butter

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 stick butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare cake by placing all ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer, and beating for 3-4 minutes, or until very smooth.

Pour batter into a 13×9 greased and floured cake pan (aluminum is best), and bake for about 30 minutes. Check the middle of the cake to make sure it’s firm. Cake is done when a clean toothpick is inserted into the middle of the cake, and the  toothpick comes out clean. Completely cool the cake. Cream butter and cream cheese together until smooth with an electric mixer.

Mix in peanut butter until well-combined.  Slowly add in confectioner’s sugar until there is a smooth and firm frosting.

If it’s not thick enough, you may add a few more tablespoons of confectioner’s sugar.  Frost cake.  Let cake remain in refrigerator for an hour before cutting.

Editor’s Note:  Brock W. Rogers is a southern food writer, educator, overseas traveler, and a passionate student of the  culinary and pastry arts.  You may reach him at , or find him on Facebook at Brock’s Bites-Southern Recipes. —