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Chocolate goodness

February 6, 2013
By Pat Jensen , Marshall Independent

During a recent trip to the grocery store, I gave into temptation and tossed a bag of chocolate candies into the shopping cart. The candy was bought with my husband in mind (really). Valentine's Day is quickly approaching, and my hubby loves chocolate! OK, I'll probably have a couple of pieces, too. To celebrate Valentine's Day, I'm willing to live with a little guilt.

A couple of days ago, I was doing some reading and came across some information about chocolate. I was surprised to read that chocolate is a vegetable. How could I not know that! You see, chocolate begins as beans from a tropical tree. A bean is a vegetable. Sugar is derived from either cane or sugar beets. Both are plants, which place them in the vegetable category. Therefore, chocolate must be a vegetable.

Let's take this a few steps further. Chocolate candy bars also contain milk, which is a dairy product. If you choose to eat chocolate-covered raisins or strawberries, then you're adding fruit to your diet - that's a good thing.

Have you heard of fried bacon dipped in chocolate? It's suppose to be very tasty. We can't forget about grains. Chocolate-flavored cereals and snack bars are very popular with kids and adults, too.

There you have it - five main food requirements: vegetable, dairy, fruit, meat and grains. Daily servings are recommended.

Perhaps the only thing I should feel guilty about is not devouring enough chocolate. I had no idea that eating chocolate could be so beneficial.

It's too good to be true!

From the back of the recipe file

IMPOSSIBLE CHOCOLATE PIE

3 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

Dash salt

4 level T. baking cocoa

2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup coconut

1/2 cup Bisquick baking mix

1-1/4 cups milk

2 T. butter, cut up

Mix all ingredients in blender at medium speed, for one minute. Pour into 9-in. pie plate. Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 min. or until top is firm. Serve warm or cold - garnish with whipped topping if desired.

Note: A cake-like crust will form on top and bottom, and a chocolate custard in between.

A boxed mix saves time

CHOCOLATE CHIP BROWNIES

1 (18.25 oz) pkg. chocolate or yellow cake mix

2 eggs

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup margarine

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Combine cake mix, eggs, water, margarine and brown sugar. Beat with a spoon until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts. Spread in a greased 15 x 10-in. baking pan. Bake at 350, 25 min.

Especially yummy fresh from the oven

MARSHMALLOW FUDGE COOKIES

1 cup shortening

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

3 cups flour

1/2 cup baking cocoa

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

Miniature marshmallows / sugar

Cream shortening and sugars. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine flour with cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture, mixing well. Shape into balls, putting 3 or 4 marshmallows in middle of each. Roll balls in granulated sugar to coat. Bake on cookie sheet (covered with parchment paper) in a 350 oven for 6 to 7 min.

Unusual, but very good. Really!

SWEET SOMETHING FUDGE

1 can (15 oz) pinto beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup baking cocoa

1/2 cup margarine, melted

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 T. vanilla extract

7-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

3/4 to 1 cup chopped walnuts

In a 3 qt. size microwave-safe bowl, mash beans with a fork or pastry blender until smooth; cover and microwave for 1-1/2 min. or until heated through. Add cocoa, melted margarine, butter and the vanilla. (Mixture will be thick.) Slowly stir in sugar using a large spoon in the beginning and a rubber spatula towards the end. Add walnuts. Press mixture into a 9-in. square pan (line with foil and coat with cooking spray.) Cover and refrigerate until firm. Cut into 1-in. pieces. Yield: about 3-1/2 lbs. (81 pieces)

Notes: After adding vanilla ... At this point you're going to wonder how you can possibly incorporate 7-1/2 cups of sugar into the cocoa mixture. Just add about 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. * I pre-measured the confectioners' sugar and set aside. This took the guess work out of keeping track of how much sugar I was adding. (I've been known to lose count).

May Valentine's Day bring you special joy and chocolate.

 
 

 

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