Chocolate is a favorite flavor, always a good bet for a pleasing snack or dessert. Here are two easy recipes to consider making as Father's Day draws near. (It's Sunday, remember?)
Chocolate Toffee Crunch Squares are a toothsome treat that could be an easily made family production. Guess who isn't required to pitch in.
The no-baking-needed recipe combines chocolate, toffee, peanuts and pretzels, topped with a white drizzle. Preparation time and clean-up are minimal, and children can help with mixing the ingredients and drizzling on the finishing touches.
Chocolate Toffee Crunch Squares
Two 11 1/2-ounce packages milk chocolate chips
1 cup crushed toffee pieces or packaged toffee bits
1 cup salted peanuts
1 cup halved pretzel sticks
1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes (optional)
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 teaspoon shortening (do not use butter, margarine, spread or oil)
Paper candy cups (optional)
Line a 9-inch square pan with plastic wrap. Place chocolate chips in large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high (100 percent) 1 minute; stir. If necessary, microwave on high heat an additional 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating just until chips are melted and mixture is smooth when stirred.
Immediately add toffee bits, peanuts, pretzels and coconut, if desired; stir to coat. Spread mixture into prepared pan; cover with plastic wrap or foil. Refrig-erate 45 minutes or until firm.
Place white chips and shortening in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high 1 minute; stir. If necessary, microwave on high an additional 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating just until chips are melted and mixture is smooth when stirred. Using fork, drizzle white chips mixture over chocolate mixture in pan. Cover; refrigerate five minutes or until firm.
Bring to room temperature. Remove chocolate mixture from pan and place on cutting board, top side up; discard plastic wrap. Cut into 1 1/2-inch squares. Place each square in a candy cup, if desired. Store in covered container in a cool place.
Makes about 36 squares.
Variation: Chocolate Toffee Haystacks: Prepare chocolate mixture as above. Instead of spreading square pan, drop chocolate mixture by slightly heaping tablespoons onto wax paper-lined cookie sheet or tray. Refrigerate until firm. Melt white chips as directed above; drizzle over "haystacks."
Nutrition information per serving: 190 cal., 3 g pro., 19 g carbo., 11 g total fat (6 g saturated fat), 10 mg chol., 115 mg sodium.
Give Dad a Hand Cookies deliver their Father's Day message in their shape. Bake them ahead of time and surprise the hero of the day.
These chocolate cookies are simple for moms and children to make, using unsweetened cocoa powder that blends easily with other baking ingredients. After the cookies have baked and cooled, children can have fun tracing a hand shape on paper, cutting it out and outlining the hand print with icing.
Give Dad a Hand Cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Decorating icing in tube or can
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in large bowl on medium speed of mixer until creamy. Add eggs; beat well. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until well blended.
Drop dough by slightly heaping 1/4 cupfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet, about 3 inches apart (put only four on a cookie sheet). Shape into balls. With palm of hand, flatten to 3 1/2-inch rounds.
Bake eight to 10 minutes or until set. (Cookies will spread during baking; baked cookies will be about 5 inches in diameter.) Cool three minutes; using a wide spatula, carefully remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.
Make a pattern of child's hand on paper, with fingers spread. Cut out the pattern; place pattern on cookie. Using pattern as a guide, outline hand with icing; repeat with remaining cookies. Garnish if desired.
Makes 12 to 14 cookies.
Nutrition information per serving (1 of 14 cookies): 330 cal., 5 g pro., 45 g carbo., 14 g total fat (9 g saturated fat), 65 mg chol., 310 mg sodium.