Saturday, February 13, 2016

This Year Easy to Make Healthy Chocolates and Cookie Treats for Your Valentine

These delicious chocolates are easy to make and are filled with luscious mixture of dried fruits. 

These chocolates and the cookies below come from the days of "making the most" of your pantry, saving wheat and sugar during World War I food conservation. In 1917 and 1918, homemakers in kitchens across the nation pitched in to save wheat, meat, sugar, and fats so that those important foodstuffs could be shifted to feed our soldiers in training as well as both soldiers and civilians in Europe whose lives and farms had been disrupted for three years.

Many of those conservation recipes have been forgotten. But once discovered, they do stand the test of time. I'm sure you and your Valentine will find them a wonderful change of pace from the typical store-bought treats.  And they are way healthier, too.

Valentine's Fruit Chocolates

1 12-ounce package raisins
1/4 cup water
1 8-ounce package dates -- either chopped or pitted and then cut in quarters
2/3 cup dried figs -- cut off stem and cut each into 6 to 8 pieces
1 cup chopped walnuts
grated rind of half an orange
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons honey
dipping chocolate such as melted dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips 1 large bag will be more than enough

Here's the inside view of these delicious chocolate treats.

Combine the raisins with water in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and heat on high for a minute. Let stand until cool. Drain off any remaining water. Put raisins, chopped dates, figs, and nuts into a food processor and pulse until finely processed, but not mush. Put mixture into refrigerator until firm. Form into balls about 3/4 of an inch in diameter. In a shallow bowl, melt chocolate chips in microwave for one minute on high. Stir, and if not completely melted, continue to heat in 10-second increments stirring in between each time. Drop fruit candy centers into chocolate, stir with a fork and then lift out to drain. Place on plate for chocolate to harden. Store finished candies in the refrigerator.

NOTE: No need to make these all at once. Store filling in the refrigerator for up to three weeks. Just pull some out and dip when you want a special treat.

Whole-Wheat Chocolate Cookies Yum!

Whole Wheat Chocolate Cookies

1/2 cup melted shortening or butter
2 1-ounce squares baking chocolate
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped raisins
1/2 cup chopped nuts -- walnuts or almonds are particularly good

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Stir the chocolate into melted butter over low heat until it is melted. Stir this into brown sugar and add the lightly beaten egg. Stir in milk and then flour and salt. Mix well. Add chopped raisins and nuts. Drop by teaspoon onto lightly greased baking sheets. Bake until just lightly browned, about 8 to 12 minutes. It may take longer to bake, but best to check early as they can burn easily. Remove and cool on a wire rack. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Copyright 2016, Rae Katherine Eighmey. All rights reserved.