Decadent recipes for chocolate desserts

From classics such as chewy chocolate chip cookies and chocolate cake with buttercream frosting, to crazy candy creations such as Peanut Butter Cup and Snickers crunch brownies; whatever your guilty pleasure, we've got you covered with more than 50 chocolate recipes.

Chocolate truffles, four ways

Photo courtesy of Chef Nathan Lyon
Chocolate truffles, in four flavors, make an elegant Valentine's Day dessert.

By Chef Nathan Lyon, Host of Good Food America on Veria Living and author of Great Food Starts Fresh
Yield: 40 Truffles, 10 of each flavor

1 cup heavy whipping cream
12 ounces dark chocolate (containing 60 to 72 percent cocoa solids), chopped finely
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/16 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon dark rum (optional), almond oil, peppermint oil, and orange oil
1/2 cup each: finely crushed hard mint candies, unsweetened shredded coconut, and finely chopped almonds in separate bowls
1/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder

1. Put the cream into a medium saucepan and stir slowly over medium-low heat to just a simmer, being careful not to let it boil.

2. Combine the chopped chocolate, butter, and salt into a large bowl. Remove the cream from the heat and pour it over the chocolate mixture. Cover with plastic wrap.

3. Let the mixture sit undisturbed for one minute, then uncover and slowly stir with a spatula until fully incorporated. Stir in the vanilla extract.

4. Divide the melted chocolate evenly among four small bowls. Add the dark rum (if using) to the first bowl, the orange oil to the second, the almond oil to the third, and the peppermint oil to the fourth. Cover each bowl loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, approximately 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

5. Using a melon baller, small ice cream scoop, or teaspoon, scoop the chilled chocolate into one-teaspoon portions. Quickly roll each portion of chocolate between the palms of your hand to achieve a somewhat round ball.

6. Gently roll each chocolate ball in one the four separate bowls filled with the cocoa power, mint candies, shredded coconut, and toasted almonds.

7. Transfer the coated truffles to a parchment paper-lined plate, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, approximately 30 minutes. Remove truffles from the refrigerator 15 minutes before serving.

Note: Enjoy a little heat with your chocolate? Try stirring in some ground cayenne pepper with some melted chocolate. Whoa! Spicy.

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