I love homemade treats for presents. While my husband and I were dating it was really hard because we were states away, me in Mississippi and him in Florida. I would make him homemade treats and mail them to him. I thought of it as a way for him to remember me by every time he enjoyed a sweet bite. One of my favorite chocolate treats is my dark chocolate granola. I can have my chocolate and eat it too with this healthy treat. Guys whip up this dark chocolate granola for your Valentine this year. Package it in a clear plastic bag and secured with a ribbon or store in a tin canister or mason jar. Feel free to check out some other healthy snack ideas over at Nuts.com too!”
Dark Chocolate Granola
I created this dessert in order to satisfy my craving for chocolate in a healthier way. Rich and decadent cocoa powder is paired with oats, pistachios, dark chocolate chips, and dried cranberries to create the perfect combination of sweet and tangy crunch. Enjoy for a satisfying dessert without the guilt.
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 to 4 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon brewed coffee
2 tablespoons dark chocolate cocoa powder
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
Pinch of fine sea salt
2 tablespoons shelled and skinned unsalted pistachios
1 tablespoon sweetened dried cranberries
2 tablespoons dark chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Melt the butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl in the microwave. Add the olive oil, honey, coffee, cocoa powder, oats, and salt. Pour onto a baking sheet and evenly spread with the back of a spoon. Bake for 10 minutes. Toss with a spoon. Bake for an additional 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from the oven, toss again, and let cool for 10 minutes. Add the pistachios, cranberries, and dark chocolate chips. Serve or store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups. Recipe from New Southern Table.
This chocolate treat is really a show stopper. It is my homemade candy bar. Yes, making a candy bar is possible and easy. My dad inspired me for this recipe because of his love for Almond Joys. I incorporate a very unique ingredient into this candy, grits. Don’t go running away now. I promise you will not even know it is grits. The combination of grits and coconut in this Southern Candy Bar pair perfectly. For another Southern twist, I top the candy bar with a pecan half instead of almond. The candy bar is dipped in chocolate, cooled, and ready for packaging or eating. Oh I almost forgot. This candy bar will also save you a ton of calories from traditional candy bars. So enjoy 1 or 2 🙂
Southern Candy Bar
For my first cookbook I created a crispy coconut bites recipe, which featured pantry staples, including grits, and here I’ve changed the recipe into a candy bar. Grits for dessert? Yes, this candy bar will blow your mind. I’ve combined quick-cooking grits with coconut water and coconut milk to achieve an intense coconut flavor. I then added shredded coconut to mimic the texture of the grits. This is a perfect treat to make and share with your “un-Southern” friends, especially if they have never experienced grits.
1 cup coconut water
1/3 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup quick-cooking grits
2 tablespoons pure cane sugar
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut 1/2 pound milk, semi-sweet, or dark chocolate bar
12 pecan halves, toasted
Line an 8 1⁄2 x 4 1⁄2 -inch glass loaf pan with waxed paper, allowing a 2-inch overhang on all sides.
Mix together the coconut water and milk in a saucepan, and bring to a low boil
over medium-high heat. Whisk in the grits, and reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the grits reach porridge consistency, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the sugar and coconut.
Spoon the grits mixture into the loaf pan. Spread evenly with a rubber spatula, and let cool at room temperature for 2 hours, or until slightly firm.
After 2 hours, carefully remove the coconut mixture from the pan by pulling the sides of the waxed paper. Place the loaf on a cutting board, and cut it into 12 rectangles.
Fill the bottom of the double boiler with a few inches of water. Bring the water to a simmer over medium heat. Chop the chocolate into small chunks, and place one-third in the top bowl of a double boiler. Once the chocolate begins to melt, stir it. Add the remaining chocolate chunks in two batches, stirring until melted and smooth after each addition. Carefully remove the bowl from the heat and transfer to the counter.
Lay a large piece of waxed paper on the counter. Place one of the grits bars on a slotted spatula, and place a pecan half in the middle of the bar. Holding the spatula over the bowl of chocolate, spoon the melted chocolate over the bar until completely coated. Lightly tap the spatula against the bowl to remove the excess chocolate. To cover the bottom of the bar, spoon a line the size of the grits bar onto the waxed paper. Using a butter knife, slide the grits bar onto the line of chocolate. Repeat with the rest of the grits bars. Let cool until the chocolate has hardened.
Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container.
Makes 12 bars. Recipe from New Southern Table.
I hope you are inspired to create your own box of chocolate and sweet treats for your Valentine this year.
Happy Valentine’s Day!!