New Castle News

Lugene Hudson

February 9, 2013

Culinary Conversation: Chocolate treats for Valentine’s Day

NEW CASTLE — Ah, in less than a week, it’s all hearts and flowers. And chocolate.

I confess that my sweet tooth has dulled a bit through the years but I occasionally dig far back into the kitchen cupboard where I keep some chocolate. I’ve gone so far as to scoop a handful of milk chocolate chips from the bag if the cravings get really bad.

But I’m convinced that chocolate lovers of the world need no excuse to indulge now and then.

Valentine’s Day is as good a reason as ever. And it’s less than a week away.

I still remember my parents — when I was in elementary school — helping me construct those elaborate boxes that classmates filled with Valentine’s Day cards. One, in particular, stands out. It was first covered in white paper, then had layers of red lace and a frilly red bow on top. I thought it was the prettiest Valentine’s Day card box I had ever seen. Funny how those things stay in our memory.

Now I’m a little more interested in the heart-shaped boxes that contain any variety of chocolate with any variety of centers — except nougat.

If you love the combination of peanut butter and chocolate, then the Rocky Road bars in today’s Culinary Conversation will especially appeal.

Another favorite combo is cherry and chocolate, and with triple types of the latter, the cake is an ultimate winner.

I love the fact that the black bottom cupcakes are in smaller form, which makes them especially kid friendly. The recipe is from a cookbook compiled by members of a club I once belonged to. The contributor was a wonderful baker and the cupcakes are heavenly.

Speaking of contributors, your opportunity to participate in Culinary Conversation is only an email or letter away. Your family probably already knows what a great cook or baker you are. So now is the a chance to let your friends, neighbors and co-workers find out, too.

Black Bottom Cupcakes

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Lugene Hudson
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Beginning tonight, the Pittsburgh Penguins will take on the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round of the NHL playoffs. So, who ya got? And in how many games?

Penguins, in five games or fewer. Too much firepower for the Blue Jackets, especially if Evgeni Malkin is ready to go.
Penguins, in six or seven games. It’s a pretty even matchup on defense, but Pittsburgh will grind it out.
Blue Jackets, in five games or fewer. Sergei Bobrovsky in goal for the Blue Jackets spells trouble for the Pens.
Blue Jackets, in six or seven games. Bobrovsky gives Columbus the edge, but it won’t be easy.
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