- Food and Cooking
Top 5 Ways to Get a Quick Chocolate Fix Frugally
Prepare for a Chocolate Emergency
You're madly going through the cabinets, the fridge, the closets, anywhere for that sweet delectable treat. Where is it? There must be chocolate somewhere! Oh no! Not a Hershey bar in sight and you seriously need a chocolate fix. What to do? If you prepare yourself before the next chocoholic attack hits again, then you'll survive beautifully.
Okay, this is a bit tongue in cheek but it's all in good fun and you never know when these tips might come in handy.
Your Chocolate Fix Pantry
So what's to stop you from just driving to the store to get your fix? You can stock up on chocolate candy at the discount club. But doesn't it always seem the worst chocoholic attacks strike when you're unable to do those things. Even if you don't consider yourself a baker, these are the best chocolate emergency preparedness supplies to have on hand since a little goes a long way.
- Unsweetened cocoa (from cheap to gourmet, whatever you prefer)
- Unsweetened baking chocolate squares
- Milk or milk substitute
- Butter or alternative
- Other basic cooking ingredients, flour, eggs, corn starch, etc.
- Basic cookbook or chocolate specific cookbook (optional since you can find recipes on the Internet and product packaging)
- Chocolate chips
How quick is quick?
I can hear it now. "What's with all the ingredients? I thought this was supposed to be my quick chocolate fix." It's true that these recipes take more time than peeling the wrapper from a Snickers bar. But they don't exactly take as long as baking a cake and they're all easy.
Brands of Chocolate
As I mentioned before, you can use more expensive chocolate or everyday brands. Some people wouldn't bother making their own chocolate treats at home unless they can use something like Scharffen Berger, Ghirardelli or one of the many Swiss chocolate brands.
Others just want chocolate when they have a chocolate attack. Others are somewhere in the middle. Personally, I keep a cheaper brand on hand for baking and chocoholic attacks but get a quality brand when I can afford it.
#1 Hot Cocoa
A hot or cold chocolate drink is a quick and easy way to satisfy that craving. Cocoa containers usually have a hot cocoa recipe printed on them. But just in case, here is my version. And be warned, it's not low in sugar. To make one cup (8 ounces) of hot chocolate, you will need the following:
- 1-1/3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup milk
- In a small saucepan, mix the cocoa and sugar. Add the milk slowly and stir until mixture is smooth. Cook over medium heat watching carefully until it gets hot, not boiling. Serve immediately.
- For Cold Chocolate Milk: Use the same ingredients. But you will need approximately 1-2 tablespoons of boiling water. Pour your milk in a drinking glass. Mix the cocoa and sugar in a bowl, then add boiling water and stir until a smooth syrup is formed. Stir this into the milk like you would a store-bought chocolate syrup like Nesquik.
#2 Quick No-Bake Chocolate Cookies
These cookies were such a treat as a kid. My aunt would bring them around every Christmas to the family gathering. They're so delicious and simple to make. As you'll see with the ingredient list, they combine some favorite flavors that go best together.
Rate this recipe
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 -1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 1 -1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- Combine sugar, cocoa, milk, butter or margarine and bring to a boil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook for another minute then remove from heat. Add peanut butter, oats and vanilla. Drop by spoonful onto wax-lined baking sheet. Let cool for at least half an hour at room temp or in the fridge. Yields about 10-20 cookies depending on size. This recipe can be easily doubled.
Raw Chocolate Candy
Raw desserts are popular right now and raw cocoa can be used to make some delicious treats. It's easy to whip up quick raw truffles with about 2-3 tablespoons of cocoa, a handful of nuts of your choice, dates and a little agave syrup or raw honey. Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until a doughy consistency forms. Roll it into 1-inch balls and refrigerate. You can dust them in cocoa powder if you like.
#3 Covered with Chocolate
This is when you'll be grateful you have those chocolate chips on hand. Use a double boiler to melt the chocolate chips. Dip pretzels or fruit pieces such as strawberries, kiwi or dried apricots halfway and let cool on wax-paper lined baking sheet to cool or eat right away. You can also microwave the chocolate. Just be sure not to overheat it. Place it in a bowl and microwave it a minute at a time, stir and heat again until melted.
To coat smaller items like raisins or nuts, you may want to add some shortening, coconut oil or butter to thin out the chocolate a bit (approximately 1/2 teaspoon of fat per ounce of chocolate). Pour the raisins or nuts into the melted chocolate/fat mixture and stir with a spoon. Place them on a wax-lined baking sheet and place in fridge until cool.
#4 Chocolate Fondue
Fondue recipes often call for heavy whipping cream. This one uses evaporated milk which can be stored in the pantry making this an excellent emergency chocolate recipe. To make this you will need:
- 2 squares of unsweetened chocolate
- 2/3 cup evaporated milk
- 1 tablespoon of butter or shortening
- 1 cup sugar
Mix chocolate and shortening or butter in a small saucepan. Stir in the sugar. Gradually add milk. Pour into fondue pot to keep warm. Dip your favorites into the fondue such as fruit, cookies and pretzels.
Quick Fondue Tip
Skewers are for best for dipping. It's easier to dip your food with skewers when there is more than one person at the table instead of treating it like finger food.
Quick Chocolate Desserts - And Cream Puffs Too!
Instant pudding mixes are good to have in your emergency chocolate kit, but homemade pudding is easy to make too. The thing with pudding is it needs to chill for at least an hour, so it's not technically a quick fix. But it's a bit less embarrassing and dangerous than running to the gas station in the middle of the night pushing truckers out of the way yelling, "Look out mister, I want my Krispy Kreme."
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 -1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 -1/4 cups milk
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions and Tips
- In small saucepan, combine sugar, salt, cocoa and cornstarch. Gradually add in milk, stirring constantly over medium heat. When the mixture thickens, stir for 2 minutes more. Stir in vanilla. Pour into serving dishes and place plastic wrap over pudding surface to prevent film from forming. Chill and serve. Yields 2-3 small servings.
- This recipe can be made vegan friendly with soy milk. You can also make an easy pie by pouring the pudding into a store-bought or homemade pie shell and top it with whipped topping such as Cool Whip. Chill the pie in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. If you're ambitious and can wait for your chocolate fix, bake up some cream puff shells and serve them with pudding in the middle. Yum.
Enjoy your chocolate and chocoholics unite!
Chocolate and Peanut Butter - A Classic Combination
- How to Make Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls
These rich treats are sure to please those who love to put chocolate and peanut butter together. A bonus is that they're inexpensive and easy to create. They also make great holiday gifts.
© 2012 PatriciaJoy