Did you know that chocolate is so popular that an entire week has been dedicated to celebrating it? It’s called American Chocolate week. It was founded by the National Confectioners Association in 1990. It’s observed for 7 days starting the third Sunday in March.
Even though it’s called American, chocolate’s popularity has grown well beyond America’s shores. In fact, chocolate may be the most favorite food in the world. Makes sense. If you’re in a bad mood, it makes no difference what caused it or where you live on the planet, a piece of chocolate is all you need to start feeling better. And nobody loves chocolate more than kids. For this reason we decided to come up with 5 easy chocolate recipes you can make with your kids to celebrate American Chocolate Week.
History of Chocolate
Since #AmericanChocolateWeek is a hashtag that will be trending all over the internet this week, it’s bound to become a topic of conversation. So before we get into the recipes, let’s talk briefly about the history of chocolate so you’re sure to have something to contribute to the conversation.
All of the chocolate products you eat are derived from cacao beans which come from the cacao plant. It’s actually an evergreen tree that grows in South America and West Africa. Cacao beans grow in large pods on the trunks of these trees. Cacao and cocoa powder which are used in chocolate recipes both come from the seeds (beans) inside the pods on these cacao trees.
It is believed that chocolate was first discovered in 1500 B.C. The ancient Olmec pots that are now in the Smithsonian’s National Museum had a cacao residue on them which contained theobromine, a stimulant that is found in chocolate. This lead to the conclusion that cacao was use to create a drink that was included in religious beliefs and cocoa pods were part of religious ceremonies. The Mayan history documents the use of cacao more clearly. The beans were also used as currency when trading for food and goods. During this era, cacao was also used to create celebratory drinks and was served when a transaction was finalized. Finally, the Aztecs prized cacao beans as something that was given to them by their gods. Chocolate was reserved for adult males and consumed by priests, important government officials, military commanders, accomplished warriors, and sometimes sacrificial victims during rituals.
The first account of chocolate documented in America dates back to 1641. It arrived in Florida and some believe that the 1st American Chocolate House was opened in Boston. Here began the treating process of chocolate from bean to powder and other forms. Today, what we call chocolate contains only small traces of cacao, but we still love it. Here are the top forms of chocolates:
- Dark Chocolate
- Milk Chocolate
- White Chocolate
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate
- Bittersweet Chocolate
- Couverture Chocolate
- Ruby Chocolate
That’s enough history for now. Let’s move on to the chocolate recipes.
Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream
Nothing beats a bowl of chocolate ice cream on a hot summer day. Who are we kidding… we would eat ice cream even if it the weather was freezing cold! To start with the basics, this chocolate recipe requires a few ingredients and a whole lot of time to set. The good news is — it’s easy to make and the anticipation of eating chocolate ice cream the next day will keep your kids excited.
- Pitted Cherries: 1 1/3 cups
- Sugar: ½ cup + 2 tablespoons
- Water: ½ cup
- Whole Milk: 1 ½ cups
- Egg Yolks: 4 large
- Semisweet Chocolate: 3 ounces (chopped)
- Unsweetened Chocolate: 1 ounce (chopped)
- Unsalted Butter: 1 tablespoon
- Heavy Cream: ¾ cup
- Vanilla Extract: 1 ½ teaspoons
- In a saucepan, place the cherries, add 2 tablespoons of sugar, and pour in the water
- Place the saucepan on medium heat and cook for 20 minutes until the water takes a syrupy texture
- Take the saucepan of the heat, pour the sauce in a bowl and refrigerate for 2 hours
- In another saucepan, add milk and ½ cup of sugar
- Keep the heat on low and whisk until the sugar dissolves
- In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and slowly add the sweet milk into it
- Cook this mixture for 15 minutes until it coats the spoon
- Remove the mixture form heat and add the unsweetened and semisweet chocolate, along with the butter
- Set it aside for 5 minutes until all three ingredients dissolve from the heat
- Pour this mixture into a blender and blend until a smooth puree forms
- In a large bowl, pour the chocolate puree and stir in vanilla and the heavy cream
- Refrigerate the mixture for 2 hours
- Using an ice cream maker, churn the chocolate mixture
- Strain the cherries and set the syrup aside
- Add the cherries to the chocolate mixture and churn until the cherries are incorporated
- Transfer the mixture to a container and drizzle the cherry syrup on top
- Cover the container and place it in the freezer for 4 hours
Ready your ice cream scooper because it’s time to dig into this sweet chocolaty goodness!
Bite sized chocolate balls with a chocolaty center, coated with chocolate powder and drizzled with chocolate syrup… did we say chocolate too many times? Our bad, because that was DEFINITELY our intention! Need we say more? So, let’s begin with this chocolate recipe.
- Bittersweet Chocolate: 10 ounces (chopped)
- Unsalted Butter: 3 tablespoons
- Heavy Cream: ½ cup
- Light Corn Syrup: 1 tablespoon
- Cocoa Powder: ½ cup
- Chopped Nuts: ½ cup
- Toasted Coconut: ½ cup
- Semisweet Chocolate: 8 ounces (chopped)
- Microwave the butter and 10 ounces of chocolate in a bowl
- In a saucepan, heat the corn syrup and heavy cream until it simmers
- Pour this mixture into the chocolate bowl and allow it to stand for two minutes
- Use a rubber spatula to stir the chocolate until it is creamy and smooth
- Pour this mixture into a rectangular dish and place it in the refrigerator for an hour
- Form smalls with a melon baller and place them on a parchment paper (refrigerate again for 30 minutes)
- Place the cocoa powder, coconut and nuts in three separate bowls
- Place the 8 ounces of chocolate in a bowl and place it on a heating pad (make sure the temperature does not go above 90 degrees)
- Take out the truffles from the refrigerator and roll then between your palms to form a smooth ball
- Dip the truffles in the chocolate and then coat them in one of the toppings
- Place the air-dried truffles in an air tight container and into the refrigerator for an hour
Your truffles are ready, so pop one or maybe three right away.
Tim Tam Brownies
Tim Tams sure do bring back fond memories. The chocolate covered ones are to die for and this chocolate recipe gives you double the Tim Tam flavor. You can make them as an afternoon munching snack that your kids can enjoy while doing their homework. Chocolate coated biscuits covered with more chocolate… what’s not to love!
- Cocoa: 2 tablespoons
- Tim Tams: 185 gm
- Butter: 150 gm
- White sugar: ¾ cup
- Flour: 1 1/3 cups
- Eggs: 3
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
- Line a pan with baking sheets and the grease them
- In a saucepan, melt butter and chocolate on low heat and then set it aside for cooling
- Add sugar in the chocolate sauce and stir until dissolve
- Gradually add beaten eggs, then cocoa and flour
- Coat the pan with a small amount of the chocolate mixture and lay down the Tim Tams
- Pour the chocolate sauce over it and repeat with a second layer
- Once the pan is filled to the top, slide it in the over and bale for thirty minutes
Your Tim Tam Brownies are ready! You can top with walnuts or almonds and drizzle chocolate on top.
We suggest that you celebrate this chocolate holiday with the easiest recipe of all: a chocolate fondue. Marshmallows dipped in gooey melted chocolate, the tart taste of strawberry and the sweet and rich flavor of chocolate, the saltiness of a pretzel combining with the warmth of a chocolate sauce… did your mouth just fill with saliva? Then our work here is done because that’s what talking about chocolate fondue does to you! Don’t forget to lay down some table linens to catch the mess dripping chocolate will create.
*6-Quart Slow Cooker needed for this recipe.
- Milk Chocolate Chips: 1 pound
- Heavy Cream: 1 cup
- Milk: ½ cup
- Vanilla Extract: 1 teaspoon
- Pinch Kosher Salt
- Non-Alcoholic Almond Extract: 1 tablespoon
- Almond Paste: 1 tablespoon
- Marshmallows, strawberries, cake pieces or pretzels for serving
- Heat a 6-Quart Slow Cooker on high
- In a bowl, combine milk, cream, chocolate, vanilla extract, salt and almond paste
- Add all these ingredient into the slow cooker and cover with a lid
- Cook for 30 minutes on high heat and then set to low
- Add in the almond extract and store for a few seconds
Your chocolate fondue is ready so dip away!
White Chocolate Cheesecake
You’re probably wondering why our last chocolate recipe is a white chocolate cheesecake. Well, as mentioned earlier, chocolate comes in many forms and baking a chocolate cake or chewy chocolate chip cookies are a bit outdated now. Your kids will definitely love the taste of this cheesecake because who doesn’t love chocolate and cheese… the best gourmet combination.
- Cinnamon Graham Crackers: 7
- Sugar: ¼ cup
- Butter: 1/3 cup
- Cream Cheese: 8 ounces (4 packages)
- Sugar: ½ cup and 2 tablespoons
- All-Purpose Flour: 1 tablespoon
- Vanilla Extract: 1 teaspoon
- Eggs: 4 large
- Egg Yolks: 2 large
- White Baking Chocolate: 8 ounces (melted and cooled)
Strawberry Sauce (Optional)
- Sugar: ½ cup
- Cornstarch: 2 tablespoons
- Fresh Strawberries: 1 ½ cups
- Melted White Chocolate
- In a bowl, combine sugar and cracker crumbs
- Stir in the butter and press this mixture in a greased pan
- In another bowl, beat sugar, flour, cream cheese and vanilla extract
- Gradually add in the egg yolks and then mix on low speed
- Add in the white chocolate and gently fold
- Pour this white chocolate mixture in the pan lined with cracker crumbs and bake for 45 minutes (until center is set)
- Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes on the kitchen counter and then refrigerate for 1 hour
- For the strawberry sauce, in a saucepan, combine cornstarch, sugar and water
- Add in the strawberries after the sugar has dissolved
- Bring the mixture to a boil and sire continuously until the mixture has thickened
- Remove the pan from heat and let the sauce cool down
- Spread this sauce on the cheesecake and then drizzle melted white chocolate on top
Your cheesecake is ready to be served!
That’s all folks, we’re done — 5 Easy Chocolate Recipes You Can Make with Your Kids. Make sure to use the hashtag #AmericanChocolateWeek and share a picture of any of these recipes that you and your little ones create.