Cynics would have you believe that Valentine's Day is mostly about lining the pockets of executives at Hallmark and Papyrus. I am not among them. I am a Valentine's Day fan, a committed devotee.
How can you be opposed to a day that is singularly dedicated to romantic love? And since I've had kids, I've expanded the notion to include parental love. My front door is festooned with a heart-shaped wreath made from magenta heather. I have a stockpile of doilies and pink paper for the requisite Valentine's Cards. I've been tinkering with heart-shaped eggs so I'm ready for breakfast the morning of. And I dreamed up this pretty little treat -- a chocolate Valentine -- just for the occasion.
I'm all in.
Even if you aren't all in, these three-ingredient chocolate hearts are worth your attention. No cookie cutters required -- just crispy cereal, coconut, chocolate and a willingness to get messy with melted goodness.
CRISPY CHOCOLATE COCONUT HEARTS
Feel free to substitute finely chopped toasted nuts of any variety if you don't care for coconut. Alternatively, skip the nuts altogether and make this a two-ingredient treat, upping the amount of crispy brown rice cereal to 1 1/3 cups and leaving the tops unadorned.
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 1 cup crisp brown rice cereal (or Rice Krispies)
- 1/3 cup unsweetened finely grated coconut, plus more to sprinkle on top
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat.
Chop the chocolate into small pieces that are roughly even in size. Put them into a medium, microwave-save bowl. Microwave the chocolate on high in 30-second bursts, mixing after each round, until the chocolate is melted and smooth. This took 2 1/2 minutes in my microwave. Alternatively, melt the chocolate in a medium pot set over another pot of simmering water, stirring until melted.
As soon as the chocolate is melted, add the crisp brown rice cereal and coconut and mix gently until combined.
Spoon 1 level tablespoon of the chocolate mixture onto a baking sheet. Use your fingers (and perhaps the aid of the tip of a knife) to spread the chocolate into a thin layer that is the shape of a heart (alternatively, just spread it into any organic shape that suits you; it will tastes equally good). Continue with the remaining chocolate, leaving an inch or so of space between each heart. Sprinkle a pinch of coconut over each chocolate, covering the entire surface.
Leave the chocolate hearts to cool and firm up until they are hard and snap when broken in half, about an hour. You can speed up the process by putting them in the fridge or freezer.
Store in an air-tight container. Will keep well for at least a week.
Makes 18 hearts.