What You Didn’t Know About
Fun Facts to Wow Your Loved Ones This Valentine’s Day
Chocolate is a treat savored by people all over the world. What we know as the sweet, creamy decadence that sustains Valentine’s Day actually has greater historical and cultural significance. Fermented chocolate drinks have been dated back to as early as 350 B.C. The Aztecs believed it was the beverage of wisdom, and the Mayans saw it as something to be worshipped. While the history of chocolate is as rich as its flavor, there are some common misconceptions about the treat. Dutch chocolate doesn’t necessarily refer to chocolate made in the Netherlands; the name refers to a specific chocolate-making process that uses the cocoa press. Before Dutch chemist and chocolate-maker C.J. van Houten invented the machine in 1828, chocolate was only used in beverages. Dutch chocolate is chocolate that has been modified
with an alkalizing agent in order to produce a milder flavor, making it a fantastic option for use in baked goods, candy, and ice cream.
German chocolate actually has nothing to do with the country of Germany, either. It used to be called “German’s chocolate,” named after its inventor, Sam German, an American who made sweet chocolate for baking. Adding sugar to the chocolate made it a go-to option for bakers around the world, and the base for German chocolate cake was born. For chocolate to be classified as Swiss, it has to be made in Switzerland, as chocolate-making is considered an art form in the country. Known for its “melt in your mouth” quality, Swiss chocolate uses condensed milk to add a velvety texture. Many chocolate makers outside of Switzerland will refer to their interpretations of Swiss chocolate as milk chocolate instead.
Take a Break!
VALENTINE’S DAY COOKIE CARDS Ingredients
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2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 large egg yolks 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Royal icing, sprinkles, and edible markers, for decorating
1. Heat oven to 375 F. 2. In a mixing bowl, combine flour with sugar and salt. Add butter and combine using a mixer at low speed, until butter breaks down into small, crumbly pieces. Increase mixing speed to medium and mix until butter and flour clump. 3. Add egg yolks and vanilla extract to bowl, return mixer to low, and mix until dough congeals.
4. Carefully roll dough into a sheet 1/16-inch thick and cut into 4x6-inch cards. 5. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, bake cookie cards for 6 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. 6. Let cookies cool completely, decorate, and distribute.
Inspired by Food & Wine magazine
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