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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Celebrating World Chocolate Day July 7

By Sherrie Norris

There is a National Chocolate Day celebrated on October 28, but World Chocolate Day is today, July 7. It was apparently on this date in 1550 that chocolate was first brought to Europe, but only since 2009 has it been honored globally on this date. 

Most of us will agree that any day is a great day to celebrate chocolate.

Statistics on chocolate consumption tell us that 50% of the world’s chocolate retail sales occur in Europe with the United States accounting for 20% of the world’s chocolate consumption. 

Whether you purchase something already prepared or decide to stir something up in your own kitchen, today is a great day to celebrate one of our favorite food items.

Frozen Snickers Pie

1 (8-in.) graham cracker crust 

8 full size Snickers candy bars

½ cup creamy peanut butter

¼ cup heavy cream

12 oz. Cool Whip, divided

In a saucepan, melt 6 Snickers bars with peanut butter and heavy cream on low heat. Remove from heat and cool, about 20 minutes. Fold in 1 cup of Cool Whip to cooled mixture.

Pour into a graham cracker crust. Cover and freeze for 3-4 hours. Chop remaining 2 Snickers bars. 

When ready to serve, top with remaining Cool Whip and add chopped Snickers. 

Easy Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix

1 (3.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix

½ cup white sugar

¾ cup water

¾ cup vegetable oil

4 eggs, beaten

1 cup sour cream

½ cup milk chocolate chips

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 325 degrees; grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan. 

In a medium bowl, stir together cake mix, pudding and sugar. Add water, oil, eggs and sour cream; mix well until blended. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 

Cool in pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

Note: Very easy, rich and good. You may substitute vanilla pudding for a less chocolaty cake, or substitute semi-sweet chocolate chips for a more intense chocolate flavor.

Ding Dong Cake

1 box devil’s food cake mix

 8 oz. cream cheese softened

 3 cups powdered sugar

 1 stick butter, softened

 8 oz. whipped topping

 1 tub milk chocolate icing

Prepare and bake cake as directed on box in 2 round cake pans.

Filling: Mix and cream the butter and cream cheese. Add powdered sugar and fold in whipped topping.

After cake is completely cooled, split layers (see helpful tip below) and spread thick layer of filling on each layer and stack; do not spread filling all the way to the edge of the cake —the weight of the cake will press it out to the edge once you are finished. (This keeps the filling from mixing with the icing.)

However, if you have any filling left over, you can mix it with the icing. Then ice entire cake with the chocolate icing. 

* For a great even cut of the cake layers, place the uncut cakes on plates in freezer for about 30 minutes, then use unwaxed dental floss to pull through the layer.

Sugar-Free Chocolate Mousse

1 envelope unflavored gelatin

¼ cup cold water

1 ¼ cup skim milk

Artificial sweetener equivalent to 1/3-cup sugar

¼ cup baking cocoa

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1¾ cups light whipped topping, divided

In a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over water; let stand for 5 minutes. Cook over low heat until gelatin is dissolved. In a blender or food processor, combine milk, sweetener, cocoa and vanilla. Slowly add gelatin mixture. Fold in 1½ cups whipped topping.  Garnish with remaining topping. Cover and chill for at least one hour. 

Chocolate Lush

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ cup margarine

¾ cup chopped nuts

8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

Large container whipped topping, thawed

2 small pkg. instant chocolate pudding and pie filling

3 cups milk

Preheat oven to 350. In small bowl, combine flour, margarine or butter and nuts; blend well. Pat mixture into large baking dish or pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool.

In medium bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, and 1 cup whipped topping; blend well. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over cooled crust in pan.

In large bowl, combine instant pudding and pie filling and milk, stirring until mixture is smooth. Spread evenly over cream cheese layer. Spread with remaining whipped topping. Chill thoroughly before serving.

Chocolate Pecan Pie

1 9-inch prepared pie shell

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup pecan pieces

3 Tbsp. butter, melted

¾ cup sugar

¾ cup light corn syrup

3 eggs

In mixing bowl, combine butter, sugar, corn syrup and eggs. Mix at medium speed. Stir in pecan pieces and chocolate chips. Pour mixture into pie shell. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.