Saturday, February 13, 2016

No Sex, No Chocolate for Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day. Do you love it, hate, or have mixed feelings about it? As I get older I want less stuff and more experiences, more thought than cost for my Valentine's Day celebration. That might seem overly romantic and it might be romantic but also reflects the fact that in my 40s I have a lot of stuff already, I don't really need more stuff. Toss in that I'm poly and have I have to make plans with several lovers and making time for individual experiences with each of them is in itself a work of love. Get your minds out of the gutter! I'm not just taking about sexy experiences but about doing things together that you'll remember. Of course that can involve sex and chocolate, sometimes at the same time, but it doesn't have to.

No, for me it does HAVE TO include CHOCOLATE! Sex can be a bonus, sure, but to give me quality chocolate or chocolate I haven't yet tried, that takes extra effort and sends the message that my lovers care.

My hubby gave me these. I've had Divine before but not this 85% one. The other two are unknown to me until now.

My other lover gave me these.

But we did more than that to celebrate our love for each other this week.

My husband and I went to a play and then to a late night restaurant after it... sadly in our town the choices are limited so we went to Denny's and no I didn't get chocolate there. I have standards! The play was at the Bloomington Playwrights Project (Bloomington, Indiana) and was "Toast" a musical that was pretty good though the storyline needs a bit of work, the removal of one musical number, and frankly more time on initial character development so we could empathize more with them. To the right is the poster for the play we saw.

My lover and I went to a open air market to check it out in freezing cold... literally it was well below freezing! To the right is a copy of the market layout in terms of the "shops" that were there. I'll have a post this coming week about our adventure and what chocolate we found -- hint some of my other lover's gifts to me were purchased at this event.

I bought each of my partners cards, colored a picture for each one, planned time alone with each of them, and I made them each cookies and muffins. Last weekend I showed you the blueberry muffins... don't remember, go back and look! Today I want to share one of the cookie recipes with you because I made each batch of cookies with Reynolds Parchment Sheets. Reynolds sent me a 25 count box of their product through the Crowdtap program to test and write about. No other form of compensation was received for this article.

I made two batches of cookies -- a peanut butter and a chocolate peanut butter chip cookie. Obviously since this is The Chocolate Cult I'm sharing only one of these with you today.

Better for You Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies
By: TammyJo Eckhart

3/4 C applesauce
2 tsp vanilla extract
6 T water + 1 tsp baking soda
6 T egg whites
2 C Splenda
3/4 C baking cocoa powder
2 C white whole wheat flour
10oz Reese's Baking Chips
No-Stick spray

1. Preheat oven to 350°F and lay down the parchment sheet on a metal baking sheet.

2. Mix together all of the wet ingredients and baking soda.

3. Add in Splenda and cocoa powder until thoroughly mixed.

4. Add in flour 1/2 cup at a time until completely mixed.

5. Mix in the baking chips. The batter will be a little stiff but not firm.

6. Spray a cookie scoop (my new one is metal and works well) because the dough will be sticky. Drop the dough onto the parchment paper. You should be able to get 15 cookies to a sheet.

7. Spray the bottom of a metal glass and then use it to flatten out the cookies a bit. Since these do not have butter or oils in them, they won't spread much otherwise.

8. Bake for 8 minutes, do not over bake.

9. Just let the parchment sheets slide off the baking sheets onto a table to cool and make another batch!

10. Cool for a few minutes before eating if you like your cookies warm. Store in an airtight container after two hours.

The way I made these with the size of my cookie scoop, I made 39 cookies with 68 calories each! If these are two sweet for you, cut back on the Splenda but it won't change the calorie count or cookie count much per 1/4 cup of the sweetener.

If you'd like to try out these parchment sheets, click the link below and not only will you get a good price but also help out The Chocolate Cult. Once more, Reynolds sent me a 22 count box of their product through the Crowdtap program to test and write about. No other form of compensation was received for this article.


Emilie Johnson said...

Very insightful comments about experiences making better gifts than stuff. But, of course, chocolate makes the best gift!

TammyJo Eckhart said...

The best thing would be an experience involving chocolate, don't you think? Such as a charity event, a special chocolate themed dinner, or a play having to do with chocolate.

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