A very merry Christmas to all chowtimes readers.
Michelle incorporated a chocolate treat in the South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club for the holiday theme session.
These Chocolate Mendiants are fairly healthy treats to have at Christmas if you choose dark chocolate and have fruit and nuts on top.
Researchers have found links between dark chocolate consumption and reduced risk of heart problems. The protective benefit was only seen when chocolate contained at least 60 to 70% percent cocoa. (http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/heath/2012/01/dar-chocolate-for-a-healthier-heart)
- Approximately 1 pound of dark or milk chocolate, roughly chopped (we used semi-sweet chocolate chips)
- Assorted finely chopped dried fruit, chopped toasted nuts, seeds, sprinkles, etc (we used dried apricot, raisins, toasted pumpkin seeds and candied ginger)
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Rough chop milk or dark chocolate. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt half the chocolate, 20 seconds at a time, stirring between each time. Add the remaining chocolate and stir with a fork until it is melted.
- For each mendiant, spoon about 15ml (1 teaspoon) of chocolate on the parchment paper and spread it lightly with the back of the spoon to form a pellet.
- Immediately sprinkle with the topping of your choice (nuts, seeds, fruit) as soon as you formed the pellet.
- Alternatively, you can spread the melted chocolate in a large sheet and top with dried fruits and nuts.
- Let cool at room temperature for about 1 hour or until the chocolate is firm or place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. Break up the large sheet into smaller pieces.
- To store, line a container with waxed paper and gently layer with additional layers of waxed paper as necessary.