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Sunday, February 6, 2011


perfect for Valentine's Day:

I have this horrible knot in my shoulder. I keep thinking, "how did this happen". Then, I woke up this morning with my left arm wrapped around my head in some contortion of "eagle arms". Apparently, my subconscious finds demanding yoga poses comfortable. I would say it is worth it, but I really can't. Doing spinal twist in class is great, but a lethargic, drooling version - sustained for the better part of seven hours - cannot be very good for the spine in question. So, stop imagining me as you may (or may not) know me, and imagine a snarling hunchback that thrives on chocolate graham crackers and festive sprinkles, instead.

Luckily, my temporary disability hasn't kept me from tempering and dipping chocolate. We're up to our eyeballs in the stuff at work with Valentine's day coming; which, is probably why I was inspired to make these darling little chocolate-grams. This weeks work schedule will not leave much time for making Valentines before the big day, so these do double duty as a card and a sweet treat. And what better way to express your most secret desires than with streamers of colorful melted chocolate and crispy sweet graham cracker? I'm a dark chocolate kind of bandita, otherwise I might have been tempted to use some white chocolate - dyed hot pink, of course. One of the best things about this recipe is that depending on your piping skills, the message can be as creative, personal or expressive as you want. Try a Hilton inspired "ur hot" or a more Jackson Pollock approach with red, white and pink icing.

Notes: Chocolate covered graham crackers are a popular addition to almost any gift basket. At a fraction on the price you can serve these up to a dozen friends, or fill a box with them and give them to someone very special. Just be sure to allot at least two grahams per person; trust me, even your most disciplined Valentine will want to eat more than one.

Makes about 16 grams

1 package (1/3 of a box) of plain graham crackers
2 cups good quality chocolate chips (milk, white or dark)
sprinkles, candies, icing to decorate

1. Set a heat proof bowl on top of a pot of simmering water (only 1- 1 1/2 inches). Do not let it touch the bottom of the bowl, and if possible, keep it from coming to a boil.
2. Using a serrated knife, cut the graham crackers in half. Set aside on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper.
3. Add the chips to the bowl and stir until smooth and melted. Keep stirring the chocolate for a minute or so once the chips are all melted to ensure a smooth finish.
4. Drop the graham crackers, one at a time, into the chocolate. Use a spoon to cover the crackers in chocolate, including the sides. Lift the crackers out of the chocolate using a fork. Let the excess chocolate drip off before you set the crackers on the waxed paper. Repeat with remaining crackers.
5. Once all the crackers are coated, place them in the fridge or in a cool place to set up. This will take 5-7 minutes. The chocolate will still be soft set, which is perfect for decorating. Dust with sprinkles or crushed candies (if desired) and drizzles of icing.
6. Once the grahams are decorated, let them harden for at least half an hour before storing. Once the cookies are totally set, store them between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container for up to a week.

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