5 Ways to Use Up Leftover Valentine's Day Chocolate

 Give your unwanted truffles a second act.

Valentine's Day Chocolates
Photo: Sarah Crowder

Every year, loads of Valentine's Day chocolate meets the same fate. You get a big box of truffles the night of, filled with ganaches, pralines, and fruity jams that you can't wait to dive into. But by the third or fourth day, candy is the last thing you want to eat. So they sit there on your counter, day after day, and before you know it, it's mid-March and the box still hasn't been finished.

That's where we come in. We consulted our test kitchen for their best tips to repurpose leftover chocolate. Some ideas are obvious, like throwing cut-up extras into brownies, but you can also use chocolate to upgrade popcorn, milkshakes, and more. Read on to find out how to pull it off.

1. Cookies

Cherry-Nut Mudslides

One of the easiest ways to use up chocolate is adding them to cookies. We have several recipes that would work, from candy cookies—made with bittersweet chocolate, white chocolate, mini peanut butter cups, and Mounds bars, so you can easily swap in truffles—to chocolate-mint thumbprints. Jacques Torres' cherry-nut mudslides might also be a nice choice if you're saddled with dark chocolate.

2. Brownies

Chewy Black Licorice Chocolate Brownies
Top Chef judge Gail Simmons’s father, Ivor, comes from a small town in South Africa. Although his background is English and Eastern European, he was raised in a region with strong Dutch influences. One Dutch passion he passed down to his daughter is a love of black licorice, specifically a salty, chewy variety. Whenever their family visited his homeland, Ivor stocked up on dubbel zout (double salt)—coins of salted black licorice about the size of a quarter. Simmons devoured them, relishing the savory, saline exterior that gave way to the barely sweet, chewy center. Her father’s other sweet vice, which she also inherited, is chocolate. Not white, not milk, but the pure bittersweet kind. This deeply dark-chocolaty brownie is her homage to him. It has a sophisticated touch of salt, plus notes of molasses and anise from black licorice, and the combo makes a brilliant treat that is irresistibly chewy and not too sweet. John Kernick

Brownies would be a no-brainer. You can chop the chocolate up, like in these chewy black licorice chocolate brownies (shown above), or melt them for our fudgy brownies. Adding flavored truffles to the latter would be a fun way to mix up a classic.

3. Milkshakes

Chocolate Milkshake
Lauri Patterson/Getty Images

If you're a Dairy Queen Blizzard fan, this is for you. Grab your favorite ice cream, chop up your chocolate, and throw it into the blender with some milk. It saves you a car ride and money.

4. Popcorn

Endless Caramel Corn

Instead of buying gourmet popcorn, leftover chocolate is a great excuse to make your own at home. Melt it—either in the microwave, or over a double boiler—and drizzle it on top in ribbons. Add in nuts for even more texture and flavor.

5. Decorations

Mom’s Chocolate Cake
Longtime F&W Test Kitchen Supervisor Marcia Kiesel was credited for this very moist, very chocolaty, easy-to-make layer cake, but the recipe originated with a waitress at the Beekman Arms in Rhinebeck, New York, who got it from her mother. The secret is unsweetened chocolate in the batter, which lends the cake a rich, deep chocolate flavor. The thick, creamy frosting hits just the right balance, but Kiesel says, “the original was served right out of the pan, no frosting at all, and that’s my favorite way to eat it.”. © Greg DuPree

If all else fails, cut up any chocolates or truffles that you have and use them as a decoration. You can arrange them in a crescent moon shape on top of a cake for texture—like this classic chocolate one, shown above—or, use them to top cupcakes.

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