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Some Valentine treats

Chocolate or coffee?

Starbucks is serving extra-chocolatey drinks for the holiday.

Starbucks is serving extra-chocolatey drinks for the holiday.

Valentine’s Day can be lots of fun, or it can be kind of sad, but here are a couple of ideas that could warm up your sweetheart.

People who may be gluten sensitive can enjoy these sweet, chocolatey cookies. The nice thing is, they’re good cookies for anyone who likes chocolate.

Flourless Chocolate Cookies

2 3/4 cups walnut halves (9 ounces)

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 large egg whites, at room temperature

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Position two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line two large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

Spread the walnut halves on a large rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven for about nine minutes, until they are golden and fragrant. Let cool slightly, then transfer the walnut halves to a work surface and finely chop them.

In a large bowl, whisk the confectioners’ sugar with the cocoa powder and salt. Whisk in the chopped walnuts.

Add the egg whites and vanilla extract and beat just until the batter is moistened (be careful not to overbeat or it will stiffen). Spoon the batter onto the baking sheets in 12 evenly spaced mounds.

Bake the cookies for about 20 minutes, until the tops of the cookies are glossy and lightly cracked and feel firm to the touch; shift the pans from front to back and top to bottom halfway through.

Slide the parchment paper (with the cookies) onto two wire racks to cool completely before serving.

The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days.

 Sweet English Rose

Looking for an unusual drink to sip with your significant other? Try the English Rose, a sweet cocktail that can pack a punch.

3/4 ounce apricot brandy

1 1/2 ounces gin

3/4 ounce dry vermouth

1/4 tsp. lemon juice

Rim a glass with sugar. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add ingredients. Shake well and strain into the glass. Garnish with a cherry if desired. Makes one drink.

Special drink for 1 week 

If your sweetie pie prefers his or her drinks hot and heavy, and you’re not feeling up to cooking, Starbucks is pouring a lot of chocolate.

The Molten Chocolate Latte, Molten Chocolate Frappuccino, and Molten Hot Chocolate. They feature chocolate chips melted into steamed milk (or blended with the Frapp) and bittersweet mocha sauce. The three beverages are extra chocolaty, a classic go-to for the holiday, but they’re made with a bittersweet chocolate, so they work for V-Day haters, too.

The people behind Refinery 29 got to try the new Frappuccino before it hit. Their take — you can pretty much never go wrong when there’s triple chocolate involved. There’s chocolate sauce blended into the beverages, along with chocolate chips, plus espresso whipped cream, and a drizzle of chocolate-espresso sauce on top. It’s basically an extra rich and chocolaty mocha.

The Molten Chocolate Latte is only available for one week.





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