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4:46 PM Tue, Nov. 20th

Give Mom the gift of chocolate

Courtesy of Photos.com

Courtesy of Photos.com

You can certainly buy Mom chocolate for her special day, but these easy-to-prepare treats using common ingredients and prepared lovingly just for her is sure to be a big hit.

CHOCOLATE-CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFFNS

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tbsp. baking cocoa

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

2 cups semi-sweet

chocolate morsels, divided

2/3 cups whole or non-fat milk

1 cup applesauce

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

2 egg whites, lightly

beaten (or use 1 egg, beaten)

2 tbsp. canola oil

2 tsp. vanilla extract

Powdered sugar for topping, opt.

Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Combine 1 cup morsels, milk and applesauce in large, microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 1/4 minutes or until morsels are melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Remove from microwave. (If using stovetop use very low heat and stir continuously). Stir in brown sugar. Stir in granulated sugar, egg or whites, oil, vanilla and remaining morsels. Stir in flour mixture just until moist; batter will be lumpy. Line muffin pans with paper liners or spray with nonstick spray. Spoon batter into cups until almost full. Bake in preheated 400 oven about 16-18 minutes or until toothpick comes clean when inserted in center. Let stand 5 minutes out of oven before removing. Sprinkle tops with powdered sugar if desired. Serve warm or room temperature.

CHOCOLATE BANANA SMOOTHIE

3 cups whole milk, divided

2 large bananas, cut into pieces (little hands can do this with a dull or table knife or even a spoon).

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup chocolate syrup

In blender container, combine 1 1/2 cup milk, bananas, vanilla and chocolate syrup. Blend until smooth Add remaining milk and blend again. Serve immediately. This serves 4-6 (4 cup servings).

CHOCOLATE KISSES

What Mom or special lady wouldn't want a chocolate kiss? Makes about 4 dozen.

Melt over hot (not boiling water) 1 package (6 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Beat until stiff, but not dry 3 egg whites

Add a little at a time, 1 cup powdered (confectioners') sugar, continuing to beat until stiff and satiny.

Fold in: 1/3 cup salted crackers. crumbled (good job for little hands), the melted chocolate and 1/2 tsp. vanilla. Drop by teaspoonfuls on greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.

EASIEST MILK CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES

Just saying the word Truffles will bring a smile to any Mom's face. Makes 3 dozen. Perfect for kids to make.

3 cups (18 oz.) milk chocolate chips

1 carton (8 oz.) whipped topping, thawed

1/2 cup vanilla wafer crumbs (little hands can smash these in a heavy plastic bag).

Melt chocolate chips in double boiler or microwave; cool. In mixing bowl beat melted chocolate and whipped topping. Shape into 1/2 inch balls and roll in vanilla wafer crumbs. Refrigerate or freeze (tasting allowed while making).

EASY CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE CAKE

2/3 cup butter

1 (12 oz.) package chocolate chips

1 1/2 tsp. flour

1 1/2 tsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

4 eggs, separated

Whipped topping,

berries of choice, opt.

Preheat oven to 125. Melt butter and chocolate chips in top of double boiler. Add flour, sugar and salt and stir until well combined. Beat in egg yolks one at a time. In separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Fold into chocolate mixture. Pour into greased and floured deep 8" cake or spring form pan. Bake about 40 minutes or until toothpick in center comes clean. Cool 15 minutes before cutting. Top with whipped topping. Some sliced strawberries or raspberries for garnish would be a special touch.