I couldn’t not recognize this National Day!
I can go a little crazy when it comes to National Days (especially when said National Day has to do with family), but then there’s this one, which I’ve known about for several years but for some reason, have never officially recognized it. One of THEE most important, non-family-related National Days, IMO…so monumental that I actually wrote this post ahead of time and scheduled it to go live while I am busy down in California helping my grandparents. The day of which we speak, my friends, is, of course, National Chocolate Day. 🍫
I know how perfect, right?? In my birthday month, just five days after my actual real live birthday!! I’m not exactly sure how come Mom couldn’t have held out for a few more days and had me on the 28th, just to seal my chocolate birthright. 😄 Plus, it seems like I keep running into significant events on October 28th. There aren’t that many truly significant things that I’ve heard of happening on October 23rd. Unless you count Apple releasing the first iPod in 2001, and that was after I was born. Anyhow, I digress.
So, in the spirit of the delicious foodstuff we call chocolate, I want to share with you my top two favorite chocolates. See, I can get a little picky about my chocolate. I like high-quality chocolate best, and usually, the darker the better. To an extent, though, because, when I’m eating it out-of-hand, I don’t like it so dark that it crumbles and is just chunks of powder in your mouth you can’t really taste because your body heat doesn’t melt it. So, out-of-hand and in non-warm applications, I like dark but not too dark…probably anywhere between 54-65%. In anything that will be warmed up, though, it’s a whole other story. Basically, I haven’t tried anything too dark for this application (though granted, I think the highest I’ve tried is 79%…maybe 82%?). And now for my two favorites!
Trader Joe’s Pound Plus 72% dark chocolate bar. (<- I keep being reminded that I’ve been actually saying it wrong all my life, but somehow I always forget and say “Pounds Plus”, like I always do…which I guess doesn’t even make sense, when you really think about it.)
I like this primarily for when it will be melted, as I said before, but this is actually the one half-exception to my “no-super-dark-chocolate-out-of-hand” rule. Even though, I way prefer it warm or melted, I do actually like it room temperature too. Somehow TJ’s is able to make it creamy and able to melt somewhat in your mouth despite the high cacao percentage. And I believe this one is vegan, too. SO. Total win. 🏆
This one is my
guilty pleasure other favorite chocolate. I’m trying to retrain my brain that there is no such thing as good/bad foods (but just paying attention to how eating different food makes me feel), and this one’s really hard for me not to feel like I’m naughty when I eat it.
But guys, this stuff is addictively delicious! 😋 And I’m telling you right now that it’s not vegan. I am so sorry if you are a vegan that cannot have any of this. But then, maybe that’s just as well, because then you won’t be addicted and there are plenty of other scrumptious, yummy things you can have. When I was first told I would be hooked as soon as I tried it, I was kind of skeptical. Because, see, I already loved both the super-dark and the regular dark Pound Plus bars so well (for different things), that I couldn’t imagine anything topping either of those. So I took my first bite basically to prove that Pound Plus rules, which it does…buuuutt…eyes rolled back and it was instant food-swoon. And it doesn’t help one’s self-control that that they are already in handy little munchable, easy-to-bake-with chunks. These are good however you choose to enjoy them, baked, out-of-hand, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, in cookies, cakes, oatmeal, granola bars, granola, okayokay, I’ll stop. But I haven’t tried it in chili. 😏
I have a few favorite ways to have chocolate (some using actual chocolate pieces and some just using cocoa, which I luuuuvvve) and I thought I’d share some of them with you, you know, just in case you need suggestions on how to celebrate National Chocolate Day. 😜 Most recipes I make, I change as I go along, but I’m sure these are delicious made correctly, too. 😆 I just usually can’t keep my hands off a recipe.
Oh, and while we’re talking about my favorite chocolate things, more-than-honorable-mention goes to a weird dish of my own creation, which originally was intended to be chocolate pancake batter (with two squares of the Pound Plus chocolate chopped up and mixed into it), but instead I put the batter in a bowl and microwave just until warm, not cooked. And. I. eat. it. Gooey, raw, warm, melty, delicious. But if you are a more conventional person, you might like Dana’s Brownie Batter Milkshake as a way to get your chocolate fix. Or, if it’s too cold for that, how about Amanda’s Brownie Batter Breakfast Bake? (I did not do that on purpose, BTW, that both those were Brownie Batter. It’s just these are some of my favorites, so I guess you can see the trend.) If I made them regularly, Beth’s Secret Weapon Peanut Butter Cups would be a serious temptation and definitely 100% worth it! In Arman’s No-Bake Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cookies, I swap out some of the oat flour with extra protein powder + some coconut flour and use a mix of jam and actual frozen raspberries, but it is truly decadent. Even though I’m usually all about THE MORE CHOCOLATE THE BETTER, there has to be exception made for Ashley’s Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies. You know how everyone says that their chocolate chip cookies are The World’s Best or The Ultimate or The Perfect or The Only Chocolate Chip Cookie You’ll Ever Need? Well, these (in my opinion) really are all those things. Just try them and you’ll understand. But, if you are like my brother and are eating them to be polite, thinking that I accidentally made a mistake and put salt on top instead of sugar, then leave off the salt. 😉 Lastly, if you’re in a pinch or on a time-crunch, but need some chocolate (and for whatever reason, don’t want to just pipe in the yumminess by going straight to the source, munching on the chunks or squares themselves), may I recommend Dark Chocolate-Covered Pretzel Crisps? <- try those with peanut butter if you’re into chocolate and peanut butter…or almond butter if not. Boom. Day. Made.
Have fun, everyone! Life was made to live well, but happy. God gives little things to make our days easier, and I’m convinced that chocolate is one of those things.
Happy National Chocolate Day!! And eat some chocolate on my behalf, okay?
Did you have chocolate today? What’s your favorite way to eat chocolate?