Although there is no shortage of candy and chocolate found in the stores, I always find it to be a little risky to pick something generic up because I never know how good it is going to taste. Whether I'm purchasing a sweet treat for myself, my kids or as a fun surprise for a friend or teacher, the last thing I want is to be dealing with is cheap chocolate — the horrors!
Instead, on the opposite end of the spectrum, I always know that I can turn to a brand that is in a category all its own when it comes to sweet, delicious and luscious chocolate and candy of all kinds: The Hershey Company.
When candy manufacturer Milton Hershey made the decision in 1894 to try adding chocolate coating to his caramels, little did he know that 119 years later I would be marveling at the incredible variety and delicious flavors that would end up bearing his name.
In fact, this year Hershey's has partnered with students from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco to design new packaging for the Hershey's Pot of Gold Collections. Combine those with the classic favorites that we all know and love and there's no reason that Valentine's Day 2013 won't be the sweetest yet!
Yummity, yum and yum!
I love that Hershey's has made it so simple to pick up a fun treat that comes perfectly packaged and ready for gifting. How cute would it be for a student to give their teacher a Hershey's Golden Apple, Solid Jumbo Kiss or Twizzlers Strawberry Pencil Can?
At the same time, I can picture my kids' eyes lighting up after finding the Milk Chocolate XOXO Bar or King Size Marshmallow Hearts waiting for them on February 14th!
If chocolates that are slightly more traditional would work better for your recipient (or, ahem, you) then the Hershey's Pot of Gold Truffles is truly a wonderful choice. Filled with rich, melt-in-your-mouth milk and dark chocolate truffles, there's just no way to not be addicted to these bite size pieces of amazingness.
As well as offering products of all kinds that are prepackaged and perfect for gifting, Hershey's also makes it extremely easy to use many of them in a huge variety of Valentine's Day recipes and crafts. Just look at this delicious and fun tiny sample of ideas!
While I was having an extremely pleasant time eating the Hershey's Extra Creamy Milk Chocolate Hearts straight out of the bag...
...the idea of turning them into something creative and even tastier was something that I couldn't pass up. As soon as I came across the Double Chocolate Kisses Cookies Recipe, I knew that it would be just the thing that could easily be made into a Valentine's Day chocolate indulgence.
Double Chocolate Heart Cookies
½ cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ cups all-purpose flour
⅓ cup Hershey's Cocoa
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup milk
36 Hershey's Extra Creamy Milk Chocolate Hearts
1 can (16 oz.) vanilla ready-to-spread frosting
Beat butter, sugar, egg and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Add flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt alternately with milk, beating until well blended. Cover; refrigerate dough about 1 hour or until firm enough to handle. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; place on ungreased cookie sheet.
Heat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from chocolate pieces.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Spread frosting onto cookies, leaving about 1/2 inch around outer edge unfrosted; place chocolate piece in center of each cookie. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
How adorably fun are these?
I used Cool Whip instead of frosting (partially because I had it on hand and partially because I like the taste of Cool Whip more than canned frosting) and couldn't have been much happier with the results!
Combine the extremely cute look with the ease of making them and the ultra-chocolate, soft, chewy flavor and this is one Valentine's Day treat that I'm sure we'll revisit in future years (not to mention making them throughout the year substituting seasonal Hershey's Kisses in for the hearts).
This Valentine's Day, Hershey's has the new and classic products that will surely make your family and friends smile. New Twizzlers Nibs Heart Shaped Candy, Reese's Peanut Butter Hearts, Dark Chocolate Covered York Peppermint Pattie Miniature Hearts, Jolly Rancher Heart-Shaped Lollipops... the list goes on and on!
Head over to CelebrateWithHersheys.com for all sorts of Valentine's Day products, recipes, crafts, favors and more and connect with Hershey's on Facebook for the latest and greatest. And, thanks to their generosity, one person will soon be able to surprise their taste buds as well, because...
One lucky person will win their own prize pack of delicious Valentine's Day treats (similar to as pictured above) from Hershey's!
A big thank you to Hershey's for providing a prize pack for me to review as well as for one lucky giveaway winner. The opinions shared are my own and honest and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.