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Valentine’s Day mug dessert overflows with chocolate goodness

MUGS of LOVE

Makes 4 servings

3⁄4 cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup baking cocoa

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon coffee or vanilla extract

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1 large egg

1 tablespoon Kahlua (optional)

½ cup milk

Topping:

½ cup sugar

2 tablespoons baking cocoa

Pinch of salt

1 cup hot milk or hot water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter four oven-proof coffee mugs and place on a baking sheet.

Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, salt and baking powder. Whisk in vanilla, butter, egg, Kahlua, if using, and milk. Spoon evenly into the four mugs, using about ½ cup for each.

For topping, whisk together sugar, cocoa and salt for a topping. Spoon evenly over the mixture in the mugs, using about 2 tablespoons for each.

Pour ¼ cup hot milk carefully over the top of each mug. Do not stir. Bake 20-24 minutes until the cakes puff up and some liquid bubbles around the edges. Tops will appear slightly dry while hiding soft pudding in the bottom of each cup.

Serve warm, with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream if desired.

Adapted from King Arthur Flour

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Updated: April 14, 2014 4:46PM



Thinking about the perfect gift for your Valentine this week? A visit to the flower shop, candy store or lingerie counter usually come to mind. And you know that searching out the perfect bottle of Champagne and a sparkly bauble are always welcome.

Instead, this year why not try something unusual yet a little closer to home. How about a trip to the kitchen?

Sometimes the simple things are the most likely to stir the hearts of the ones we love. And everyone knows that nothing spells Valentine magic like chocolate, especially when it is prepared by the hands of someone dear to you.

In Chicago we are lucky to have the aroma of chocolate wafting around the North Side on a regular basis. Blommer’s chocolate factory not only produces products for most major food manufacturers, but their little retail store, tucked into the corner at Kinzie and Desplaines, has treats for the home cook as well.

And Downstate, the Kilgus family (kilgusfarmstead.com) produces the richest milk and cream to enhance any recipe. Look for their products in many markets around town. Even Eataly, the new market just arrived from New York, recognizes that fact and includes their products on their voluminous shelves.

So open the cupboard and pull out a few ingredients, and in a few minutes the aroma of hot chocolate fills the house. No special equipment is required except oven-proof mugs. Little kitchen skill is necessary, just stir and bake.

A little surprise awaits — cake on top, pudding at the bottom. A swirl of whipped cream makes it extra special. Top with some red sprinkles if you have them.

You are assured your gift will be the right size and meet all other gift-giving requirements. Smiles are guaranteed. Anything more is up to you.

Local Attractions uses the best of regional produce and products and hopes you will do the same.



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