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Our Deepest, Darkest Valentine’s Baking Secrets

For this year's Valentine's baking session, these decadent, dreamy and downright sweet somethings let you wear your heart on your apron.

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Truffle-Filled Cookie Tarts

I made chocolate truffles as a Christmas tradition for many years. I created this recipe to incorporate my truffles into the center of fudgy cookies. It was a hit with friends and family.—Patricia Harmon, Baden, Pennsylvania
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Ganache-Topped Chocolate Cake

To say this cake is elegant would be an understatement. It’s worthy of special occasions, but once you learn how to make chocolate ganache, it's so easy to whip together that you can enjoy it any day of the week. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Sandy's Chocolate Cake

Years ago, I drove 4-1/2 hours to a cake contest, holding my entry on my lap the whole way. But it paid off. One bite and you'll see why this velvety beauty was named the best chocolate cake recipe won first prize. —Sandra Johnson, Tioga, Pennsylvania
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Sour Cream Chocolate Cookies

These soft chocolaty sour cream cookies can be easily altered to make several different varieties —I've added everything from mints to macadamia nuts to them. —Tina Sawchuk, Ardmore, Alberta
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Warm Chocolate Melting Cups

These little cakes have become a favorite of our guests. They are always surprised that such a chocolaty dessert is so light­—less than 200 calories apiece! —Kissa Vaughn, Troy, Texas
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Ultimate Chocolate Cake

Semisweet chocolate chips add rich flavor to this moist chocolaty cake that's lower in fat. Slices of it are excellent for dessert or a snack. —Kay McMicken, Charlotte, North Carolina
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Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake

If you delight in the taste of chocolate, then this is the cheesecake for you. Every creamy bite melts in your mouth. It's so impressive yet not difficult to prepare-I whip up this dessert each time I want a yummy treat for my family, friends or co-workers. —Mary Jones, Cumberland, Maine
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Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti

Chocolate, pistachios and cranberries make a dramatic, delicious trio. Introducing the cranberries to this recipe added tartness, texture and color, too. —Gilda Lester, Millsboro, Delaware
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Ultimate Fudgy Brownies

Coffee granules enhance the chocolate flavor in these amazingly fudgy brownies. Add chocolate chips to the batter and you’ve got some seriously irresistible treats. —Sarah Farmer, Waukesha, Wisconsin
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Sweet & Salty Truffle Pie

Homemade truffles—a little bit sweet and a little bit salty—will keep you coming back for more. Store extra truffles in the fridge.—Shirley Warren, Thiensville, Wisconsin
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Flourless Dark Chocolate Cake

Here’s a simple cake that’s rich, elegant and over-the-top chocolaty. For finishing touches, add powdered sugar, cocoa or liqueur-flavored whipped cream. —Marie Parker, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Molten Peppermint-Chocolate Cakes

I doctored up a recipe I found in the newspaper years ago. When you see the gooey chocolate dripping out, you know you're in for an awesome dessert. —Genise Krause, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
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Chocolate Marshmallow Cutouts

I make rich, fudgy cookies that taste like brownies with a marshmallow filling. I usually use heart-shaped cutters, but I've also left them uncut and filled with pink marshmallow creme.—Kelly Ward, Stratford, Ontario
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Fudge Brownie Pie

Fudge Brownie Pie

Here's a fun and festive way to serve brownies. Family and friends will love topping their pieces with whipped cream and strawberries. —Johnnie McLeod, Bastrop, Louisiana
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Meringue Kisses

Meringue Kisses

There's a nice chocolaty surprise inside these sweet kisses. They're my husband's top choice each Christmas.—Tami Henke, Lockport, Illinois
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Brooklyn Blackout Cake

If you love chocolate, you will LOVE this cake. I found this recipe when looking for a special cake to make my chocolate-loving daughter-in-law's birthday. Be sure to give the pudding and the cake enough time to cool or the end results will be disappointing. —Donna Bardocz, Howell, Michigan
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Chocolate Lover's Pizza

I created this after my dad said that my graham cracker crust should be topped with dark chocolate and pecans. It's easy to customize by adding your favorite chocolate and toppers. Dad thinks the whole world should know about this pizza! —Kathy Rairigh, Milford, Indiana
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Spiced Devil's Food Cake

One of my mom's friends gave her this recipe when I was a child, and it has been a family favorite ever since. When your chocolate sweet tooth acts up, this really hits the spot! —Linda Yeamans, Ashland, Oregon
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Chocolate Macaroon Cupcakes

A delightful coconut and ricotta cheese filling is hidden inside these chocolate cupcakes. —Dolores Skrout, Summerhill, Pennsylvania
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Bittersweet Chocolate Cheesecake

I'm a great-grandmother, and my whole family enjoys this dessert. I received this recipe from my niece. It's very chocolaty. —Amelia Gregory, Omemee, Ontario
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Cinnamon Brownies

For Christmas one year, a friend gave us a pan of these delicious brownies. Before I figured out their secret was cinnamon, half the pan was already gone! —Gail Mehle, Rock Springs, Wyoming
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Shortbread Hearts

These flaky cookies melt in your mouth. Dipped in chocolate, they look festive.—Barbara Birk, St. George, Utah
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Chocolate Macadamia Macaroons

This perfect macaroon has dark chocolate, chewy coconut and macadamia nuts and is dipped in chocolate—sinful and delicious! —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon
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Chocolate Chiffon Cake

If you want to offer family and friends a dessert that really stands out from the rest, this is the cake to make. Beautiful high layers of rich sponge cake are drizzled with a succulent chocolate glaze. —Erma Fox, Memphis, Missouri
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Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies

I'm a chocolate lover, and these cream cheese brownies have satisfied my cravings many times. No one guesses the brownies are light because their chewy texture and rich chocolate taste can't be beat. My family requests them often, and I'm happy to oblige. —Heidi Johnson, Worland, Wyoming
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Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie

When my fiance first made this chocolate bourbon pecan pie for me, I declared it to be the best pie ever! Creamy chocolate combines with crunchy nuts in a great, gooey filling. We can't get enough of this recipe inspired by Kentucky Derby bourbon chocolate pecan pie. —Tanya Taylor, Cary, North Carolina
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Valentine Heart Brownies

Steal hearts this Valentine's Day with brownies that have cute frosting centers. They're simply irresistible. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Peanut Butter-Chocolate Cake Rolls

Who knew something this impressive could start with a cake mix! The mini chocolate chips add a tasty crunch to each slice. —Tammy Rex, New Tripoli, Pennsylvania
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Dark Chocolate Truffle Tart

Espresso enhances and intensifies the dark chocolate flavor of my truffe tart. I make the crust with toasted walnuts and dust the cooled dessert with baking cocoa before serving. —Johnna Johnson, Scottsdale, Arizona
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Red Velvet Cake Bites

Everyone loves red velvet, but any cake mix can work. I've rolled chopped macadamia nuts into pineapple cake and dipped them in white chocolate. Whatever you do, have fun! —Anne Powers, Munford, Alabama
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Cherry Chocolate Chunk Cookies

These rich, fudgy cookies are chewy and studded with tangy dried cherries. It’s a good thing the recipe makes only a small batch, because we eat them all in one night! —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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Frosted Turtle Brownies

Homemade brownies are a sweet addition to the appetizer table on game day. Your guests might forget the score, but I guarantee they'll remember these treats! —Sherry Miller, Columbia Heights, Minnesota
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Cherry Cola Cake

Cherry cola and marshmallows make a zippy chocolate dessert that is scrumptious topped with vanilla ice cream. — Cheri Mason, Harmony, North Carolina
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Chocolate Lover's Mousse Torte

With layer after luscious layer of creamy filling and cake, Chocolate Lover’s Mousse Torte proves irresistible every time. —Brenda Fisher, Stella, Missouri
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Chai Truffle Tart

My chai-flavored tart boasts chocolate and caramel layers tucked inside a salty pretzel crust. Truffles on top make it extra indulgent. —Chantal Bourbon, Montreal, Quebec
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Hidden Mint Morsels

Is it a cookie or a candy? No matter which answer folks choose, they find these minty morsels yummy. The recipe makes so much that you can whip up tons of gifts at once. —Adina Skilbred, Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin
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Toffee Truffle Cheesecake

I combined two of my favorite cheesecake recipes and added the delicious homemade caramel sauce for a cheesecake that's now my favorite! —Hannah Halstead, Blair, Nebraska
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Chocolate Ginger Cake

Indulge in a dark, decadent cake that showcases the flavors of the holiday season. I stir fresh ginger into the batter and sprinkle chopped crystallized ginger over the velvety ganache. —Amber Evans, Beaverton, Oregon
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Chocolate Buttermilk Squares

Every time I take a pan of these to a picnic, it comes back clean! At home, they disappear as fast as I can stir them. —Clarice Baker, Stromsburg, Nebraska
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Easy Chocolate Souffles

Try these easy-to-make souffles for your next dinner party. The mini servings have a maximum portion of deliciousness! —Sarah Farmer, Waukesha, Wisconsin
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Chocolate Caramel Kiss Cookies

I make this cookie every Christmas with my family. It’s a fun twist on a classic peanut butter blossom because of the cinnamon in the batter and the caramel kiss on top. We love the cinnamon-caramel combination, but you could switch out the kiss with a different festive flavor. —Kristen Heigl, Staten Island, New York

Kristin Sutter
A big fan of homegrown cooking, Kristin has been a writer and editor for nearly 20 years. She has mastered the art of learning from her inexpert riffs on other people's truly good recipes.
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