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The holidays' final course

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Mint Chocolate Cupcakes

CHOCO MINT, YES Consider the Mint Chocolate Cupcakes from Stop and Smell the Rosemary for Valentine’s Day, or any day. (Photo courtesy of the Junior League of Houston)

Cooking Buzz is produced in partnership with the Junior League of Houston, a women’s charitable and education organization founded in 1925.

I think of the holiday season as a several-course meal. Thanksgiving is the appetizer, with all the delectable sides, kicking it off. Christmas is the main course, where a family’s traditional meal differs from one house to the next. The New Year is the beverage and bubbly, to complement what you’ve eaten the past two months.

Then comes Valentine’s Day, which I consider the dessert to top it all off.

Baking desserts is one of the first cooking skills I got the hang of. As long as I follow the recipe, it rarely goes too wrong. I regularly use my work colleagues as guinea pigs for new dessert recipes. They give honest feedback and keep me from eating it all myself. Around Valentine’s Day, they often get a new dessert on a weekly basis.

I love chocolate, and chocolate holds the leading role when it comes to Valentine’s Day. Try the Truly Different Chocolate Cupcakes from The Star of Texas cookbook if you want a cupcake that tastes better than a brownie and doesn’t need to be frosted. The Mint Chocolate Cupcakes from Stop and Smell the Rosemary are a fun twist on your standard Valentine’s chocolate, while the Charlotte Chocolate Russe from The Star of Texas is another traditional treat that doesn’t involve turning on the oven.

Not everyone is a “chocoholic,” and there are times where I crave something sweet but am not quite in the mood for chocolate. The Amaretto Angel Food Cake from Stop and Smell the Rosemary and the Bite Size Bourbon Cakes from Peace Meals are two delicious recipes that will continue to keep you off chocolate. These are also easy to make for a party or friend gathering.  

Chocolate or no chocolate, any of these dessert recipes are the perfect way to close out the course of your holiday season.

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