By Christina Katz

Nothing comforts quite like chocolate. Whether someone in your brood is celebrating a special occasion or trying to bounce back from a tough day, these five chocolate recipes are sure to make the whole family beam.

Teach your kids to make these quick and easy recipes and they might surprise you with chocolate concoctions of their own some day. Only one thing is certain: none of these treats will stick around your kitchen for very long!

Simple Chocolate Sauce

Drizzle this chocolate sauce over ice cream or bananas, then store the rest in a microwavable container for next time. Keeps for two weeks.

  1. Whisk together ¾ cup white sugar, 1 & ½ tablespoons flour, and ½ cup cocoa powder in a small mixing bowl to remove lumps.
  2. Heat 1 & ¼ cups milk, 2 tablespoons butter, and ½ teaspoon vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat until butter melts.
  3. Gradually whisk dry ingredients into milk mixture, then increase heat to medium-high and simmer mixture. Cook for 6 minutes stirring constantly. Remove from heat and whisk in a pinch salt. Try it on all your favorite desserts!

No-bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

You can toss all of these ingredients in a saucepan and be ready to serve tasty cookies in 30 minutes making this the perfect go-to recipe for last-minute guests.

  1. In large, heavy saucepan bring to boil, 2 cups sugar, 4 tablespoons cocoa, 1 stick butter, and ½ cup milk. Boil for one minute, then add 1 cup peanut butter, 1 tablespoon vanilla, and 3 cups oatmeal.
  2. Remove from heat, stir, and drop by the spoonful onto waxed paper spread over cookie sheets. Pop a sheet into the fridge to speed the cookie hardening, if desired. Otherwise wait 30 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Pretty Chocolate Pudding

Serve this tasty pudding warm on cold days and cold on warm days and it will always be a major hit!

  1. Stir together 2/3 cup sugar, ¼ cup cocoa, 3 tablespoons cornstarch, and ¼ teaspoon salt in medium saucepan. Place over medium heat and gradually stir in 2 & ¼ cups milk.
  2. Stir constantly until mixture boils. Boil and stir for one minute.
  3. Remove pan from heat and stir in 2 tablespoons butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
  4. Pour mixture into a serving bowl or divide among 4 individual dessert dishes. Press plastic wrap directly onto pudding surface to prevent skin from forming.
  5. Chill two hours or serve warm. Remove wrap and garnish with whipped cream. Delicious!

Best Brownies Ever

These decadent brownies are amazing slightly cooled from the oven with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on top.

  1. Preheat the over to 325 degrees. Butter and flour an 8-inch square baking pan.
  2. In small saucepan, place 4 ounces chopped unsweetened chocolate on top of 2 sticks of butter. Stir until melted over low heat. If you use a microwave, take care not to splatter or scorch mixture.
  3. Place 2 cups sugar into medium mixing bowl. Pour in chocolate-butter mixture and mix well. Add 4 large eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla and blend well.
  4. Sift ½ cup of flour over the mixture and fold in gently, taking care to not overmix.
  5. Pour mixture into baking pan and bake for 30 – 40 minutes. For gooey brownies, bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean. For cakier brownies, bake five minutes longer. They will be clamoring for more!

Easy Chocolate Fondue

Always a hit with kids. Dip fresh fruit, marshmallows, sturdy bread, pretzels or poundcake into this warm creamy mixture – mmm!

In a heavy saucepan, warm 1 cup heavy cream over medium heat until it begins to slowly boil. Add 12 ounces high-quality dark, semi-sweet, or milk chocolate chips to the cream and whisk until smooth. Stir in a pinch salt. Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, if desired.

Transfer to a fondue pot on low heat or into a microwave-proof bowl. Make sure children avoid touching or tipping a hot pot.

Arrange dipping foods in bite-sized pieces on a plate with fondue forks or regular forks. If the fondue starts to stiffen, whisk in a bit more cream and re-warm it. Have fun!

Author, journalist, and writing coach Christina Katz is a lover of all things chocolate. She is quite certain that chocolate = love and she enjoys sharing chocolate experiences with those she loves.

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