15 Inventive Uses for Leftover Valentine’s Chocolate

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istock

The day of love has come and gone, but the mounds of gifted chocolate will remain for weeks to come. Instead of forcing yourself to nibble on foil-wrapped hearts until May (or freezing them until forever), find cool ways to turn those leftover sweets into new treats. The possibilities are endless, but here are 15 ideas to help get you started. 

1. CANDY CHARADES

Valentine’s Day chocolate boxes always have the traditional nougat and creme fillings, but there are also always a few mysteries that no one can quite seem to identify. For candies left over on February 15, gather some friends or family members for a game of charades. The goal: guess which flavor your teammate just ate.

2. CHOCOLATE FONDUE

Leftover milk chocolate plus marshmallow crème makes for one delicious party platter. Simply melt the chocolate, then mix in a 7-ounce jar of crème, ¾ cup of heavy whipping cream, 3 ounces of white baking chocolate, and ¼ cup toasted almonds, plus a dash of almond extract. Serve with fresh fruit or cubed pound cake.

3. CHOCOLATE-COVERED BACON

There is no wrong way to eat bacon, which means that there are numerous right ways to eat it. A drizzle of melted white and dark chocolate is one of those right ways. Many recipes you’ll come across for chocolate-covered bacon are pretty straightforward, and involve just 10 minutes or so of prep time. Refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes, and you’ve got yourself a sweet-and-savory post-Valentine’s Day snack. 

4. LEFTOVER CANDY PIE

Seen more frequently as a post-Halloween recipe, a leftover candy pie (or recycled candy cake) would be the perfect way to consume and share all of those individually wrapped pieces.

5. LAVA CAKE

A warm treat with a molten surprise inside—made of yesterday’s date night gift, of course—is like celebrating twice.

6. POPCORN DRIZZLE

Chocolate-covered popcorn is a delicious alternative to the salty, buttery theater staple that you’re used to, and you can make it as simple or as involved as you like. Simply pop the popcorn, drip some chocolate on top, and start snacking away. Or, add in a few more ingredients like cocoa powder and vanilla, place the mixture on an oiled pan, and bake at 250 degrees for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

7. HOMEMADE TRAIL MIX

Good trail mix demands the presence of tasty chocolate. Grab a few other essentials (nuts, raisins, seeds), mix in chopped Valentine’s goodies, and you’re ready to hit the trail (or gym). 

8. SWEET FRENCH TOAST

Treat friends (or that special someone) to a post-Valentine’s Day brunch. The standout on your menu: Chocolate-and-banana french toast. 

9. MODIFIED SMORES

The chocolate component of a s’more is traditionally a bar, but who says it has to be? Break the rules and use whatever pieces you have lying around, even if they have nuts or other added ingredients. You may end up creating your new favorite campfire tradition.

10. CHOCOLATE WASTED CAKE

Another “everything but the kitchen sink” kind of dessert, this cake is pretty standard on the inside (chocolate cake with coffee flavor added). The outside is where your Valentine’s Day leftovers can come in handy: use whatever you have lying around to add some edible flair to the dessert’s surface. 

11. STRAWBERRY HEARTS

Cut strawberries lengthwise, placing them flat side-down, so that the two halves form the general shape of a heart. (Stick a toothpick through the berry to keep them secure.) Melt some chocolate in the microwave (a minute or two should do the trick), then pour over the fruit. Refrigerate for an hour and serve. 

11. BARBECUE SAUCE

Reusing chocolate doesn’t always have to be a sweet endeavor. Experiment with ways to make it add a hint of chocolate to savory condiments, like barbecue or other sauces. If you’re not sure where to begin, great recipes are just a web search away. 

12. FACIAL MASKS

Studies have shown that antioxidants in dark chocolate are actually good for your skin, so melt some down and have a personal spa day at home. Good luck resisting the urge to eat it off. 

13. LIP BALM

Melt 3 tablespoons cocoa butter in the microwave, then add a piece of leftover chocolate and stir until melted. Combine with the contents of 1 vitamin E capsule and 1/4 teaspoon almond extract. The resulting moisturizer is just as effective as the one you keep in your purse (and probably way tastier). 

14. BOARD GAME PIECES

Is your game of Monopoly missing its coveted car or thimble? Does your box of Checkers feel a little light? Grab some leftover chocolate and keep the fun going. 

15. HOT COCOA

If you have access to a powerful blender (plus melted chocolate, espresso powder, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, and whole milk), you’ve got everything you need to whip up this wintertime staple.

Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

Sign Up Today: Get exclusive deals, product news, reviews, and more with the Mental Floss Smart Shopping newsletter!

Each State’s Favorite Doughnut, Mapped

Life is like a box of doughnuts.
Life is like a box of doughnuts.
cottonbro, Pexels

Earlier this month, Dunkin’ unveiled the Spicy Ghost Pepper Donut, a picante pastry that piqued the interest of culinary daredevils across the nation. But for every brave soul eager to try it out, there were plenty of other Dunkin’ customers whose eyes never strayed from the basket of sweet, reliable glazed doughnuts.

It’s hard to overstate the popularity of the glazed doughnut. Data crunchers at The Waycroft, a luxury apartment complex in Arlington, Virginia, analyzed Google Trends searches from the last 12 months and found that it’s the apparent doughnut of choice in a staggering 15 states. But while folks clearly appreciate a time-tested treat, they’re also willing to make room in their hearts and stomachs for newer innovations; as Time Out reports, the second most popular kind of doughnut isn’t exactly a doughnut—it’s a cronut.

You can't go wrong with glazed.The Waycroft

The croissant-doughnut hybrid was invented by Parisian pastry chef Dominique Ansel just seven years ago, and it rapidly rose from humble beginnings at his New York City bakery to international acclaim. Since the cronut is, according to Ansel’s website, “rolled in sugar, filled with cream, and topped with glaze,” you could consider it a descendant of the sugar doughnut, the Bavarian cream doughnut, the glazed doughnut, or all three. Though the cronut’s birthplace, New York, did claim it as the state favorite, it’s definitely not a regional phenomenon—it topped the list in six other states, including both Dakotas, Montana, Vermont, Alaska, and Hawaii.

Other doughnut varieties, on the other hand, may be tied to certain regions. The only two states to choose blueberry doughnuts were Midwestern neighbors Indiana and Ohio; and two of the three states that favor apple fritters are in the Pacific Northwest (Washington and Oregon).

Do your own doughnut proclivities match the trends in your state? Scroll down to find out.

This map would make for quite an eclectic box of assorted doughnuts.The Waycroft

[h/t Time Out]