For chocolate purists, the very existence of white chocolate is a consternation. They take issue with its moniker, decrying its lack of cocoa content, thereby rendering it "not real chocolate." However, white chocolate is made from the cocoa butter component of the cocoa bean; the cocoa solids, the dark brown pulp most people associate with chocolate, are absent. The creamy cocoa butter has a distinct, delicate flavor, and is typically combined with milk powder, sugar, vanilla, and lecithin to create the chips and bars, which are easily recognizable as white chocolate.
Its subtle and almost unplaceable flavor makes white chocolate a versatile, approachable dessert ingredient; its sweet creaminess is a boon to nearly any dessert that might want more body. Moving your recipes over to the light side of the chocolate spectrum is a way to create desserts that don't come off as being overly rich and cloying. Here are some of the best desserts that showcase white chocolate.
Read more: 30 Types Of Cake, Explained
Salted Caramel Ginger Thumbprint Cookies
Because of its high fat content, white chocolate lends a creaminess to recipes that use it. When used in these salted caramel ginger thumbprint cookies, white chocolate brings a rich, creamy quality to the caramel filling. This ingredient also acts as a stabilizer for the caramel, allowing it to thicken and set into a solid state. The firm caramel centers make these cookies easier to transport and display; their gorgeous, gooey middles will stay in the thumbprints, right where they belong.
White Chocolate Blondies
These white chocolate blondies are a playful departure from the average brownie. In this recipe, white chocolate and brown sugar combine to create a caramelly and oh-so-satisfying treat that stands out from the crowd. Like brownies, these blondies can also be customized to your liking by adding nuts (pecans are a delicious companion to white chocolate), dried fruits (cherries, just sayin'), or even a smattering of nostalgic sprinkles over the top before they go into the oven. It's impossible to pass up these homey traybakes.
Recipe: White Chocolate Blondies
Banana Split Chocolate Bark
If you want a simple but impressive dessert, barks are as easy as they come: Melt chocolate, spread it in a pan, and top with your favorite ingredients. This banana split chocolate bark recipe recreates the classic flavor combinations of the popular sundae. Layering the semi-sweet, strawberry, and white chocolate gives you the rainbow of flavors you always sought to capture in your ice cream scoop.
Freeze-dried strawberries mixed into melted white chocolate perfectly mimic fruity, creamy strawberry ice cream. Banana chips, dried cherries, and a scattering of crushed peanuts add a variety of textures to the bark, making it both chewy and crunchy. This bark will check all the boxes without a trip to the ice cream shop!
Recipe: Banana Split Chocolate Bark
Red Velvet Cookies
Is there any dessert more visually striking than red velvet? The contrast between red and white is immediately appealing. Tackling a whole cake might not be in the cards, but these red velvet cookies are simple and perfectly capture the essence of a red velvet cake and put it in the palm of your hand.
The cookies are soft and chewy, studded with creamy white chocolate chips that conjure the traditional cream cheese frosting on red velvet cakes. Making a batch of these cookies will brighten your day and immediately make you smile with their playful color scheme and subtle chocolate flavors.
Recipe: Red Velvet Cookies
Toasted White Chocolate Mousse
Did you know you can toast white chocolate to bring out a nutty, caramelized flavor? It also turns the chocolate a luxurious golden blonde color, making this toasted white chocolate mousse recipe so elegant. Mousse is the perfect dessert to end a meal. Whipped egg whites create an airy base into which the toasted white chocolate and sweet whipped cream are folded. Topped with a dollop of whipped cream, a few shavings of white chocolate, or a few in-season berries, this delicate dessert is sure to please -- and end your dinner on a high note.
Recipe: Toasted White Chocolate Mousse
Salted Caramel And Toasted White Chocolate Apple Bark
If you can't get enough of that toasted white chocolate flavor, try this salted caramel and toasted white chocolate apple bark recipe. Toasted white chocolate finds a salty and crunchy companion in the pretzels. Caramel-tossed Granny Smith apples are tangy and vibrant, bringing a well-balanced tart edge to a sweet treat.
Each bite of this bark will bring to mind biting into a caramel apple on a stick -- but without the risk of ripping out a filling. For best results, make sure that you pat your sliced apples thoroughly dry; that will ensure the caramel adheres to the fruit; everything stays put in the chocolate while it sets.
Black And White Chocolate-Covered Strawberries
What is more romantic than a chocolate-covered strawberry? Rather than shell out big bucks to buy these sensual nibbles, make them yourself with this black and white chocolate-covered strawberry recipe. The contrast in flavors between the rich and bitter dark chocolate and the creamy, sweet white chocolate is complemented by the juicy sweetness of the fresh berry underneath. This dead simple treat can be made ahead of time, chilled, and brought out when the mood is just right. These treats are perfect for date night or when you want to feel like royalty while enjoying an evening to yourself.
White Chocolate-Raspberry Valentine's Day Macarons
Crispy and airy, a macron is like a kiss from Cupid. Whether it's Valentine's Day, your anniversary, or just a regular Thursday, these white chocolate and raspberry macarons add a touch of elegance to your day. The white chocolate creates a glossy ganache filling that is matched with a dollop of raspberry jam. Melted white chocolate drizzled over the top brings all the flavors together while transforming into an eye-catching decoration. You don't have to wait until February to add these gems to your baking calendar; they're perfect all year!
Trio Of Chocolate-Covered Pretzels
Achieving that perfect balance of salty and sweet in a single bite is the holy grail of snack food. The greatest thing about this chocolate-covered pretzel recipe is that you can add whatever toppings you want to make your ideal treat. This recipe also recommends adding yogurt to your white chocolate to give it an added tang, a nice break in the sweetness of the white chocolate. You can also make this recipe with pretzel rods: Dip half into the chocolate and roll it in your favorite topping. Let your creativity go wild with the toppings, and you'll be finding yourself with a new favorite -- and oh-so-easy -- snack.
Gingerbread White Chocolate Snack Cake
The fact that this gingerbread and white chocolate snack cake is gluten-free might completely escape you. You don't notice the missing flour because this cake follows in the footsteps of a traditional flourless chocolate cake. However, it switches the rich dark chocolate out for white chocolate and warming gingerbread spices.
The cake is leavened with whipped egg whites, giving it a pillow-soft texture you will catch yourself daydreaming about. In short, this is the perfect dessert if you or someone in your life lives a gluten-free lifestyle. Plus, the white chocolate base is quite versatile, so you could replace the gingerbread spices with orange zest or fruit extracts if you want to explore different flavors.
Copycat Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bar
On days you work from home, you might miss your favorite grab-and-go treats from the local Starbucks. Luckily, thanks to this copycat cranberry bliss bar recipe, you can whip up one of the most popular Starbucks snacks at home. The combination of white chocolate chips and tangy dried cranberries that stud the blondie base will have you coming back repeatedly to cut another slice. Beyond that, the decadent citrus-scented cream cheese frosting is out of this world. Trust us, you'll save time and money by making this easy treat at home. For an extra something special, try toasting the white chocolate before drizzling it over the top to add a deeper, nuttier flavor.
White Chocolate-Watermelon Pops
When the heat of summer is at its height, you might find your cravings steered towards lighter, cooling desserts. These watermelon and white chocolate pops are the perfect thing to savor at the end of your BBQ while the sun goes down. The thin drizzles of white chocolate over the juicy watermelon slices help adhere slivers of toasted almonds to the pops. Then, a dusting of lavender-infused sugar brings a floral flavor to the fruit. While this recipe leans more toward being a summery dessert, it's good anytime you find yourself with extra watermelon to use.
Recipe: White Chocolate-Watermelon Pops
Best Pistachio Macaron
Pistachio, like white chocolate, is a criminally underutilized flavor. Marry the two together, and you get the best pistachio macarons ever. The salty-sweet nuttiness of the pistachios is wonderfully balanced by the creamy sweetness of white chocolate that makes the ganache filling for these eye-catching cookies. Macarons are made with almond flour, which enhances the nutty flavor of pistachios and gives these macarons their trademark shell. In this recipe, two underdog flavors join forces to make an infinitely elegant and unique dessert.
Recipe: Best Pistachio Macaron
Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Fudge
Big blocks of thick fudge remind people of those old-timey candy stores with glass cases displaying all the decadent confections. While peanut butter and milk chocolate are among the most common fudge flavors, this recipe marries creamy peanut butter with melted white chocolate, giving the fudge an oh-so-rich, dense body. Using white chocolate allows the salty peanut butter to shine in this fudge. It's not competing with milk chocolate's equally strong flavor; white chocolate plays a mellow background note instead.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.