15th annual Taste of Chocolate scheduled Jan. 24

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Photo by Ann Cipperly

By Ann Cipperly

Yummy truffles, brownies, chocolate pie and other assorted chocolate confections will be featured at the 15th annual Taste of Chocolate on Tuesday, Jan. 24 from 5:30 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the Trinity United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall. Members of the Beta XI Chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa Teachers’ Sorority have become experts at making scrumptious chocolate desserts, adding a few new ones with favorites over the years. Carolyn Moore continues to provide Chocolate Cherry Mice, their signature confection.

Alpha Delta Kappa was founded in 1947 for the purpose of giving recognition to outstanding women educators actively engaged in teaching, administration or some specialized field of the teaching profession.

Several purposes of Alpha Delta Kappa include promoting educational and charitable projects and activities, to sponsor scholarships, to further and maintain worthy standards in the field of education and to cooperate with worthy community programs relating to education and charities.

Beta Xi Chapter was chartered April 27, 1972 in Opelika. Currently, there are 19 members. Kay Spriggs is president.

The chapter has been presenting the Taste of Chocolate for 15 years with proceeds going toward the funding of a scholarship given to a graduating high school senior who plans to major in education in the college of their choice.

“When I received the Alpha Delta Kappa scholarship my senior year at Beauregard High School,” says Ali McDonald, “I was ecstatic because not only was I selected for a scholarship, I was selected for a scholarship that represented what I wanted to go to college for! This scholarship was truly an honor, and I am so thankful that it has helped me out with my schooling.

“My path to become a school teacher has been so amazing,” adds Ali, “and I enjoy it more and more each day, but I could not reach my goals without the Alpha Delta Kappa scholarship!”

“The ADK scholarship has helped me immensely this past semester of college,” says recipient Emme Levins. “I am so thankful for the scholarship, and the women who chose to give it to me. I believe teaching is a wonderful career path that changes so many lives. I love that this scholarship encourages smart and well rounded high school students to teach because we always need good teachers changing students’ lives for the better every day.”

A student must major in education to qualify for this scholarship. The Alpha Delta Kappa local scholarship committee selects scholarship recipients. Applications are accepted from Opelika High, Beauregard High and Lee-Scott Academy.

The Beta Xi group has an emphasis on altruism. Through their national organization, they support St. Jude’s Hospital and have also provided bookmobiles for Indian reservations.

The state organization supports Children’s Hospital in Birmingham.  Locally, the group has served with Jean Dean Reading is Fundamental.  Each year the group invites a speaker from a local organization and makes a donation.

Locally, the chapter supports a variety of charities and causes as they become aware of needs. They have supported DHR Clothe-a-Child, Kate’s Angels, Lee County Youth Development Center, the Domestic Violence Awareness Program, adult literacy program, Mercy Clinic, Miracle Field and many others.

Tickets for the Taste of Chocolate are $8 and may be purchased from a member or at the door. Chocolate desserts may be enjoyed at the event or to go. The chocolates are wonderful treats to freeze for Valentine’s Day and to share with someone who would relish a homemade treat.

“Those of us in the sorority are very proud of our ability to support this project each year,” says member Pat May, “and look forward to our interaction with members of the community who give us the opportunity to present this scholarship. We couldn’t do it without the public support.”

Recipes follow for a selection of homemade chocolate goodies that will be available along with many others at the Taste of Chocolate.

Ann Cipperly can be contacted at recipes@cipperly.com.

Milk Chocolate Florentine Cookies
Melanie Smyly and Tamar Lisenby
2/3 cup butter
2 cups quick oats, uncooked
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 375°. Melt butter in medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Stir oats, sugar, flour, corn syrup, milk, vanilla extract and salt; mix well.  Drop by level teaspoonfuls about 3-inches apart onto foil-lined cookie sheets.  Spread thin with rubber spatula. Bake at 375 for 5-7 minutes. Cool completely. Peel foil away from cookies.
Filling:
11 ½ oz. pkg. (2cups) Nestle Toll House milk chocolate morsels
Melt chocolate over hot (not boiling) water; stir until smooth. Spread chocolate on flat side of half the cookies. Top with remaining cookies.
Makes: about 3 ½ dozen sandwich cookies.

Chocolate Almond Bark
Rebecca Sanderson
1/2 cup chopped almonds
2 cups milk chocolate chips
1 Tbsp. shortening
Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside. Put chopped almonds in a skillet. Cook, stirring often over medium high heat, until golden brown. Remove from heat.
In a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water, melt chocolate chips and shortening until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in half the toasted almonds. Spread onto the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle with remaining almonds, and chill 30 minutes, or until solid. Break into bite-size pieces to serve.

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Squares
Pat May
3 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) semisweet chocolate mini chips, divided
1 extra serving size packaged (9 oz.) graham cracker crumb crust
2 Tbsp. whipping cream
Heat oven to 450 degrees.
Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with mixer until well blended.  Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.  Stir in 1 2/3 cups small chocolate chips; pour into crust.
Bake 10 minutes.  Without opening oven door, reduce temperature to 250 degrees.  Continue baking 30 minutes or just until set. Remove from oven to wire rack.  Cool completely.  Cover; refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
Place remaining 1/3 cup chocolate chips and whipping cream in small microwave safe bowl and microwave on high 20-30 seconds or just until chips are melted and mixture is smooth when stirred.
Cool slightly; spread over top of cheese pie.  Refrigerate 15 minutes or until topping is set.

Chocolate Rice Krispie Balls
Gail Swarthout
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 Tbsp. soft butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup Rice Krispies
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup shredded coconut
Mix all ingredients together, refrigerate for a half hour or longer and then form into balls.  Return to fridge and let chill at least one hour.  Melt the following together in a double-boiler:
1 pkg. (12 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 square sweet chocolate
1 Tbsp. shortening
Keep on low so that chocolate remains soft.
Drop balls into chocolate mixture one at a time using a fork to roll them so that the chocolate will cover.  Remove and place on parchment paper and then place in refrigerator until ready to serve. They freeze well.
Rich Chocolate Mousse
Kay Spriggs
1/3 cup whipping cream
4 squares Baker’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tub (8 oz.) Cool Whip, thawed, divided
Microwave cream in a large microwaveable bowl on high 1½ minutes or until it comes to a boil.  Add chocolate; stir until completely melted.  Blend in vanilla.  Cool 5 minutes or until mixture comes to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
Add 2 cups Cool Whip; stir with whisk until well blended. Spoon into 6 dessert dishes.
Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.  Top with remaining Cool Whip just before serving.

Chocolate Almond Clusters
Juanita Parker Owsley
8 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups (8 1/4 oz.) roasted salted almonds
On a large cookie sheet arrange 48 paper or foil mini-muffin or candy cups in a single layer.
In a large microwave safe bowl, microwave half of chocolate on high 20 seconds.  Stir and repeat until chocolate just melts, about 1 minute 20 seconds total.  Stir in remaining chocolate until melted.  Cool 3 minutes (for a shiny finish).
Stir in almonds until evenly coated.  With measuring teaspoon, drop 1 tsp. of mixture into mini-muffin cups.
Refrigerate at least 20 minutes or until set.  Clusters can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 1 month.

Chocolate-Mint Layer Squares
Melanie Smyly and Tamar Lisenby
Step 1:
Two 1 oz. squares unsweetened chocolate
½ cup butter or margarine
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Step 2:
1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, softened
2 Tbsp. whipping cream
3/4 tsp. peppermint extract
2 drops green food coloring (optional)
Step 3:
Two 1 oz. squares sweet baking chocolate
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Step 1. Melt unsweetened chocolate and 1/2 cup butter in top of a double boiler over simmering water; cool. Combine eggs and 1 cup sugar, beating until light and fluffy Stir in flour, walnuts and cooled chocolate.
Spread mixture in a greased 9-inch square baking pan. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
Step 2. Combine powdered sugar, 3 Tbsp. butter, whipping cream and peppermint extract. Stir in food coloring, if desired. Beat until smooth.  Spread evenly over baked layer; cover and chill 1 hour or until firm.
Step 3. Melt sweet chocolate and 2 TBS butter in top of a double boiler over simmering water; stir in vanilla, and drizzle over peppermint layer. Cover and chill 1 hour or until firm. Cut into 1-inch squares. Yield: about 7 dozen.

Hershey Bar Pie
Melanie Smyly and Tamar Lisenby
1 chocolate piecrust (can use graham cracker crust, if preferred)
1/2 lb. chocolate Hershey bar with almonds
8 oz. carton Cool Whip
Melt chocolate. Mix chocolate and Cool Whip. Pour into piecrust. Refrigerate.

Chocolate Orange Fudge
Rebecca Sanderson
2 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 tsp. grated orange peel
Line an 8 x 8 inch square pan with parchment paper.
Melt chocolate chips with condensed milk in the top of a double boiler or in a bowl in the microwave. Stir until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in pecans and grated orange peel.
Pour chocolate mixture into prepared pan. Chill 2 hours, or until firm, and cut into squares. Store, covered, in the refrigerator.

Chewy Chocolate Cookies
Rebecca Sanderson
1 1/4 cups margarine, softened
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, cream together margarine and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time and then stir in the vanilla. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; stir into the creamed mixture until just blended. Mix in walnuts. Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool for a couple of minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Bars
Kay Spriggs
1 (18.2 oz.) pkg. chocolate cake mix
3 eggs, divided
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 (16 oz.) can prepared chocolate frosting
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup chopped nuts
Powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan; set aside.
In a large bowl, combine cake mix, 1 egg and butter; mix until well blended.  Press mixture in prepared pan.
In a medium bowl, combine frosting, cream cheese and remaining 2 eggs; beat until creamy.  Stir in nuts.  Spread mixture over first layer in pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes.  Topping will not appear done but will set up as it cools.
Sprinkle powdered sugar over top while still warm. Refrigerate any leftover bars.  Makes 24 bars.

Old Fashioned Millionaires
Juanita Parker Owsley
14 oz. pkg. caramels
3 to 4 Tbsp. milk
2 cups pecan pieces
Butter or margarine
1 Tbsp. shortening
12 oz. pkg. semisweet chocolate morsels
Melt caramels in milk over low heat.  Stir in pecans.  Drop by teaspoonfuls onto buttered wax paper.  Chill.
Melt shortening and chocolate morsels in a heavy saucepan over low heat.  Remove from heat, dip candy into chocolate and return to wax paper.  Chill.  Makes 3 1/2 dozen.

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Mousse Cups
Juanita Parker Owsley
Thaw 1 pkg. (1.9 oz.) frozen mini phyllo shells.  Whisk 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter and 1 1/2 cups thawed Cool Whip just until blended.  Stir in 2 Tbsp. miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Spoon into resealable plastic bag.  Cut small piece off the bottom corner of the bag. Use to pipe Cool Whip mixture into phyllo shells.  Sprinkle with additional 1 Tbsp. chocolate chips.  Makes 15 phyllo cups.

American Heritage Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Rebecca Sanderson
1 1/3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg
American Heritage Historic Chocolate Block (or one square cooking chocolate), roughly chopped
Heat oven to 375.
Mix together flour, baking soda and salt.
Using an electric mixer, blend butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl until smooth and creamy.
Add egg and blend well.
Gradually add flour mixture, mixing until well combined.
Gently fold in chocolate chunks. Stir until they are evenly distributed throughout the dough.
Drop heaping teaspoons of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet about two inches apart.
Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.
Allow cookies to cool slightly on cookie sheet before moving to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

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