17th Annual Taste of Chocolate event scheduled Jan. 23

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Photo by Ann Cipperly

By Ann Cipperly

The annual Taste of Chocolate event is a dream come true for chocolate lovers with an assortment of sublime candies, brownies, cookies and other confections. Ladies of the Beta Xi Chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa Teachers’ Sorority have become experts at making scrumptious chocolate desserts for their annual event scheduled Tuesday, Jan. 23 from 5:30 p.m. until 7 p.m. in the fellowship hall at Trinity United Methodist Church in Opelika.

Tickets are $8 and are available from any member of the Beta Xi chapter or at the door. The chocolate goodies can be enjoyed at the tasting or taken home. Coffee and other beverages are served at the event.

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.

Proceeds from the Taste of Chocolate event go 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. The chapter has granted a $1,000 scholarship for the last 12 years.  In 2016, they gave three scholarships totaling $2,400 because of a build up in the scholarship account.  All of the money from Taste of Chocolate goes into a separate account to fund the scholarship.

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.
Abby Danielle Brumfield, daughter of Francis and Tracey Brumfield, was last year’s scholarship recipient. She graduated from Beulah High School in 2017 with a 4.5 GPA. Abby was a varsity cheerleader, co-editor of the yearbook, ran track and was a member of the Beta Club, student council, Scholar’s Bowl and Mu Alpha Theta. She feels she can be a help to future students through the public education system because she had a good experience herself. Abby is a member of the Beulah Methodist Church and is active in helping younger students achieve their goals.
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, Big House and many others.

“As educators, the members of Beta Xi are excited to have this opportunity to offer a future educator a scholarship to pursue his or her career choice,” says President Kay Spriggs. “We could not provide this without the continued support of our wonderful community, many of whom have been with us since the first event.  We appreciate them so much!”

Mark your calendars to attend this event, and purchase an extra ticket to share with a friend or to take goodies to a shut-in who can no longer bake. Following is a sampling of recipes for the tasty event.

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

Recipes:

Dark Chocolate Sables
Kay Spriggs
1 cup salted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 1/2 (4 oz.) 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate baking bars
Sea Salt or toasted pecans (optional)
Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy; add vanilla, and beat until combined.  Stir together flour, cocoa and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed until combined after each addition.  Finely chop 1 of the bittersweet chocolate baking bars, and stir into cookie dough until well incorporated.
Divide dough in half; shape each into an 8-inch-long log.  Wrap each log tightly in plastic wrap, and freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.  (Dough may be frozen up to one month.)
Preheat oven to 350. Cut dough into 1/4-inch-thick slices, and place 2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.  (Keep dough logs refrigerated while cookies bake.)
Bake in preheated oven until bottoms are lightly browned, 11 to 13 minutes; remove cookies to wire racks, and cool completely, about 20 minutes.
Chop remaining 1 1/2 bittersweet chocolate baking bars, and place in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high until chocolate is melted and smooth, 1 to 1/2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds.
Dip half of top side of each cookie in melted chocolate. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt or chopped toasted pecans, if desired.  Place cookies on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and chill just until chocolate sets, about 15 minutes.  Layer cookies between wax paper, and store in an air-tight container at room temperature up to 5 days.
Mini Chocolate Chess Tarts
Karen Stillwell
2 (14.1-oz.) pkg. refrigerated piecrusts
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 Tbsp. cornmeal
1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp. table salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 tsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
Garnishes: sweetened whipped cream, cocoa
Preheat oven to 350. Unroll piecrusts on a flat surface.  Cut 60 rounds, using a 2 1/2-inch cutter. Press rounds onto bottoms and up sides of a lightly greased (with cooking spray) 24-cup miniature muffin pan.  Refrigerate remaining piecrust rounds until ready to use.
Whisk together sugar and next 4 ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk in melted butter, vinegar, and vanilla.  Add eggs, whisking until well blended.  Spoon about 1 heaping teaspoonful chocolate mixture into each piecrust shell.
Bake at 350 for 20 to 24 minutes or until set and crust is golden brown.  Cool completely on a wire rack (about 30 minutes).  Repeat with remaining piecrust rounds and chocolate mixture.
Store in an airtight container up to 3 days.  Top with whipped cream just before serving.

Chocolate Mint Meltaways
Rie Bagwell
Cooking spray or vegetable oil
2 cups chopped dark chocolate
1/3 cup coconut oil or solid vegetable shortening
¼ tsp. pure peppermint oil (preferred) or ½ tsp. peppermint extract
½ tsp. fine sea salt
About 1 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar, for dredging
Place a roughly 9 x 9 sheet of parchment or wax paper on a cutting board. Set it aside. Lightly grease the baking pan with the cooking spray, and line it with a piece of parchment or wax paper that extends a few inches over two ends of the baking pan (you will use these ends as handles to lift the candy out after it’s set). Set aside.
Combine chocolate and coconut oil in a medium-size heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water and stir frequently with the heatproof spatula until melted and completely combined. (Alternatively, place chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl and heat on high for 30 seconds. Stir, then microwave in 10-second intervals, stirring with spatula between intervals, until chocolate and coconut oil are melted and combined.)
Add peppermint oil and salt to chocolate mixture and stir well with spatula to combine. Pour mixture into lined baking pan, spreading it evenly with spatula. Allow it to sit until firm to the touch, about 2 hours.
Once meltaways have set, run a sharp chef’s knife along unlined edges of the pan and lift the slab of candy our of baking sheet. Gently turn it out onto the parchment-lined cutting board and cut it into 1-inch squares.
Place confectioner’s sugar in a small bowl and dredge the candy pieces in it until evenly coated on all sides. Store the meltaways in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Makes about 65 one inch pieces.

Chocolate Covered Mini Olive Oil Cakes
Anne Henderson
2 cups flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1½ Tbsp. finely chopped rosemary
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup olive oil
½ cup fresh orange juice
1½ Tbsp. orange zest
2 Tbsp. whole milk
Melted chocolate
Sugar orange twist for garnish
Rosemary leaves for garnish
Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl, then set aside.
Mix together wet ingredients.
Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients until you have a consistent batter.
Oil a mini muffin tin. Spoon ½ full into muffin cups.
Bake 350 for 8-10 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool at room temperature.
Dip each mini olive oil cake in melted chocolate.
Top with a sugar orange twist and a few rosemary leaves.
Allow chocolate to set.

Chocolate Brownie Cookies
Susan Hagan
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
2 Tbsp. canola oil\
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
Confectioner’s sugar
In a bowl, beat sugar, egg, oil, chocolate and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Chill for at least 2 hours.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in confectioner’s sugar. Place 2 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks. Yield: about 1 dozen.
Note: Dough will be sticky. Dip hands in confectioner’s sugar when shaping dough into balls.

White Chocolate Pretzels
Dr. Pam Fourtenbary
Melt white chocolate morsels in a glass bowl in microwave for 30-45 seconds. Stir the melted morsels.
Dip pretzel into white chocolate, completely covering pretzel and lay on wax paper. Continue the process until all of the white chocolate is finished. Drizzle with chocolate when white chocolate is cooled.

Chocolate Chubbies
Pat May
6 (1 oz.) semisweet chocolate squares, chopped
2 (1 oz.) unsweetened chocolate squares, chopped
1/3 cup butter
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1 (12 oz.) pkg. semisweet chocolate morsels
2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
Combine first 3 ingredients in a heavy saucepan; cook, stirring often over low heat until chocolate melts. Remove from heat; cool slightly.
Beat eggs and sugar at medium speed with electric mixer until smooth; add chocolate mixture, beating well.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; add to chocolate mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in chocolate morsels, pecans and walnuts.
Drop batter by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto lightly greased baking sheets.
Bake at 325 for 12 to 15 minutes or until done. Cool cookies on baking sheets 1 minute. Remove to wire racks; cool.

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
Betty Letlow
1 ½ cups hot strong brewed coffee
1 cup unsweetened cocoa
3 cups all purpose flour
6 tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt, divided
2 ½ cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Frosting
1 ¼ cups bittersweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
3 to 4 Tbsp. heavy cream, divided
¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar, divided
Whisk together hot coffee and cocoa in a bowl. Let stand until room temperature, about 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans.
Whisk together flour, baking powder and ½ tsp. salt in a bowl. Combine granulated sugar and eggs in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium low speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
Beat in mayonnaise and 1 ½ tsp. vanilla on low speed. Alternately add flour mixture and coffee mixture to egg mixture in 5 additions, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs, 22 to 25 minutes.
Cool cake layers in pans on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Remove cake layers from pan, cool completely on a wire rack for about 30 minutes.
Place chocolate chips, light corn syrup and 3 Tbsp. of heavy cream in a microwavable bowl. Microwave on high until smooth, about 1 minute, stirring every 15 seconds. Let stand until room temperature. 10 minutes.
Combine butter, remaining ¼ tsp. salt, 2 cups of the powdered sugar and remaining ½ tsp. vanilla in bowl of a heavy duty stand mixer, beat on low speed until smooth. Beat in chocolate mixture on low speed until smooth. Beat in remaining 2 cups powdered sugar and if needed, 1 Tbsp. cream, 1 teaspoon at a time un spreadable consistency is reached.
Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate. Spread ½ cup frosting over top. Top with second layer, spread ½ cup frosting over top. Top with third layer. Spread remaining frosting over sides and top of cake. Enjoy this very moist cake.
For the Taste of Chocolate event, I will frost each layer separately and cut into small cake squares to serve.

Chocolate Pizza with Chocolate Crust
Rebecca Sanderson
2 pkg. (4 oz. each) semi-sweet chocolate
2-1/2 pkg. (4 oz. each) white chocolate (10 oz.), divided
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 cup Rice Krispies cereal
1 cup salted peanuts
1/4 cup each red and green maraschino cherries, well drained, halved
1/3 cup coconut
1 tsp. oil
Microwave semi-sweet chocolate and 8 oz. white chocolate in large microwaveable bowl on high 2 minutes; stir. Microwave 1 to 2 minutes or until chocolates are completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring every 30 seconds. Add marshmallows, cereal and nuts; mix well.
Spread onto bottom of 12-inch pizza pan sprayed with cooking spray; top with cherries and coconut.
Microwave remaining white chocolate and oil in small microwaveable bowl on high 1 minute; stir. Microwave 30 seconds to 1 minute or until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring every 15 seconds. Drizzle over coconut; let stand until firm.
Position oven rack on bottom of oven. Preheat to 450 degrees.
Line a heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out dough to a 9-inch-diameter round. Transfer dough to the prepared baking sheet.
Using your fingers, make indentations all over the dough. Brush dough with butter, then bake until the crust is crisp and pale golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Immediately spread the chocolate-hazelnut spread over the pizza, then sprinkle all the chocolate chips over. Bake just until chocolate begins to melt, about 1 minute. Sprinkle hazelnuts over pizza. Cut into wedges and serve.

Chocolate Valentine Cookies
Rie Bagwell
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1½ tsp. vanilla
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
Powdered sugar
Stencils, tweezers, small new paint brush
Combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cocoa in a bowl. Whisk together, then set aside. Using electric mixer, cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Add flour/cocoa mixture in two or three batches, mixing well after each addition.
Place dough into a large Ziploc bag and flatten slightly with your hand. Seal bag and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350. Remove dough from bag and place on a floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes. Roll out to ¼ inch thickness and cut out with a heart cutter. Consolidate and re-roll dough as you go.
Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12 minutes or until set. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
Place stencils on cooled cookies to spell “Love You” or “Be Mine”. Lay pieces of scrap paper on any area of exposed cookies. Lightly sift sugar over stenciled areas.
Carefully remove stencils and scrap paper with tweezers. Use a tiny brush to correct errors.

Gooey Turtle Bars
Pat May
2 cups graham cracker crumbs or vanilla wafer crumbs
1/2 cup butter or margarine. melted
1 12 oz. pkg. semisweet chocolate morsels
1 cup pecan pieces
1 12 oz. jar caramel topping
Combine crumbs and butter in an ungreased 13×9 inch pan; stir and press firmly in bottom of pan.  Sprinkle chocolate morsels and pecans over mixture. Remove lid from caramel topping; microwave on high 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until hot, stirring after 30 seconds.  Drizzle over pecans.
Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until morsels melt.  Let cool in pan on a wire rack.  Chill at least 30 minutes, cut into bars.

Orange Meringue Cookies
Mardi Edwards
4 egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 tsp. cream of tarter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. orange extract
2-4 drops orange food coloring
Preheat oven to 225.
Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Make sure your egg whites are at room temperature.
Use a clean glass or metal bowl to beat egg whites. Beat egg whites with an electric beater on medium speed until whites are frothy.
Add cream of tartar and continue to beat on high speed.
Now add sugar to egg whites, just one tablespoon at a time.
This step is important. If you add sugar too quickly you will not get the light and fluffy meringue that you want.
Continue beating while adding all the sugar, then continue to beat on high until the sugar is all dissolved and you have stiff peaks.
Fold in orange extract and a couple drops of orange food coloring. Add drops of color as you would like for a lighter or darker orange meringue.
Fit a piping bag with a large star tip and fill with meringue mixture. Pipe the cookies directly onto the pans. Leave an inch between each cookie.
Place both cookie sheets, side by side into the preheated oven.
Bake for 45 minutes.
Turn off oven, open the door a little and let cookies cool for at least an hour in the oven.
If you make your cookies in the evening, you can leave them to sit overnight in the open oven.
Carefully remove the meringues from parchment paper and place them into an air tight container.
Meringues freeze well.

Toffee Cookie Bites
Pat May
24 saltine crackers
1 cup butter
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
11.5 or 12 oz pkg. milk chocolate morsels
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted
Cover the bottom of a 13×9 inch aluminum foil-lined pan with crackers.  Microwave butter and brown sugar in a microwave safe glass bowl at high 3 to 4 minutes or until sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally.  Pour butter mixture over crackers.
Bake at 325 for 15 minutes or until bubbly.  Remove from oven, and sprinkle with chocolate morsels, spreading as they melt.  Sprinkle with pecans.
Cover and chill at least 2 hours.  Cut toffee into 1 inch squares, or break into pieces and store in an airtight container in refrigerator.

White Chocolate Cookies and Cream Lasagna
Anne Henderson
1 pkg. Oreo cookies
6 Tbsp. butter, melted
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. cold milk
12 oz. Cool Whip, divided
3.9 oz. pkg. White Chocolate Instant Pudding
6 oz. cookies and cream chocolate (approximately 1 large bar), plus more for garnish
3 ¼ cups cold milk
½ cup mini chocolate chips
Crush 36 Oreo cookies into fine crumbs, using a food processor.
Transfer 2/3 of Oreo crumbs to a large bowl and blend with the melted butter.
Once you have a wet mixture, press cookie crust into a lined 9×9 casserole dish. Set in the refrigerator.
Combine milk and instant pudding powder. Whisk for four minutes until the pudding starts to thicken.
Melt cookies and cream chocolate in the microwave for 20 seconds. Stir. (Reheat if not completely melted.)
Remove chocolate crust from refrigerator and drizzle white chocolate over the crust.
Spread pudding mixture over crust and top with remaining Oreo crumbs.
Place in refrigerator for 5 minutes.
Mix cream cheese with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add 2 Tbsp. milk and ¼ cup sugar. Mix well.
Stir in 1¼ cups Cool Whip. Spread over the second chocolate crumb layer and sprinkle any remaining white chocolate and mini chocolate chips over the top.
Refrigerate 2-4 hours before serving.

Brownies
Rie Bagwell
1 cup butter
3 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup baking cocoa
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups sugar
2 cups chopped pecans (optional)
1½ cups self-rising flour
Icing:
½ cup butter
5 oz. evaporated milk
2 cups sugar
1 cup frozen chocolate chips
Combined butter and cocoa in saucepan. Cook over low heat; stir until melted. Remove from heat and mix in sugar, flour and eggs. Add vanilla and pecans and mix well. Spoon into greased and floured 9 x 13-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
Icing: Combine butter, sugar and evaporated milk in a saucepan; boil for 2 minutes. Stir in chocolate chips and spread over hot brownies. Chill for 2 hours.

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