19th Annual Taste of Chocolate to feature yummy desserts Jan. 28

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Photo by Ann Cipperly

By Ann Cipperly

Triple Chocolate Mocha Brownies, White Chocolate Caramel Pecan Fudge and other assorted yummy chocolate confections will be featured at the 19th annual Taste of Chocolate on Tuesday, Jan. 28 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 are experts at making scrumptious chocolate desserts, adding a few new ones with favorites over the years. Proceeds from the event go to their scholarship program.

Every year, members look over their chocolate recipe collection and decide which ones they will prepare for the Taste of Chocolate event. They dedicate their time in gathering the ingredients and baking the special desserts to help local students receive a scholarship to become future teachers.

Carolyn Moore continues to provide Chocolate Cherry Mice, their signature confection. This year she is also making Cloud Cookies. Other members also are creating luscious chocolate desserts, including fudge, nut clusters, brownies, cookies, cheesecake and much more.

The Alpha Delta Kappa International Sorority was founded in 1947 by four women educators. Opelika’s chapter, Beta Xi, was formed in 1972. Its purpose is to recognize women educators who are strong and efficient, to build fraternal fellowships and to serve the community’s altruistic projects. There are currently 25 members from different schools in Lee County.

In 2001, a $500 scholarship was awarded to a high school senior. In 2019 the Taste of Chocolate funds have allowed the chapter to award two $1000 scholarships.

Last year’s winners were Grace Horn from Lee-Scott Academy and Alexandria Jones from Opelika High School. Grace is planning to enter the University of Montevallo. Alexandria is planning to attend Southern Union. She has been working with children in the after school program at Morris Avenue.

Kay Spriggs, who has been a member since 1998, will be installed as the state president this spring. She invites everyone to come to the Taste of Chocolate to support the scholarships.

Valentine’s Day is coming up shortly. You may want to purchase extra to freeze. Homemade chocolates goodies are much better than store-bought and make a wonderful gift or special treat for your family. Don’t forget those who are home bound and would enjoy receiving special chocolates.

Tickets are only $8 and are available from any member of the Beta Xi chapter or at the door at the Trinity United Methodist Fellowship Hall. The chocolate goodies can be enjoyed at the tasting or taken home. Coffee and other beverages are served without additional cost. “We would like to thank Trinity for allowing us to continue using the fellowship hall,” says Carolyn Moore.

For further information or questions, contact Carolyn at carolyn.moore@myops.net.

Cipperly can be reached at recipes@cipperly.com.

Recipes:

Cloud Cookies
Carolyn Moore
3 egg whites, stiffly beaten
2/3 cup sugar
Dash salt
1 cup almonds, chopped
1 cup mini-size chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 for 15 minutes. Fold sugar, salt, nuts and chips into egg whites. Drop onto greased cookie sheet. Put cookies in the oven and turn off heat. Leave 2 ½ hours or overnight. Do not open oven door.

White Chocolate Caramel Pecan Fudge
Jerry Barber
3 cups white chocolate chips
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
4 Tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup caramel sauce, room temperature
Combine chocolate chips, milk, and butter in a medium-size glass bowl and heat in the microwave for 90 seconds. Stir to combine and heat another 15 seconds. Stir and heat an additional 15 seconds, only if needed. There will still be a few pieces of chocolate not melted in the bowl.
Stir until mostly smooth with just a few flecks of chocolate. Add vanilla and pecans and stir to combine.
Scoop onto a parchment lined tray. Spread with a spatula to approximately 1-inch thickness. Drizzle with caramel sauce. Lightly swirl the caramel into the fudge with a knife or the end of the spatula.
Chill until ready to serve. Slice into 1-inch squares and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Enjoy!

Scotcharoos
Amanda Baker
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
6 cups crisp rice cereal
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
Generously butter a 9×13 inch baking pan. Set aside.
In a large pot, mix together corn syrup, sugar and peanut butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring until peanut butter melts. Bring mixture to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in crisp rice cereal.
Transfer mixture into a well buttered 9×13 inch pan. With your hands well buttered, pat it down into pan.
In a medium saucepan, over medium low heat, melt chocolate chips and butterscotch chips until smooth. Spread over top of bars and let bars cool. Cut into squares.

Chocolate Toffee Cashew Clusters
Beth Brewer
3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp. solid vegetable shortening
3 cups salted cashews
1 ¼ cups toffee bits, divided
In a microwave safe bowl, melt together the chocolate chips and shortening. Melt on the 50% power setting in 30-45 second increments, stopping to stir each cycle. Repeat until completely smooth.
Add cashews and 1 cup toffee bits and mix until all the nuts are covered.
Spread wax paper on the kitchen counter.
Drop clusters onto the wax paper at least 1-inch apart.
Sprinkle the tops with the remaining toffee bits while the chocolate is still wet.
Allow to sit until hardened or refrigerate to set more quickly.

White Chocolate, Fruit and Nut Clusters
Kay Spriggs
1 pkg. (6 squares) white chocolate
⅓ cup sunflower kernels
⅓ cup slivered almonds
⅓ cup dried cranberries
Microwave chocolate in medium microwaveable bowl on high 2 minutes or until chocolate is almost melted; stir until completely melted.
Stir in remaining ingredients.
Spoon 1 tsp. chocolate mixture into each of 48 mini paper muffin cup liners. Refrigerate 10 minutes or until firm.

Chocolate-A-Roons
Nancy Weatherman
5 1/3 cups (14 oz. bag) Baker’s Angel Flake Coconut
1 (14oz.) can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp. vanilla
4 squares semi-sweet chocolate, melted
Combine coconut, condensed milk and vanilla, mixing well. Fold in melted chocolate. Drop from teaspoon 1 inch apart on well-greased baking sheets.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned.
Remove at once from baking sheets, using moistened spatula. Makes about 5 dozen.

Chocolate Butterscotch Haystacks
Deborah Lindsey
2 cups (12 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
1 pkg. (10 to 11 oz.) butterscotch chips
4 cups crispy chow mein noodles
In a large microwave-safe bowl in the microwave or large metal bowl over simmering water, melt chocolate chips and butterscotch chips; stir until smooth. Gently stir in noodles.
Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate 10-15 minutes or until set. Makes 3 dozen.

Triple Chocolate Mocha Brownies
Beth Brewer
Brownies:
2 tsp. instant espresso powder
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
2 eggs
Frosting:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1½ cups powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. instant espresso powder
2 tsp. heavy cream
Chocolate Drizzle
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
1 tsp. shortening
Brownies:
Preheat oven to 350.
Mix together cocoa, espresso powder, flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Using a hand mixer, mix sugar and melted butter.
Then add eggs and mix again.
Slowly add dry ingredients while mixing.
Line an 8 x 8 baking dish with foil. Press foil down firmly into the dish. Spray with non-stick.
Pour batter into prepared dish and spread evenly.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
Allow brownies to cool before frosting. Once cooled and frosted, remove the foil and brownies from baking dish. Carefully peel foil away from brownies and slice.
Frosting:
Combine butter and powdered sugar into your mixing bowl.
Mix for 3-4 minutes, until light and fluffy.
Add espresso powder, cream and cocoa powder.
Then mix for 1 more minute.
Chocolate Drizzle:
Microwave half the chocolate chips with the shortening until melted and smooth.
Add the remaining chocolate chips and stir vigorously until melted.
Let chocolate cool 2-3 minutes. Drizzle over frosted brownies.

No Bake Cookie Balls with Chocolate Chips
Deborah Lindsey
I make them a day or two ahead to let the flavors blend.
1 cup (6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 ¾ cups crushed vanilla wafers (about 55 wafers)
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
3/4 cup orange juice
3 Tbsp. light corn syrup
Additional confectioners’ sugar
In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Stir in the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla wafers, walnuts, orange juice and corn syrup.
Shape into 1 inch balls; roll in additional confectioners’ sugar. Store in an airtight container.

Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
Amanda Baker
2 bags (4 cups) semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
1 ½ cups peanut butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Melt 1 bag chocolate chips in the microwave (15 seconds, stir, repeat until melted smooth).
Spread chocolate in bottom of a non-stick 9 x 9 pan. Let harden.
Use a hand mixer to mix together 1 1/2 cups peanut butter with 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Spread over hardened chocolate.
Melt 1 more bag chocolate chips.
Spread on top of peanut butter layer. Let harden.

Chocolate Peanut Crunches
Kay Spriggs
Melt 1 cup milk chocolate chips. Stir in 2 ½ cups dried chow mein noodles. Drop from a tablespoon onto an oiled baking sheet and sprinkle with coarsely chopped peanuts or almonds. Let cool.

Walnut-Date Clusters with Milk Chocolate
Deborah Lindsey
1½ cups coarsely chopped pitted dates
1½ cups coarsely chopped walnuts
1½ cups milk chocolate, finely chopped
Line a baking sheet with parchment (baking) paper or waxed paper.
In a bowl, mix together the dates and walnuts. Set aside. Place the chocolate in the top pan of a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) hot (not simmering) water. Heat, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth.
Pour out the hot water from the bottom pan and replace it with lukewarm water. Replace the top pan or heatproof bowl. Let the chocolate stand, stirring frequently, until it cools slightly and begins to thicken, about 10 minutes.
Stir the date-walnut mixture into the chocolate, mixing thoroughly. Using a small spoon, scoop out slightly rounded teaspoonfuls of the mixture and drop onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing evenly. Refrigerate uncovered until set, about 2 hours.
Place these sweet treats in candy cups and pack into gift tins. If fresh dates are unavailable, purchase chopped, dried dates. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cheesecake
Beth Brewer
Crust:
1 1/2 cups Oreo cookie crumbs
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
Cheesecake:
12 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. flour
1/4 cup sour cream
6 Tbsp. peanut butter
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup chopped Mini Reese’s
Chocolate Whipped Cream:
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, cold
3 Tbsp, powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Mini Reese’s, cut in half
Crust:
Preheat oven to 325.
Add cupcake liners to a cupcake pan.
Combine the Oreo crumbs and melted butter. Divide the mixture between the cupcake liners (about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons per cup) and press into the bottoms.
Bake crusts for 8 minutes then remove from oven. Allow to cool while you make the filling.
Cheesecake Filling and Toppings:
Reduce oven to 300.
In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, sugar and flour until combined (use low speed to keep less air from getting into the batter, which can cause cracks). Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add the sour cream, peanut butter and vanilla extract. Beat on low speed until well combined.
Add eggs one at a time, beating slowly and scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition. Gently fold in the chopped Reese’s.
Divide the batter between the cupcake liners and fill most of the way.
Bake cheesecakes for 13 minutes, then turn off oven and leave the door closed for another 10 minutes.
Crack the oven door and allow cheesecakes to cool for 15-20 minutes, then put in the fridge to finish cooling.
Once the cheesecakes are cooled and firm, make the whipped cream. Add the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla extract to a mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
Pipe swirls on top of each cheesecake, then top with half of a mini Reese’s.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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