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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Chocolate

FOOD HOLIDAY: National Oreo Day

Today is National Oreo Day, honoring the world’s most popular cookie. We almost feel like ditching work to celebrate—with Oreo cheesecake, cookies and cream ice cream and an Oreo milkshake—and then running a marathon to work off the calories.

However, we’re limiting ourselves to one Oreo-packed chocolate bar from Chocomize, a chocolate e-heaven where you can take your favorite type of chocolate bar (dark, milk, white) and top it with your favorite candies, nuts, spices and special luxuries (gold leaf, anyone?).

You pay a base price for the bar ($4.50, or $6.50 for a heart shape), and then for each add-on topping—up to 5 selections from a menu of 90 options.

If you don’t like to make choices, there are plenty of ready-made choices, like the Cookie Bar in the photo.

In honor of National Oreo Day, Chocomize has two special offers running through March 10th:

  • FREE Oreo pieces. You can add Oreo cookie pieces for FREE to any chocolate bar you make.
  •  

    oreo-white-chocolate-230

    The popular Cookie Bar: Belgian white chocolate bar with Oreos and malted milk balls. Photo courtesy Chocomize.

     

  • FREE chocolate bar with $40 order. Any order of $40+ gets a FREE Cookie Bar with the code OREO. The Cookie Bar, one of Chocomize’s most popular, is Belgian white chocolate, cookie dough bits and Oreo cookie pieces.
  •  

    oreos-stack-froyo-230

    Imagine if lemon meringue had been the
    favorite flavor of Oreos! Photo courtesy
    Froyo.

     

    OREO HISTORY

    Oreos are 102 years old. According to Time magazine, the National Biscuit Company (later shortened to Nabisco) sold its first Oreo sandwich cookies to a Hoboken grocer on On March 6, 1912. They weren’t an original concept: Sunshine’s Hydrox cookies* (among others) preceded them in 1908.

    There were two original Oreo flavors: original (chocolate) and lemon meringue. The original was far more popular, and Nabisco discontinued lemon meringue in the 1920s.

    Today Oreo is the world’s most popular cookie, sold in more than 100 countries†. More than 450 billion Oreos have been sold to date.

    Yes, there were other chocolate sandwich cookies. But what made Oreos stand out was the thick, creamy filling invented by Sam J. Porcello, the principal food scientist at Nabisco. (He also created the “stuf” in Double Stuf Oreos and the chocolate-covered and white chocolate-covered Oreos. Now that’s bragging rights for generations of kids, grandkids and great-grands to come.)

     

    WHAT ABOUT THE DESIGN ON THE COOKIES?

    Nabisco says that an unnamed “design engineer” created the current Oreo design, which was updated in 1952‡. Other sources name him as William A. Turnier, who worked in the engineering department creating the dies that stamped designs onto cookies.

    Here’s the story of the design and its meaning.
     
    THE NAME IS A MYSTERY

    No one knows for certain the origin of the name “Oreo.” Some believe it was derived from the French word for gold, “or,” because the original packaging was mostly gold.

    The bigger curiosity to us is, in The Wizard Of Oz film, why did the guards at the castle of the Wicked Witch Of The West sing a chorus of “Oreo?”

     
    *The Oreo became kosher in 1998, when the lard in the original recipe was replaced with vegetable shortening. Prior to then, Sunshine Bakeries’ Hydrox cookies had long been the kosher alternative. But most people preferred the taste of Oreos, and Hydrox cookies were discontinued by Keebler in 2003.

    †In terms of sales, the top five Oreo-nibbling countries are the U.S., China, Venezuela, Canada and Indonesia. In some countries, like China, Nabisco’s parent company, Kraft, reformulated the recipe to appeal to local tastes, including green tea Oreos.

    ‡The current design replaced a design of a ring of laurels, two turtledoves and a thicker, more mechanical “Oreo” font.

      

    Comments

    ST. PATRICK’S DAY GIFT: Kohler “Emeralds”

    mint-emeralds-230sq

    Mint, one of the four flavors of Emeralds.
    Photo courtesy Kohler.

     

    Some people would like a bottle of Irish whiskey for St. Patrick’s Day.

    Others would rather have chocolate. And there’s one box of chocolates that’s perfect for St. Patrick’s Day.

    Inspired by the Emerald Isle, Kohler’s Emerald chocolates are a beautiful box of chocolates with “green”-flavored ganaches*, enveloped in milk chocolate.

    All of the chocolates are emerald-shaped shells in milk or semisweet chocolate, painted† in different shades of green.

    Each flavor—Absinthe, Green Tea, Lime and Mint—has a different design.

     
    *Ganache is a velvety smooth blend of chocolate and cream, often with butter added, that is rolled in cocoa powder and sugar or other coatings to make a truffle. It is also used as a center for bonbons. Ganache can be made from dark, milk, or white chocolate and flavored with chocolate, coffee, liqueurs, extracts—virtually any flavor that inspires the chocolatier. More about ganache, and why it means “imbecile” in French.

    †The “paint” is colored cocoa butter.

     

    Boxes are available in 4, 9 and 32 pieces: $9.99, $18.99 and $59.99. Get yours at KohlerChocolates.com.

     
    ABOUT KOHLER CHOCOLATES

    Kohler, known for fine porcelain fixtures and The American Club resort in Kohler, Wisconsin, was seriously considering purchasing a chocolate company to provide guests with fine confections. But CEO & Chairman, Herbert V. Kohler, Jr., loved chocolate caramel turtles, and couldn’t find a company that made the perfect turtle.

    So he challenged the chefs at his resort to create a better turtle. After much testing, a recipe emerged that met Mr. Kohler’s standards for flavor, texture and appearance. This morsel evolved into the signature Terrapins that launched Kohler Original Recipe Chocolates in 2007.

    WHO WAS ST. PATRICK?

    A figure shrouded in myth, the man who became the Apostle of Ireland was born in England, around 385 C.E. to a prominent Christian family. He was captured by pirates at age 16, brought to Ireland and sold into slavery.

     

    green-tea-emeralds-230

    The green tea-flavored Emerald. Photo courtesy Kohler.

     

    His master, Milchu, was a high priest of Druidism, a Pagan sect that ruled religious influence over Ireland at the time. The enslaved young man worked as a shepherd, and during that time was called to Christianity.

    He escaped after six years, returned to his family and entered the priesthood, returning to Ireland as a missionary. As he converted Druids to Christianity, his teachings combined Irish pagan beliefs with Christian sacrament; he is credited with devising the Celtic Cross.

    After a lifetime spent converting of Ireland to Christianity—founding monasteries, organizing Ireland into dioceses and so forth—Patrick died circa 461.

    His birthday is not known, but St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17th, which falls during the Christian season of Lent. A religious holiday in Ireland, it has been celebrated for more than 1,000 years with a church service in the morning and a traditional dinner cabbage and Irish bacon.

    Corned beef is actually an American contribution to the holiday. Immigrant Irish learned how to make corned beef from their immigrant Jewish neighbors.

      

    Comments

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Old-Style Chocolate & New Learning Opportunities

    americanheritage_hotchocolate_hand-230

    A sip into the past. A cup of drinking
    chocolate with two chocolate sticks. Photo
    courtesy American Heritage Chocolate.

     

    Turn the clock back 400 years. You’re in colonial America. You can’t have a chocolate bar, because solid chocolate bars have not been invented.* But you can have a cup of luscious hot chocolate.

    In the 1700s, the chocolate making process (like most cooking) was very time consuming. Chocolate, made from the cacao beans grown in the Caribbean and Latin America, became a favorite drink among the colonists.

    American Heritage Chocolate, a division of the chocolate giant Mars, has recaptured the sophisticated flavors of that early hot chocolate, as well as the “eating chocolate” that was first created in 1847.

    The division focuses on historically authentic chocolate. The company sends educators to historical sites around the country to demonstrate early chocolate making: roasting the cacao beans, winnowing off the shells, breaking the bean into nibs and flavoring them with sugar, salt and spices from around the world: annatto, anise, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange peel, red chile and vanilla.

     
    *Solid chocolate was invented in 1847 in England. Here’s a historical timeline of chocolate.
     
    IN NYC ON PRESIDENTS DAY?

    On Presidents Day, February 17th, American Heritage Chocolate will be at the New York Historical Society in New York City, demonstrating the drink that was enjoyed by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

    The kid-friendly demonstrations (held from 12 to 4) begin with the imported cacao beans, to the extraction of chocolate from the beans, to the finished hot chocolate. Attendees get to sample it, although the 21st century Cocoa Latte machine they employed sure beats the 18th century hand-whipping with a stick in a chocolate pot.

    The entire process is on display, including all of the spices, plus the fascinating experience that even food writers will cherish: tasting the component parts of chocolate (the cocoa butter, the chocolate liquor and the milk powder that creates milk chocolate).

    Participants also get to taste “chocolate sticks,” cylinders of chocolate that look historic but wouldn’t have been available until the second half of the 19th century (in time for Lincoln, but not for Washington and Jefferson).

     

    AMERICAN HERITAGE CHOCOLATE PRODUCTS

    The American Heritage Chocolate brand was developed in 2006 by Mars Chocolate North America to help educate consumers about the history of chocolate in America. The delicious products are sold exclusively at heritage sites and museums†, an exclusive revenue opportunity for those worthy organizations. You can find the site nearest to you online or online, including Colonial Williamsburg website.

    The chocolate recipe was created from an ingredient list from 1750, and represents a true taste of the chocolate our ancestors would have enjoyed. The product line includes:

  • Chocolate Sticks: Individually-wrapped single serving chocolate sticks
  • Chocolate Bites: Individually-wrapped, bite-size chocolates in a keepsake muslin bag
  • Chocolate Blocks: Two chocolate blocks, perfect for grating, chunking, shaving or baking
  • Chocolate Drink: A canister filled with a bag of finely grated chocolate for drinking or baking
  •  

    chocolate-stick-2-230

    Individual portion chocolate sticks are 63% cacao and excitingly flavored. Photo by River Soma | THE NIBBLE.

     

    And aside from being a bit of history, the products are truly delicious—and special. The spices wake up the palate in a way that the typical chocolate bar Americans enjoy cannot hope to do. Connoisseurs will love it, too.

    The products are so special, they’re our Top Pick Of The Week.

    This morning, we woke up and prepared a cup for Valentine’s Day.

  • It’s so rich, an espresso-size cup is perfect. A 12-ounce mug could do in the most enthusiastic hot chocolate lover.
  • We personally prefer to make it with milk, rather than water. Try both and see which you prefer.
  • The recipe recommends a 1:1 ratio of liquid to chocolate. If it’s too rich and spicy for you, add more milk/water, and use less chocolate the next time.
  •  
    †It is sold at more than 130 fine gift shops at historic sites, museums and historic inns across the U.S. and Canada.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Uses For Shaved Chocolate

    Working on Valentine recipes, we’ve been shaving a lot of chocolate for garnishes, and to incorporate into recipes like shaved chocolate ice cream. (It’s our preferred version of chocolate chip ice cream. The thinly shaved chocolate delivers more chocolate flavor than frozen-hard chocolate chips.)

    GRATED VERSUS SHAVED CHOCOLATE

    Grating tools have smaller holes and create bits of chocolate for garnish. Shavers have slits that produce strips and curls of chocolate.

    For garnishing, gratings and shavings can often be used interchangeably. There are exceptions, like the traditional long chocolate shavings on a Black Forest Cake; but some pastry chefs use grated chocolate and even chocolate chips for the garnish.

    And the same techniques can be used to grate cheese—you can garnish cupcakes and ravioli with the same tool, as well as coconut and vegetables and hard fruits, from apples, carrots and onions to zucchini.

     

    chocolate-grater-microplane-230

    Easy grating with a Microplane Gourmet Shaver. Photo courtesy Microplane.

     

    In fact, experiment with what you own before buying something new. We’ve found that our classic Zyliss rotary-style cheese grater also grates chocolate, while our classic Microplane grater/zester produced too fine a consistency for our use.

    We also have a William Bounds Chocolate Mill, which we fill with chocolate chips and bring to the table so people can grate their own garnish. Here’s our review. It’s a fun gadget but not as versatile as the options below.

     

    grated-chocolate-comfortandjoy-230

    Chocolate shaved with a professional-grade
    peeler. Photo courtesy ComfortAndJoy.com.

     

    TOOLS TO SHAVE & GRATE CHOCOLATE

    Microplane Chocolate Shaver

    We find using a grater with a handle to be the easiest. You may not want to acquire an extra gadget, but once you have it, peruse our “uses for shaved chocolate” list below. You’ll probably find ways to use it several times a week.

    We most often use a Microplane Large Shaver, the shaver shown in photo above. There is also a medium ribbon grater.

    Vegetable Peeler

    You can also use a standard vegetable peeler. A peeler doesn’t create fine shavings like a ribbon grater, but the result may be just fine for your needs. Simply hold the chocolate firmly in place on the surface (we like to hold it on a non-slip silicone trivet) and shave down the edge of the chocolate.

    A peeler is the tool to use when you want larger chocolate curls. Note that you need to peel the curls from a larger block of chocolate, not a thin chocolate bar.

    Box Grater
    The large and small holes on a box grater worked to grate chocolate, but at more peril to our knuckles (we rarely use a box grater for this reason). We preferred the Microplane and the peeler.

     
    USES FOR SHAVED & GRATED CHOCOLATE

    Shaved chocolate is usually a garnish, atop another food; but it can also be used as an inside ingredient.

    On Foods

  • Garnish for cakes (Black Forest Cake is a classic), cupcakes, cheesecakes and other baked sweets
  • Filling for cakes (use it to top the ganache, custard, jam or other filling material)
  • Garnish for pies: chocolate, coffee, vanilla, etc., plus pastries like cannoli
  • Garnish for custards and puddings
  • Bread: Make chocolate toast—like cinnamon toast, but with the addition of grated chocolate; or grate on hot cinnamon rolls or onto the dough before rolling; on peanut butter sandwiches
  • Chocolate popcorn!
  • Ice cream
  • Anything with whipped cream
  •  
    On Beverages

  • Coffee drinks
  • Hot chocolate
  • Cocktails: chocolate, vanilla, butterscotch, strawberry, etc.
  •  
    WARM IT OR FREEZE IT?

    Some people recommend that you place the chocolate in the freezer for about 10 minutes prior to shaving. Others swear that chocolate grates more easily if it is slightly warmer than room temperature, and microwave the bar for a few seconds.

    This will depend on the particular chocolate: the higher the cacao content, the harder the chocolate; the more added butterfat, the softer the chocolate. See what works best for you.

      

    Comments

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Éclat Chocolate

    hearts-eclatchocolate-230

    Chocolates to fall in love with. Photo courtesy Éclat Chocolate.

     

    Oh, how lucky the people of West Chester, Pennsylvania are. Seven days a week they can stroll into Éclat Chocolate at 24 South High Street and select tempting confections.

    Everyone else can order the chocolates online or by phone (1.610.692.5206). Some items are available at Dean and Deluca (New York and California) and DiBruno Bros. in Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square.

    But the temple to the marriage of great chocolate and art is located 25 miles west of Philadelphia, close to Valley Forge; and 17 miles north of Wilmington, Delaware. And it is close to our hearts.

    For Valentine’s Day we want:

  • The beautiful bonbons, both hearts and classic shapes
  • The exquisite caramels, round domes of chocolate filled with buttery liquid caramel)
  • The glamorous, modern mendiants—disks of beauty
  • The melt-in-your-mouth chocolate truffles
  •  
    There’s more, but Easter is coming.

     
    Chocolatier Christopher Curtin is the first American to be awarded the honor of German Master Pastry Chef and Chocolatier in Cologne, Germany.

    He honed his skills in the finest chocolate houses of Belgium, France, Germany, Japan and Switzerland, and the results will please the fussiest connoisseur.

    In French, éclat (pronounce ay-CLAH) can mean:

  • Great brilliance, as of performance or achievement.
  • Conspicuous success.
  • Great acclamation or applause.
  •  
    We applaud all three.
     
    Head to EclatChocolate.com. Just looking at the beautiful photos is a most satisfying experience.

      

    Comments

    VALENTINE GIFT: Moonstruck Chocolates

    Yes, Moonstruck Chocolate has a red heart-shaped box filled with delicious bonbons (10 pieces, $30.00). But the fine chocolatier also has some different offerings for Valentines with special tastes.

  • Sea Salt Caramels (in photo) have been given the Valentine’s Day treatment with Merlot-infused sea salt crystals. The vanilla caramel is cooked in an open copper kettle with pure sea salt, then enrobed in your choice of dark or milk chocolate and hand-decorated with sea salt crystals that have been infused with a robust vintage Merlot. A box of 20 caramels is $45.00. Think purple passion plus a unique taste experience.
  • Heart To Heart Truffles echo the classic Valentine hard candies with messages like Be Mine, Kiss Me and Sweet Talk. These bonbon versions have the same pastel exteriors (tinted white chocolate) but are filled with flavored ganaches: Cointreau, Blackberry Honey, Peanut Butter, Pinot Noir and Strawberry. You can buy a box of mixed flavors or the solo flavor of your choice. A five-piece box is $11.25.
  •  

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    Merlot salt caramels: purple passion. Photo courtesy Moonstruck Chocolates.

     

     

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    Love bugs for kids of all ages. Photo courtesy
    Moonstruck Chocolate.

     
  • Love Bugs are bittersweet dark chocolate ganache flavored with natural strawberry, in the shape of an adorable love bug. Hand-dipped and hand-decorated, a box of 18 truffles is $67.50.
  • Oregon Distillers Collection, for the spirited Valentine, is a nine-piece collection of truffles featuring spirits from five of Oregon’s finest craft distillers. The truffles are beautifully painted “edible art.“ The box is $20.00. The chocolates contain approximately 2.5% alcohol content by weight. The flavors include Bendistillery Crater Lake Pepper Vodka Truffle, Bull Run Temperance Trader Bourbon Whiskey Truffle, House Spirits Distillery Krogstad Aquavit Truffle, Clear Creek Distillery Oregon Apple Brandy Truffle, House Spirits Distillery Coffee Liqueur Truffle, House Spirits Distillery Aviation Gin Truffle, Rogue Ale Dead Guy Whiskey Truffle, Clear Creek Distillery Oregon Pear Brandy Truffle and Bull Run Distillery Pacific Rum and Cola Truffle.
  •  
    These specialties and much more are available at MoonstruckChocolate.com.

      

    Comments

    VALENTINE GIFT: Favorite Gourmet Chocolate

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    Wildflowers & Hearts chocolates (the box is
    in the photo below). Photo courtesy John &
    Kira’s.

     

    One of our favorite chocolatiers, year in and year out, is John & Kira’s. Using Valrhona couverture, the exquisite flavor, beautiful design and a touch of whimsey make us want box after box.

    We love the Chocolate Bees and Lovebugs (chocolate ladybugs). Our favorite product, perhaps because there’s nothing like it elsewhere, are the Chocolate Covered Figs, filled with a whiskey-accented chocolate ganache.

    But for Valentine’s Day, the Wildflowers & Hearts box seem spot-on. Order yours at JohnandKiras.com. A nine-piece box is $29.

    Red Chocolate Hearts are dusted with a golden sheen and filled with cinnamon-accented pistachio ganache. Wildflowers are 66% cacao chocolate ganache.

    A nine-piece gift box is $29.00.

     

     

    VALENTINE’S DAY HISTORY

    The holiday named for the Christian saint Valentine had its beginnings as the raucous annual Roman festival of Lupercalia, held on February 15th. Men stripped naked and spanked maidens with whips with the goal of increasing their fertility. It was a wildly popular event.

    In the fifth century C.E.—at least 150 years after Emperor Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire—church leaders sought to convert popular pagan festivals into Christian festivals. (Christmas is another example of this.)

    Conveniently, there was a legend about St. Valentine to which Lupercalia could be pegged. According to the story, in the third century C.E. the Roman Emperor Claudius II, seeking to bolster his army, forbade young men to marry. The priest Valentine helped lovers by performing marriages in secret. For his defiance, Valentine was executed in on February 14, 270.

     

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    The nine pieces go quickly—but very happily. Photo courtesy John & Kira’s.

     
    THE FIRST VALENTINE CARD

    The first Valentine note on record was a couplet penned in the 15th-century by Charles, Duke of Orléans to his wife. The earliest surviving Valentine notes in English were written in 1477.

    But it wasn’t until the 19th century that cards became popular. Handwritten cards gave way to mass-produced greetings. By the mid-20th century, tokens of affection extended to other gifts, including flowers and chocolates.

    The first heart-shaped box of chocolates in North America was produced by Ganong Bros in Canada (founded 1873). The boxes were originally used during the Christmas season but subsequently remained for Valentine’s Day (source: Wikipedia).

    Today, we know enough about chocolate to care about what’s in the box. Hold the cardboard heart; send us John & Kira’s.

      

    Comments

    VALENTINE GIFT: Chocolate Covered Potato Chips

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    Oh so good! Photo courtesy Shari’s Berries.

     

    Some people would like box of creamy chocolates for Valentine’s Day.

    Others would gladly trade for a bag of chocolate-covered potato chips.

    Savory meets sweet when crunchy, salty potato chips are drenched in quality chocolate—in our humble opinion, the greatest improvement to the potato chip since it was invented (potato chip history).

    While you can find chocolate-covered chips at Trader Joe’s, more giftable versions come from Shari’s Berries, shown in the photo. A bag of 14 ounces of divine chocolate-covered potato chips is $24.99. The chips are certified kosher (dairy) by OU.

     

    For a more formal presentation, Neuchatel’s Swiss Chips, dipped in milk chocolate, are packaged in a purple and gold can, $8.00.

    Swiss Colony sells 8.5 ounces in a gift tin for $17.95.

    Enjoy them from the bag, can or a serving dish. Use them to garnish ice cream and other desserts. And hold us harmless from any addiction to chocolate-covered potato chips that may develop.

      

    Comments

    CHINESE NEW YEAR: Godiva Chocolate For The Year Of The Horse

    Lady Godiva rides in for the Lunar New Year.
    The image is larger than the actual
    chocolates. Photo courtesy Godiva.

     

    Some foodies end the Christmas-New Year holiday season in anticipation of Valentine’s Day. But don’t forget about Chinese New Year, celebrated by Chinese, Koreans and Vietnamese, who follow a different calendar than Western cultures. (There are actually a dozen different lunar holidays in Asia).

    Eating sweets symbolizes the beginning of a “sweet year.”

    The Year Of The Horse, begins on Friday, January 31st. If you were born in 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966, 1954, 1942, 1930 or 1918, this is your lunar year. If you follow astrology, you can check on what this means for your health, wealth, relationships and career.

    But regardless of whether your zodiac animal is a horse or one of the others (dog, dragon, monkey, ox, pig/boar, tiger, rabbit, rat, rooster, sheep, snake), you can treat yourself to a box of Godiva’s truly wonderful lunar year chocolates.

    This year’s selection from Godiva Chocolatier includes three spectacular pieces:

  • Dark Caramel Pear: crunchy caramel pear ganache with a touch of vanilla in a blend of milk and& dark chocolate, enrobed in dark chocolate.
  • Milk Cherry Almond: crunchy almond praliné, sour cherry and a hint of honey blended with milk chocolate, enrobed in milk chocolate.
  • White Pineapple Macadamia: nutty macadamia cream and sweet pineapple blended with white chocolate ganache, enrobed in white chocolate.
  •  
    Each offers a cascade of flavors and textures that are so much more glorious than the words used to describe them. They are exquisite chocolates, and we loved all three equally.

    The recipes were developed in Asia for the Asian consumer, and reflect those flavor preferences. The chocolates are less sweet than American-developed flavors—a boon for those domestic palates that have evolved to prefer a more moderate level of sweetness.
     
    Where To Purchase

    You can purchase the chocolates in Lunar New Year gift boxes, along with other Godiva pieces—20 pieces total for $50.00 and 32 pieces total for $120. They can be purchased in Godiva boutiques and online at Godiva.com.

    But our recommendation is to head to a Godiva boutique for a hand-packed box of 100% Year Of The Horse Collection. Seriously, we couldn’t get enough of them. They’ll only be in stores through January 31st.

    On days when you’re not eating the chocolate, check out the Lunar New Year specials at your local Asian restaurants.

     

    GODIVA CHOCOLATE MARZIPAN HEARTS

    Available only through Valentine’s Day (while supplies last) is another special treat: marvelous marzipan hearts, covered with your choice of dark or milk chocolate.

    Oh, how delicious! As with the Year Of The Horse collection, we couldn’t stop eating them.

    They’re available in Godiva boutiques only. Here’s a store locator: If you’re a marzipan lover, you’ll want more than a few.

    You may want to call first to make sure they haven’t run out; although there are plenty of other choices. But if your heart is set on marzipan hearts, you can always make your own with this recipe from AnEdibleMosaic.com.

     

    Photo courtesy AnEdibleMosaic.com.

     

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Make Your Own Peppermint Bark

    Peppermint bark is our favorite holiday confection, and our number one favorite bark is the Peppermint Cookie Bark from Enstrom’s, which also makes the best almond toffee we’ve ever had (and it’s also available sugar-free!).

    A one-pound box is $22.95 and worth every penny—and the line is certified kosher by Scroll K | Vaad Hakashrus of Denver.

    We enjoy a piece with a cup of coffee, and love giving it as gifts. Here’s a recipe if you want the fun of making your own bark. Remember: the better the chocolate, the better the bark.

    If you want to make cookie bark like Enstrom’s, you’ll also need a box of Famous Chocolate Wafers, the cookies used to make ice box cake.

    RECIPE: Peppermint Bark

    Ingredients

     

    Our favorite peppermint bark has chocolate cookie pieces. Photo courtesy Enstrom.com.

  • 12 ounces (about 2 cups) dark chocolate, chopped, or chocolate chips
  • 12 ounces (about 2 cups) white chocolate, chopped, or white chocolate chips
  • 8 peppermint candy canes
  • Optional: 1 cup Famous Chocolate Wafers, broken up
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COVER a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.

    2. PULSE candy canes in a food processor for 5-10 seconds each, until crushed into small pieces. You can also place them in a large Ziploc bag and crush with a rolling pin.

    3. MELT the dark chocolate (here’s how to melt [temper] chocolate). Pour onto the cookie sheet and use an offset spatula or other implement to spread it to about 1/8″ thickness. The chocolate does not have to be spread across the entire width and length of the cookie sheet, since the finished bark will be broken into pieces. Place the tray in the fridge to firm up the dark chocolate layer.

    4. MELT the white chocolate. Stir in 3/4 of the candy cane bits, reserving 1/4 for garnish. Spread a white chocolate layer evenly over the dark chocolate and evenly sprinkle the remaining candy cane pieces over the top. Press down very slightly to ensure they stick (you can use a piece of waxed paper to press down).

    5. RETURN the tray to the fridge for 30 minutes or longer to firm up the bark. Break apart by hand into small, uneven pieces.

      

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