Who says that we have to wait until the end of the meal to eat chocolate? Make this festive season unforgettable for family and friends and add a sweet touch of this heavenly ingredient to each dish: from the cocktail and appetizers to the main dish and dessert.

Godiva Chocolate Martini

(For grownups only!)

Ingredients

1/2 shot Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur

1/2 shot Godiva Dark Chocolate Liqueur

1 shot Absolut Vanilla Vodka

Recipe provided by Kelsey’s Steakhouse in Valparaiso

Fruit Smoothie with Chocolate

(For all ages!)

Ingredients

1 cup frozen strawberries

1 frozen banana

1 cup chocolate milk

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

Whipped cream, optional

Chocolate bar for shavings

Directions

Place frozen fruit into a blender and allow it to sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes. This will allow the fruit to thaw slightly and make for easy blending.

Add the chocolate milk and cocoa powder. Blend until smooth and creamy.

If desired, top with whipped cream, fresh strawberries and chocolate shavings.

Note: If you are using fresh fruit, you may need to add a few ice cubes to thicken the smoothie up a bit.

Recipe adapted from MyBakingAddiction.com

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

8 ounces cream cheese

1 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions

Whisk butter, brown sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl. In another bowl, beat cream cheese until softened. Add butter mixture and powdered sugar; then add chocolate chips.

Cool in refrigerator before serving. Serve with graham crackers, or your favorite bite-sized cookie.

Recipe from Content That Works

Beef with Cocoa

Ingredients

3 pounds boneless beef roast

Sea salt and black pepper

4 large shallots, peeled and cut in quarters

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 cup red wine

1 cup of beef stock

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Season meat to taste with salt and pepper and place it in a skillet. Brown all sides of the meat over high heat. Place in roasting pan and cook in oven for 30 minutes.

Remove the meat from the oven and lower the temperature to 350 degrees. Place the shallots around the meat and cover the meat completely with the cocoa powder. Cook until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat registers 130 degrees, about 40 minutes more, or until desired degree of doneness. Remove meat and shallots to another dish and cover with aluminum foil.

Add wine to the pan, cook over medium heat about 3 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan. Add the beef stock and mustard. Cook until it has reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, transfer to a small container, and serve with the meat and the shallots.

Recipe adapted from Family Features

Cheese, Chocolate and Hazelnut Appetizer

Ingredients

8 ounces (1-3/4 cups) toasted hazelnuts, peeled

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup powdered sugar

4 ounces 60 percent cacao chocolate, melted

1/2 cup ricotta cheese

1/4 cup cocoa powder

Directions

In a food processor, combine 1-1/2 cups hazelnuts and sea salt to achieve a mixture similar to a paste. Add powdered sugar, melted chocolate and the ricotta cheese and reprocess to combine.

Spoon the mixture into a bowl or small mold covered with wax paper. Then cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.

When chilled, carefully remove the mold to a plate and sprinkle with cocoa powder. Crush the remaining hazelnuts and place on the chocolate mixture. Cut into wedges and serve on a cheeseboard.

Recipe adapted from Family Features

Chocolate Cherry Thumbprints

Ingredients

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

3 cups flour

1 cup cocoa

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 (21-ounce) can cherry fruit pie filling

½ cup chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla and mix until combined. Add flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Mix until combined.

Roll dough into two-inch balls. Place on greased baking sheet or baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Press thumb into center of cookie to make well. Place cherries into each cookie.

Bake for 12 minutes. Allow cookies to cool.

Melt chocolate according to package directions. Drizzle over cookies. Let chocolate set and serve immediately or store in airtight container.

Recipe from Family Features

Black Forest Poke Cake

Ingredients

1 box chocolate cake mix

2 large eggs

¾ cup milk

½ cup vegetable oil

1 (16-ounce) jar hot fudge sauce

1 (21-ounce) can cherry fruit pie filling

2 cups heavy whipping cream or whipped topping

1-1/4 cups powdered sugar

Chocolate bar for shavings

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cake mix ingredients as listed on box. Beat on medium speed until well combined.

Bake cake in 9-by-13-inch pan for 20-22 minutes. Check doneness by inserting toothpick into center of cake. Toothpick should come out clean. Allow to cool 10 minutes.

While cake is still warm, use end of wooden spoon or another round object and poke holes all over top of cake.

Heat jar of hot fudge sauce in microwave for about 30 seconds, or until you can stir and thin it out. You may need an additional 30 seconds. Pour sauce on top of cake and allow it to absorb. Let set until completely cooled.

Open can of fruit filling and pour over top of cake; spread evenly.

To prepare whipped cream, put bowl and whisk attachment in freezer for 5-10 minutes to get them really cold. In cold mixing bowl, pour in heavy whipping cream and beat on medium speed about 3 minutes. Add powdered sugar and increase speed to medium high. Beat until stiff peaks form. Spread whipped cream over top of cake.

Chop chocolate bar into small pieces and sprinkle over top of cake. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Recipe adapted from Family Features/Julianne of BeyondFrosting.com

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