Chocolate took over this year. Right after our big chocolate weekend of the year, I somehow ended up elbow deep in chocolate the following weekend.

It started out innocent enough… I needed cookies for a benefit concert and figured those would work for our office party too. I made a batch of these amazing (and addictive) nutmeg maple butter cookies (though I recommend adding extra nutmeg if you want to taste it and cutting them closer to 1/4 inch think for a better chewy flavor). I cutout various shapes and drizzled with dark, milk or white chocolate (I also had this amazing hazelnut milk chocolate that was perfect with these cookies!) and dipped some in dark chocolate as well. Then a variety of sprinkles: crushed candy cane, decorative sugar, maple sugar, etc… Those alone made quite a pile of goodies but they were just the trigger.

The chocolate praline covered hazelnuts from the previous weekend were so tasty and easy that I made another batch – this time swapping the salt for cinnamon.

Then things really got out of hand when I went to buy the chocolate peanut butter bars I always get for my brother in-law. For whatever reason they’ve now added milk powder to the dark chocolate layer (really?) so those were off the table. How to solve it? Make homemade chocolate covered peanut butter balls of course. Very tasty, but next time I hope to do them when we have tempered chocolate.

And, of course I couldn’t leave my sister out… She’d requested chocolate peppermint truffles made from chocolate mint silk. Very easy (just messy) and VERY tasty.I left out the extract and instead added some crushed candy cane to the truffles and added the candy cane dust to the cocoa powder.

And finally (yes, there was more!). Even though I had my dessert for the office party, when my friend showed me a recipe for chocolate caramel tart I couldn’t resist. I was intimidated because I haven’t made caramel before, but it was pretty easy (just time consuming) and the tart shell was a dream – I’ll use that for other tarts in the future.

Some ganache (that I had to make at 6:30am the day of the party!) and a sprinkle of sea salt and this was an absolutely amazing dessert that will most definitely become a staple — mostly because my co-workers will demand it :)…

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