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Published September 04, 2013, 10:00 PM

The Great Indoors: Popular dips fulfill chocolate fantasies

I think I found my next ideal job: Chocolate trend analyst. I’d like to be that person who gauges what’s hot and what’s not in the world of chocolate.

By: Tracy Briggs, INFORUM

I think I found my next ideal job: Chocolate trend analyst. I’d like to be that person who gauges what’s hot and what’s not in the world of chocolate.

I envision myself sitting in my deep brown office decorated in Johnny Depp movie posters (both “Chocolat” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”) Johnny would look down as I’d have to test the newest products and recipes in my cocoa-filled world. Ahhhhhh.

This dream (delusion) came to mind the other day while I read about today’s “Chocolate Fantasy and Chili, too” event at the Fargo Holiday Inn. It’s the 30th year the event has been held to support the YWCA of Cass Clay. As always, it’s all the chocolate you can eat from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Not a bad way to support an important organization.

I started thinking about all of the chocolate consumed at this event for the last 30 years. Brownies and cookies and cakes, oh my! But is there something new that’s catching the eye of chocoholics the world over?

I looked no farther than Pinterest to find my answer. One of the hottest food pins in the last year or so has been cookie dough dip. It’s the perfect solution for those of us who eat half our cookie dough before we have a chance to bake the cookies. The dough dips contain no eggs, so there are no food safety issues (as long as you keep the dips refrigerated).

Make them full strength or lighten it up with Cool Whip instead of cream cheese. They all work well served with graham crackers, vanilla wafers or animal crackers.

Here are three of the hottest chocolate recipes on the web. Trust me, I’m a professional (in my chocolate dreams anyway).

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH DIP

½ cup butter

¼ cup brown sugar, slightly packed

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

½ cup confectioners’ sugar

1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar. Whisk together over medium-high heat until sugar has dissolved, about four minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla extract. Set aside and let cool, if you’re in a hurry, stick in the freezer for about 15 minutes.

In the meantime cream together the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar for 1-2 minutes.

Slowly pour in the butter mixture. Beat on medium-high until the mixture is combined and not separated. It may take up to five minutes.

Stir in the chocolate chips.

To make Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookie Dough dip: Add ¼ cup creamy peanut butter to the cream cheese and confectioner’s sugar mixture, and as you stir in the chocolate chips add some Reese’s peanut butter cup minis.

Source: www.chef-in-training.com

MONSTER COOKIE DIP

8 ounces Cream Cheese, softened

½ cup butter, softened

½ cup peanut butter (more if needed)

1 to 2 cups powdered sugar (even more if you really want it thick)

3 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup oats (more or less depending on desired texture)

1 bag qlain M&Ms

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a stand mixer, combine the cream cheese, butter and peanut butter until smooth. Whisk in the powdered sugar, starting with 1 cup or 2 cups. Whisk in the brown sugar, flour and vanilla.

At this point, add more peanut butter by ¼ cups until you’ve reached the peanut butter taste you prefer. Using a paddle attachment or a wooden spoon, mix in the oats, M&Ms and chocolate chips. Add more oats if desired.

Source: www.somethingswanky.com

SKINNY BROWNIE BATTER DIP

1 (18.4 ounce) box brownie mix dry

2 cups fat-free plain yogurt (not Greek yogurt)

2 cups lite cool whip thawed

Mini chocolate chips

Combine brownie mix, yogurt and cool whip together in a large bowl. Stir until completely combined. If desired you can stir in some mini chocolate chips as well. Garnish with mini chocolate chips.

Source: www.chef-in-training.com

Watch ‘The Great Indoors’ with Tracy Briggs every Thursday on www.InforumTV.com

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