For Chocolate Lovers only

Happy New Year! My name is Stephanie Zonis, and welcome to the January, 2003 edition of For Chocolate Lovers Only! Each month, you'll find recipes, tips, and recommendations on great chocolate specialties. This month, I'm kicking back a bit after the holidays, so the recipes are simple variations on the all-American chocolate chip cookie. Quick to make, easy to eat, and fun, whether you've decided you need a break from our high-tech lifestyle or you're teaching a young'un about the joys of baking. Let's get into the kitchen!

Chocolate Recommendation of the Month: When you hear the term "organic", do alarm bells sound in your head? Like so many others, I once associated organic foods strictly with navel-gazing neo-hippies, but times have changed, and so, I'm delighted to report, have organic foods. Witness this month's Chocolate Recommendation, Dagoba Organic Chocolate Company in Central Point, Oregon. All of their chocolate creations are organic; even the few non-organic ingredients are all-natural, non-irradiated, and non-genetically-modified. Incredibly, the production facility is also powered completely by renewable energy sources! This company may be small, but they are veritable giants in their concern for their raw ingredients and those who produce them; their philosophy embraces fair trade, ecologically-friendly manufacturing, and organic/sustainable agricultural practices.

Well, all of this land stewardship and fair-mindedness is wonderful, I hear you say, but how's the chocolate? Impressive, I think. In recent years, I have turned away from milk chocolate as being too sweet and insufficiently flavorful, but the milk chocolate and chocolatte bars they offer might get me to go back to my old favorite (particularly the latter, with the slight crunch of espresso beans and just a pinch of cinnamon). Dark chocolate fans, your needs are not forgotten-try the roseberry, lime, or mint. Dagoba Organic Chocolate Company also makes ChocoDrops (ideal for baking, if you can stop nibbling on them!), a hot chocolate mix, and cocoa powder; they even offer bulk organic chocolates. Bars are available in a cute 2 ounce size (perfect for sharing), and there's a sampler box with one of each variety for those of you who like to be thorough in your chocolate research projects. If you're looking for a nice Valentine's Day gift for your sweetie, I'm betting this company can make your life a little easier. You can find Dagoba Organic Chocolate Company at their website (—check out the wild Ingredient pages), or call them at (541) 664-9030.

Do you have a comment, question, or suggestion? I'd like your input into this column. You can reach me at: Thank you!