(I decided to publish and add to this later.  There is so much more!)

Chocolate Ink  ~  Writing with pure delicious love

No doubt about it, chocolate helps!  Life can be hard, but chocolate is a definite plus. Once upon a time, I thought chocolate was the deadliest food in existence.  Then one day, I saw the light and fell madly in love.

Dark chocolate labeled ‘70% or greater’ contains the most cacao and the least fat, sugar, and milk solids, making it the most healthy and guilt free.  I carry individually wrapped squares or small bars when I travel, keeping the treat to a piece a day.  It is the best mid-afternoon ‘pick-me-up’ I have ever found besides filtered water.

Then too, there are related chocolate goodies.  For instance, chocolate raspberry coffee.  I used to think to myself, ‘eewww raspberry and chocolate?! Who likes that stuff?’  Yup, it’s me – I eat and drink the stuff now. I can even lose weight with my little chocolate buddy if I want to.  Best of all, I can sit down with a steaming cup of chocolate raspberry or Jamaican Kahlua and caramel coffee – and write, write, write, happy and contentedly without the fattening snacks that often plague sedentary activities.

I just introduced my daughter, an immensely creative entrepreneur, to chocolate-flavored coffee roasted with Kahlua and caramel.  She was flabbergasted when I served it plain.  But she loved, loved, loved it!  Generally she serves coffee with flavored creamer, spice, sugar, chocolate powder, milk, etc, many of which contain trans fat or can irritate a sensitive digestive tract.  Let’s check the choices.  Heart attack? No. Colostomy? Not a good selection.  Allergies and lactose intolerance?  NO, no, no, just gimme half a cup of roasted beans with a chocolate flavor built into them and I’m happy.

Oh, chocolate stars!  Speaking of which, here is a recipe for brownies I could eat by the batch.  That’s why I rarely make brownies or chocolate chip cookies.   Dark chocolate raspberry is chopped and mixed in the batter, while squares decorate the top. Thankfully, many of us can enjoy an occasional chocolate overload.

Using a paddle attachment in a stand mixer bowl, mix together 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter, 3/4 cup light brown sugar, 3/4 cup sugar and 1 Tb vanilla extract.  Add 2 large eggs, one at a time. Add dry ingredients (3/4 cup all purpose flour, 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder and 1/2 tsp kosher salt, sifted together).  Spread half of the batter in a lightly greased 8×8″ baking pan.  Cut a chocolate raspberry (or caramel or mint chocolate) bar into 8 pieces and place randomly across the top. Spread the remaining batter on top and bake at 350F for 30 minutes.  After cooling for 30 minutes, unwrap 9 dark chocolate raspberry squares and distribute evenly across top.  Cool, cut, and enjoy!

While we eat our brownies, let’s talk writing.  I use a chocolate theme in both poetry and prose.  To my surprise, writing about chocolate feels almost as decadent as eating it.  ‘Chocolate Town’ is part of my first novel. ‘Chocolate Snowman’ is in “Firelight”, an illustrated poetry volume.

Why does chocolate bring us joy?  How does it enhance the pursuit of creativity?