Who doesn’t love chocolate?! The rich, sweet taste appeals to everyone from little kids to their great grandmothers.  So if you’re looking for that special ingredient to add something extra to your next party, why not choose this delicious treat?  You can make it your entire party theme or just the crowning touch to your celebration.  Here are seven ways you can use chocolatey goodness to elevate your party to the next level.

1. Invitations.  Set the tone for your party by choosing invitations with a rich cocoa brown color scheme.  It’s become a trendy color in the past few years, so the invitations shouldn’t be difficult to find.  Add a drop of chocolate fragrance oil, scented perfume or even scratch and sniff stickers to the back of the envelope before mailing.

2. Atmosphere.  Just about any candle shop will carry candles scented with this delicous fragrance.  Scatter these small lit candles around the party to create an inviting ambiance.  Decorate with cocoa brown balloons.  You can use other balloon colors to accent the brown, such as silver, gold and red.  If you want to take it a step further, you can have napkins, plates and tablecloths in the same or coordinating color.  Using your digital camera on macro mode, take super close up photos of candy bar wrappers or the inside of a Whitman’s sampler or box of truffles.  Make poster size enlargements of your pictures and display them at the party.

3. Chocolate Fountain.  This makes an elegant centerpiece and is a lot of fun.  Although a word of warning, it also very messy.  You can buy these small fountains for a reasonable price and rent larger ones.  For a cheaper alternative, consider a making a rich chocolatey fondue.  You can still dip pieces of fruit, cake, marshmallows, graham crackers and pretzels into the mixture.  But since the fondue tends to be a bit thicker in consistency than the fountain, there is also less mess potential.

4. Games.  If you’re having an entire theme party, you might want to also include some games.  Hide gourmet wrapped truffles for a sort of Easter egg hunt.  You could fill a jar with M&Ms and have everyone guess how many candies it contains.   The person that comes the closest can take home the entire jar as a prize.  Play trivia by researching candy facts online.  Use wrapped confections as game pieces for bingo or other games.

5. Tasting.  You could build a whole party around this.  Invite your guests to taste and rate a variety of chocolates.  Break apart each bar and display on individual plates. Make sure you label each plate with it’s name, country of origin, and anything else interesting about it.  This way, your guests can distinguish between the samples, when they mark the cards you printed for their ratings.  Don’t forget to offer breadsticks and crackers to cleanse the palate between tastings.

6. Unique menu items.  Instead of just the usual devil’s food cake, how about croissants filled with this rich ingredient?  Replace standard brownies with cocoa raspberry cookie bars.   You can serve white, milk or dark chocolate covered potato chips, popcorn and orange peel. Believe it or not, they actually sell bacon that has been coated in this delectable confection.  You don’t have to go that far, but it certainly would be a conversation starter!

7. Chocolate favors.  Whether you have a candy theme party or a regular traditional event, you can’t go wrong if you send your guests home with tasty party favors.  Personalized chocolate-bars are popular.  The candy bar wrappers are imprinted with your message and sometimes even a photo.  You can also find little mint size tins filled with these gourmet treats with the top cover displaying a personalized design customized for the occasion.  Your party favors don’t have to be limited to the edible variety.  You can also give away cocoa scented candles, lip balm and bath beads.  Or how about a funny T-shirt or magnet with a quote about this dreamy confection?

So, the next time you plan a party, think about this delicious treat.  Whether you add just a little sweet touch to your celebration by giving your guests chocolate favors, or pull out all the stops and throw a big cocoa theme party, your guests will be delighted.

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