December 14, 2013 at 1:00 am

Maureen Tisdale

Let's Talk Food (& maybe win a cookbook): 'Chocolate' & the holidays

This cookbook features recipes for treats from Bittersweet Chocolate Tart with Salted Caramelized Pistachios to Brown-Butter Banana Cake with Chocolate Chips. (The Detroit News)

I do, and I don’t, think of chocolate when I think of the holidays.

Boxed chocolates, for sure — I was at my son’s day care the other day and they had a HUGE sampler out that whisked me right back to the little Whitman’s four-pack we used to get in our stockings as kids. And I very much think of chocolate when it comes to the one holiday treat I make every year, my family’s fudge (come back Monday for more on that).

But baking with chocolate at the holidays? Not so much; in fact, none of the seven cookies I made for that infamous cookie swap I told you about last week included real chocolate (white chocolate, you know, is more a chocolate derivative, and I actually used “white baking chips” that don’t have cocoa at all in the White “Chocolate” Macadamia Nut cookies). In my mind, chocolate already has its place in the holidays with the other confections.

Which isn’t to say that goes for everyone; my husband wasn’t too keen about the fact none of my cookies had chocolate (“What’s the point?” he asked about chocolate-free cookies; then, of course, after he tried them he wanted me to keep leftovers of reader Krystine’s White Chocolate Macadamia and reader Carole’s Molasses Sugar Cookies for him). And other bakers’ Chocolate Chip Raisin Cookies and Chocolate Bars at the cookie swap were big hits — so no-chocolate-baking-at-the-holidays might just be a me thing.

The good news, of course, is you needn’t relate chocolate to the holidays to want to get, or give, a chocolate-centered cookbook. In fact, I’m hoping “Fine Cooking Chocolate” (subtitle: 150 Delicious and Decadent Recipes, from the editors of Fine Cooking Magazine) is the perfect final in-time-for-Christmas Detroit News Saturday cookbook giveaway of 2013 because if the book gets trapped in the holiday mail rush past Christmas, hopefully the recipient would be just as happy to have it for post-holiday baking.

Still, we hope to get it to you before the big day, so please note this contest ends by Tuesday at 3 p.m.; your window to enter is brief.

If you’re interested in winning “Fine Cooking Chocolate,” send an email to Eats& with “Cookbook/Chocolate” in the subject line. Include your name and mailing address in the body. Enter only once by 3 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 17. A winner will be chosen at random from among entries. (If it’s after 3 p.m. Tuesday when you read this, the cookbook will no longer be available — but thanks for stopping by, and come back to for future giveaways.)

Good luck!

We’d love to hear your take on chocolate at the holidays in the comments below. You need a Facebook account to add comments, but they’re easy to sign up for, and free. Over the next few days, Detroit News Food Editor Maureen Tisdale will respond to comments or questions. You also can follow her on Twitter @reentiz. Join the discussion!