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Twelve inns of Amish Country presented the ultimate chocolate extravaganza as they celebrated five years of Christmas confections during the fifth annual Christmas Cookie Tour of Inns, Dreaming of a Chocolate Christmas, on Dec. 2 and 3. One thousand four hundred visitors from across Ohio and adjoining states enjoyed delectable sweet chocolate treats as they toured through chocolate themed inns. Hosted by the Amish Country Lodging Council, all net proceeds benefit Hospice of Holmes and Wayne Counties and the Love Center Food Pantry.
On their self-guided tour, guests received a specialty chocolate cookie at each inn. The delectable delights included a Triple Chocolate Chunk Pecan Cookie, Caramel Filled Chocolate Cookie and Santa's Chocolaty-Chocolate-Chip Cookie.
Inns on the tour presented a chocolate lovers journey of irresistible chocolate exploration. The Barn Inn showcased a beautifully decorated dining table dressed with a truffle cake and lemon-meringue mice atop chocolate cupcakes. The Berlin Grande Hotel offered up an old-fashioned chocolate penny-candy bar for guests to enjoy. Berlin Hotel and Suites served their Almost Healthy Chocolate Cookie in a beautifully decorated lobby. A cocoa bar, stocked with marshmallows, chocolate chips, chocolate and caramel syrup, and whipped cream warmed guests at the Carlisle Inn Sugarcreek. Guests entering the Carlisle Inn Walnut Creek were greeted with the delicious scent of chocolate candles, poured special for the event. The Comfort Suites Berlin showcased two guest rooms, one decorated in a white-chocolate theme, the other in a dark-chocolate theme. Santa and Mrs. Claus greeted guests with Hershey Kisses as they entered the brand new Country Inn and Suites Dover. Grapevine House offered guests sweet treats of chocolate chip cheesecake dip and cups of mocha punch. The Christmas tree at Hannah's House Retreat was decked in candy-cane candy-bar ornaments. Inn at Amish Door offered guests chocolate drizzle popcorn and brownies. Guests visiting Sojourner's Lodge were greeted with a beautiful view and a delicious, vegan Chocolate Spice Cookie. At Zinck's Carriage House, guests were treated to a tour of the lovely Cape-Cod style inn and Red Velvet Cookies.
Nettie Miller, of Winesburg, who has attended all five tours, said she appreciates the tour, "Because it helps other people, and this is what Christmas is about -- the birth of Christ and of sharing. Attending the tour puts you in the Spirit of Christmas." She is already looking forward to attending the tour next year.
Hospice of Holmes and Wayne Counties and the Love Center Food Pantry will each receive a check for about $10,000. "Oh, the power of a cookie," said Mark Rohrer, who, with his wife, Dorothy, co-directs of the Love Center. "This contribution has come at the right time, when we are providing food to more and more people who have fallen into hard times."
The Amish Country Lodging Council, operating under the auspices of the Holmes County Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to excellence in hospitality and "embraces the concept of giving back to the community," stated Loretta Coblentz, Cookie Tour chairperson. "Christmas is about love and sharing. Chocolate and cookies are a delicious vehicle to deliver that love. It is our mission to showcase our lovely inns, while at the same time bless our wonderful charity partners who provide care at a time when it is most desperately needed. On behalf of our hospitality partners, supporting businesses, vendors, and volunteers, we thank you for your contribution to this very worthy cause."
The tour is scheduled in 2013 for Dec. 8 and 9. For more information, visit www.christmascookietour.com, facebook.com/christmascookietour, or call the Holmes County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau at 330-674-3975.