Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker and announce The Chocolate Adventure Contest 2012—Sandwich Cookie Edition, challenging bakers of all skill levels to create an original sandwich cookie recipe made with at least one Scharffen Berger chocolate product and at least one of twelve Adventure Ingredients. Entries are accepted from October 1, 2012 through January 2, 2013.

"The Chocolate Adventure Contest is a real reflection of our chocolate makers' passion for traveling the world in search of the best cacao beans," says John Scharffenberger, co-founder of Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker. "Chocolate lovers have the chance to embody this spirit of 'cacao hunting' adventure and create recipes using a unique set of ingredients that complement Scharffen Berger artisan chocolate."

The 2012 Adventure Ingredients, chosen to highlight the depths of flavors in Scharffen Berger extra-rich milk to extra-dark chocolate products and encourage sandwich cookie ingenuity, are as follows: banana, cacao nibs, coconut milk or coconut cream, chili pepper (any type: fresh, whole-dried or ground), corn meal, fresh ginger, pine nut, Sumatra coffee, sweet potato, tapioca or tapioca flour, tequila and yerba mate tea.

Entries will be judged based on creativity, taste, ease of preparation and whether the recipe reflects a spirit of adventure. The star-studded judging panel includes some of the country's foremost baking and chocolate experts: John Scharffenberger; Elizabeth Falkner, runner-up of the fourth season of The Next Iron Chef ; Alice Medrich, award-winning cookbook author and chocolate expert; Matt Armendariz, food photographer and owner of MattBites blog; and Angie Dudley, owner of Bakerella blog and creator and author of Cake Pops .

"Just a touch of originality can transform a traditional sandwich cookie into something really special," says Alice Medrich, who published the best-selling cookbook Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies. "There are infinite ways to recreate both the cookies and the fillings. A classic pairing of chocolate cookies with butter cream filling, for example, can turn into cacao nib wafers stuffed with a chili pepper-infused chocolate ganache. This year's contest submissions should be exciting!"

The Grand Prize-winning recipe will receive $25,000, and ten Culinary Honorees will take home a special Scharffen Berger chocolate engraved iPad. Prize recipients will also enjoy a custom selection of Scharffen Berger chocolate and signed copies of Alice Medrich's Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies and John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg's The Essence of Chocolate, signed by John Scharffenberger. The Grand Prize recipe will be featured on, and Winners will be announced in March 2013.