Cocoa Cottage Bed and Breakfast Makes Top 16 in National “Sweets to Beat” Contest

Posted at 6:22 PM, Mar 31, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-31 19:04:51-04

WHITEHALL, Mich. (March 31, 2014) – Cocoa Cottage Bed and Breakfastis the only bed and breakfast in Michigan to make it to the top 16 recipes in’sthird annual “Sweets to Beat” Contest. This is the third annual “Sweets to Beat” line-up and it plays out like a culinary “March Madness.”

“Someone else might read a novel, and I’ll read two or three cookbooks and think ‘Oh, what if I took a little of this and a little of that,” said Lisa Tallarico, co-owner of Cocoa Cottage Bed and Breakfast.

Owners of the chocolate-themed Cocoa Cottage, Lisa Tallarico and Larry Robertson, say chocolate is a universal language, and they used their love of chocolate and trying new things to create “Breakfast S’mores,” a recipe reminiscent of their childhood memories.

“No family vacation was complete without s’mores around the campfire. That was really the inspiration,” said Tallarico.

After pouring through dozens of cookbooks and experimenting, their recipe is now a national contender for the country’s best sweet B&B breakfast.

“We started off by making several different graham crackers until we found one that we actually liked and we would make for say, my nieces and nephews, and then converted that into the waffle recipe,” explained Tallarico.

They say more than 100 recipes were submitted to who then worked with writers from agencies like “USA Today” and “Travel and Leisure” to pair recipes down to 64, then 32, and now only a sweet 16.

“Breakfast S’mores” is just one of many recipes they share daily with others.

“We love it. It’s really a nice way to be with people,” said Robertson.

Meanwhile, Lisa and Larry focus on cooking local, organic and gluten-free foods whenever possible. They always serve their homemade Chocolate Zucchini Bread, Lemon Yogurt Bread and fresh strawberries with a side of Mama Tallarico’s Hot Fudge with breakfast.

Voting for Cocoa Cottage’s “Breakfast S’mores” recipe ends Monday March 31. To give Cocoa Cottage a chance to make it to the “Excellent Eight,” you can cast a vote only on’s Facebook page.