Children as well as adults love chocolate. Why? Because it's an indulgent treat, a delicacy to be shared. You can go to a chocolate shop and spend $15 for a box of candy or...you can make great-looking chocolates for a fraction of the cost. I'm going to show you how to have a ball making delicious candy that everyone will enjoy!
You will need the chocolate-flavored candy coating known as candy melts. They look like Hershey kisses but they are chocolate wafers. The flavored wafers' ingredients include sugar, vegetable oils, color and flavorings. It is easier than using real chocolate and if you're a beginner, your results are more likely to be successful. Chocolate candy melts are available in milk, white, dark, mint, butterscotch and all colors of the rainbow.
There are several ways to melt chocolate candy melts: Microwave oven, double boiler, slow cooker (crock pot) and warming tray:
- Microwave Oven: The microwave oven is a quick and easy way to melt chocolate candy melts. Use a 1-pound bag of candy melts. Place the melts in a microwavable container. Microwave at 20-second intervals until the texture is perfectly smooth.
- Double Boiler: A double boiler is created using two pans. The lower pan is filled with water. Heat the water on a low setting. Once the water is boiling, remove the pan from the heat. The top pan is used for the candy melts. Add the candy melts to the top pan (which sits atop the pan of boiling water) and stir constantly until the chocolate becomes smooth and creamy.
- Slow Cooker: A slow cooker is excellent for melting large amounts of chocolate. Make sure the setting is on low. Stir until smooth and creamy.
- Warming Tray: A warming tray has a flat surface and is rectangular in shape. It is similar to an electric skillet. It is long enough so that you can melt more than one color of chocolate candy melt at one time. It is imperative that the setting is on low to medium. As long as the setting is on low, the warming tray will not burn the chocolate. It will keep it nice and warm.
Here are 3 simple instructions for making professional-looking chocolates at home.
- Classic chocolate-covered strawberries. Let's say you're craving...mouth-watering strawberries dipped in chocolate. You'll want to make sure the strawberries are washed and dried. Hold by the stems, and dip them until they are covered with melted chocolate that is still warm. Let the excess drip back into the container. Place the dipped strawberries on a nonstick paper (wax paper or parchment paper). Refrigerate until firm. For a professional touch, you can sprinkle on coconut shavings, chopped nuts or you can use a spoon to drizzle white chocolate across the strawberries to add a design.
- Pretzels aren't just for beer. Something magical happens when pretzels are dipped in chocolate, especially when you use milk or dark chocolate. If you prefer the long rod pretzels, dip half the rod in melted chocolate (that is still warm) so that you can enjoy the combination of the salt and the sweet. Place your pretzels on non-stick paper. To give it that professional flare, add candied colored sprinkles.
- Move over See's Candies. In order to make your chocolate candy look as professional as if it were purchased from a chocolate store, you can use candy molds. Molds are a wonderful investment because you can make everything from flowers to cartoon characters from molds. Once you've melted the chocolate, spoon the chocolate into the mold. Tap the mold very gently to eliminate air bubbles in the candy. Place in the refrigerator for 5-7 minutes. Take the mold out of the refrigerator and turn it upside down above some non-stick paper on a flat surface. Gently tap on the mold and the candy will fall out with no difficulty. (Once the chocolate candy melts have been melted, the chocolate will harden at room temperature.)
You can purchase candy melts and molds at any craft store. It's a whole new way to add something different for your holidays and special events!