Carolyn usually makes hers with maple flavoring now because she noticed the kids would pick through looking for them. You can make them any flavor you want (that you can find flavoring extract for anyway) but I wanted to make peppermint. I'm sure you're not surprised if you've seen our mistletoe mantle, party table coverings, or these treats. :)
The actual prep time for these isn't long but you'll need two days. The filling balls need to chill overnight before they can be dipped in the chocolate.
Dough filling (day 1)
-2.5 boxes Domino confectioners sugar
- 1 stick softened margarine
- 14 oz can Carnation sweetened condensed milk
- Peppermint extract (or flavoring of your choice)
Chocolate coating (day 2)
- 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 4 oz unsweetened baker's chocolate
- 1/2 block paraffin wax (found with canning supplies)
- Sturdy wooden spoon
- Large mixing bowl
- Cookie sheets
- Wax paper
- Double boiler (or use big pyrex glass bowl and a pasta pot like me)
DAY ONEDay 1 Step 1: Gather your filling ingredients.
Day 1 Step 2: Combine the sweetened condensed milk and softened margarine. Scrape every drop you can get out of the sweetened condensed milk can.
Day 1 Step 3: First add about 1 cup (and then 1/2 cup at a time) of confectioners sugar and fold/stir together.
Day 1 Step 4: A dough starts forming and your arm may feel like it's going to fall off. This is why you need a really thick, sturdy wooden spoon. Keep going, continue to add in the sugar, and add some peppermint extract to taste (1/2-1 teaspoon at a time). I think I may have used half the container.
Day 1 Step 5: Keep adding the 2.5 boxes of sugar until it's gone and check the flavoring. If your stirring arm gives out, you can call in reinforcements or use clean hands to finish mixing the dough together. The consistency will be similar to play dough or cookie dough when you're done.
Day 1 Step 6: Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and chill them. I preferred to keep them on the smaller side because the filling is sweet. Remember how much sugar we just used?! It'll be offset later by the dark chocolate. Put them in your freezer if possible. Carolyn has a side by side fridge so she piles hers into bread pans. I put them on coated paper plates as I rolled them. Once they were all rolled I stacked the plates in a large food storage container and popped it into the fridge. Don't stack them too soon before placing them in a chilled area because they'll get a bit flattened.
DAY TWODay 2 Step 1: Gather your chocolate dip ingredients.
Day 2 Step 2: Chop the chocolate squares and wax up a bit. Lay everything out near your stove top. Put a wax paper covered cookie sheet right next to your stove top too (for later).
Day 2 Step 3: Heat water in your double-boiler. My double-boiler is an ordinary pot with a pyrex bowl resting on the rim.
Once it looks something like this move on to the next step. :)
Day 2 Step 4: Add chocolate chips, chocolate chunks, and wax chunks. Melt and blend. Don't dump everything in at once; give this step a few minutes and you'll be rewarded with smooth and glossy chocolate to dip your filling balls in.
Day 2 Step 5: It's dipping time! Get your chilled filling balls out of the freezer (we did one plate at a time). Poke a toothpick into a ball, dip it into the melted chocolate, twirl the ball over the double-boiler until it stops dripping, place the ball on your wax paper covered tray, and twist the toothpick to release it. Repeat a few dozen times. :) BTW, Jake's man hands are in the photos below. I was busy playing photographer.
Plop and Twist
Day 2 Step 6: Chill again so chocolate can set well. Room temperature is ok too but it'll take longer. I prefer eating them chilled so we kept them in a gallon size ziploc bag in the fridge once they were firmly setup.
Another tip: Use the flat toothpicks that have a thinner head. We used some party picks that were round which left bigger holes on the tops of the chocolates and a bit of filling popped out of some. Anyone know the scientific reason for that? I don't. I'm just hoping you do. :) They still taste great and no one else seemed to notice.
Mmm. I can almost taste the frosty, peppermint goodness.
Here's a behind the scenes look at our chocolate dipping assembly line.
We made two batches (recipe above is for one) that tasted like peppermint patties and they were a hit. They don't have that toothpaste flavor (or texture) that some peppermint candies can get. Yay! One batch of these goes a long way though. They make a great handmade gift when wrapped in cello bags or small treat boxes.
UPDATE: Small amounts of wax are often used in older chocolate candy recipes. It helps thin the melted chocolate making dipping easier and also helps the coating setup and harden. The wax makes this recipe 'no fuss' because you don't need to worry about tempering the chocolate or track down candy melts. Nowadays you might be able to find and use candy melts like Wilton's instead.
Click here to see some of the parties we'll be mingling at this week.