Thursday, December 23, 2010

Simple Handmade Chocolates

Every year Jake's mom makes batches of these handmade chocolates.  Wait, before you get intimidated, hear me out.  There are only seven ingredients.  Kids can help with these and with this recipe you don't need to worry about chocolate temperatures or do math.  Jake helped make them while he was growing up because he wanted to eat them all.  :)

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.

7 ingredients


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
- Toothpicks
- Double boiler (or use big pyrex glass bowl and a pasta pot like me)

Day 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 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.    
 Jake's left handed so we put the wax paper lined cookie sheets and double-boiler on the left.  Then, we placed the paper plate of filling balls on a sauce pan to the right.  We also elevated the cookie tray so everything was at the same level.

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.


Cindy said... [Reply to comment]

Those look so yummy! I'm following you back. Thanks for visiting.

Jess and the boys said... [Reply to comment]

YUM! I will definitely be trying these this weekend! :)

I'm a new follower! Please swing by my blog as well, if you get a chance! I have an awesome All I Want For Christmas Giveaway Event going on right now! :)

And Then There Were 4..

Anestazia said... [Reply to comment]

Hey there! I'm a new follower from Bee Friendly. :) I also wanted to let you know that starting on the 26th, I'll be doing a New Year's Blog Hop and I hope to see you there!!

Anestazia <3

Life with the Lebedas said... [Reply to comment]

Those look awesome!! Thanks for sharing!

Tina Peterson said... [Reply to comment]

Hi - I'm already a follower I just wanted to invite you to Come Caroling with US! (I'm coming from a blog hop)

Let's Go Carolling....

Link UP Your Blog or Facebook page, visit as many of the blogs as you'd like and tell us YOUR favorite Christmas Carol! If you'd like to add a Christmas Welcome Post w/ a Video like some are doing - that's even better! Merry Christmas!

Danielle @ "We Don't Have It All Together" said... [Reply to comment]

Hi, I wanted to stop and say Merry Christmas! I have a giveaway going on. If you get a chance, enter... I am trying to boost the entries!! We Don't Have It All Together

Miss M said... [Reply to comment]

Love it!!!

I am a follower! i found you via blog hop/ following Friday.

Would appreciate the follow back if you don't mind

Liesl @ FabulousFashions4SensibleStyle said... [Reply to comment]

Looks delish!!!

Liesl :)

Christine Jargick said... [Reply to comment]

looks delish! But, I wonder, that is the reason for the wax? my mom used to use wax in her candies too but I never have.....

Miranda said... [Reply to comment]

Yummy! I'll definitely be trying these out!


maleahbliss said... [Reply to comment]

These look so so SOO good. I just may have to break out the candy making supplies today!

I'd love for you to link up to my new linky party!

maleahbliss said... [Reply to comment]

Thanks so much for linking up!! I really do think I'm going to try this tomorrow or the next day... Do you think I could use my kitchen aide for the 'dough' part?

I hope you'll link up again next week!

Madigan at madiganmade said... [Reply to comment]

Oh wow, these look wonderful. Love peppermint and chocolate.

Splendiferous Girls said... [Reply to comment]

WOW these look yummy....I will have to try this...found your blog via My Backyard blog hop..


Mandy @ Sugar Bee Craft Edition said... [Reply to comment]

Thanks for linking up to Take-A-Look Tuesday at Sugar Bee Craft Edition - I featured you today! - Mandy,

AllieMakes! said... [Reply to comment]

Those look really yummy! Thank you for sharing your recipe! You should come link this up to my weekly Thursday Making It With Allie Link Party! I think it would make a Fabulous addition!

Shannon said... [Reply to comment]

I think I just gained 5 pounds reading your post! :)

Mormishmom said... [Reply to comment]

These look so tasty! I'm marking them to make soon. Thanks for joining me at Funky PolkaDot Giraffe! I'm your newest follower :)

Brianna! said... [Reply to comment]

seems pretty simple!
and OH SO Delicious


Haley said... [Reply to comment]

Oh my word!!! Looks amazing!

Vanilla Bean said... [Reply to comment]

Thanks for the tip for adding wax to the melted chocolate? I've been trying to find ways to make my treats more smooth...I'm definitely trying that next time!

Lori@Paisley Passions said... [Reply to comment]

Looks DELICIOIUS! Thanks for sharing on Thrilling Thursday @ Paisley Passions :)

Life with the Lebedas said... [Reply to comment]

That looks really good!! :D Thanks for sharing & linking up for Mommy Madness!!

Hope you have a great weekend!

Mommy said... [Reply to comment]

holy yumminess these look amazing! thanks for sharing I'm a new follower from the hops :)

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