I used to think that making candy was a long and involved task, but then realized that many candies are just ingredients covered in chocolate. What could be better? Chocolate on top of almost anything makes it better, so covering fruit, nuts and other salty snacks with chocolate makes the perfect candy.
This afternoon Zeb and I spent an hour and a half working on three different chocolate covered concoctions and now have enough candy for Grace to give as gifts to all her coworkers, to send to a friend in Florida, and to give to our neighbors. Time well spent!
There are several ways to attain just that right blend of chocolate for covering various ingredients. One is to buy the prepared chocolate dip in the baking section at the grocery store, another is to use a combination of milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and semi-sweet chocolate baking chips, and my favorite — buying chocolate from a candy making specialty shop.
My favorite chocolate to use when covering fruit or nuts is Nestles. At the specialty shop in our area I buy both milk and dark chocolate and then use a combination of the two to attain a not too sweet chocolate, perfect for dipping. Using baking chips, however, works just as well in a pinch, as does the prepared chocolate dips. I just like having an excuse to go to the specialty chocolate shop. There’s always so many fun things to see.
Once you have your chocolate melted, either in a double boiler or the microwave, all you need to do is add the nuts, coconut or fruit. Today I added peanuts to make peanut clusters and coconut to make coconut clusters.
Once those two were setting in the garage (as it’s fairly cold out so I didn’t need to put them in the freezer) we set to work on melting more chocolate and dipping mini pretzels. Then while they were still wet we sprinkled them with nonpareils. Quite festive, don’t you think.
There are so many other things you can dip or cover in chocolate: Raisins, cherries, cranberries, pineapple, almonds, and even potato chips. Now I’ve got a list of things to work on tomorrow. There’s no such thing as too much candy or too much chocolate, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.