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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tasty Christmas Treats

I don't think I have ever blogged about making chocolates.
They are very easy. I got all my molds at garage sales. I have Christmasy ones, Easter ones, Barbie ones???and multi occasion ones.
You can fill your chocolates with anything you can think of.
Today I wanted to make caramel chocolates and chocolates with cashews inside.
I bought these chocolate wafers at Cooper's. You can get them at almost all the grocery stores. They were .59/100g. You can also buy some specialty chocolate at the bulk foods stores. 
I bought 2 bags like this which were just under 2kg in total weight for $12.83. This will make A LOT of chocolates. As you can see in the cup in the first picture you only need a handful of wafers at a time. The chocolate hardens quickly so just warm what you can use up quickly.
First step is to melt the chocolate wafers in the microwave. Usually a minute or two depending on how hot your microwave runs! Put them in for a minute and then stir. Make sure no water gets in your chocolate!
Here are the empty trays. The square ones are perfects for caramel chocolates or even Nutella. The peanuts work great for nuts and 

peanut butter.

Next you CAREFULLY paint the trays with a thin layer of chocolate. Why carefully??? Well, if you miss a spot(it's never happened to me!) you will have a whole in your chocolate where your filling can run out. It's easy to check, you just lift your tray up and look underneath for clear spots. I am sure there is a special tool for painting chocolate molds, but I don't have it. We used to LOVE McDonald's little plastic spoons they had to stir your coffee, do you remember those? My neighbor in Alberta would have coffee there almost everyday and when he found out I loved those little stir sticks for chocolate making he gave me his. Problem is they broke and got lost and now they are no longer. So, my point is find a very small spoon. You need to use very little chocolate so that you have room for the filing and the coating. Now set them outside, or in your freezer for a few minutes so the chocolate can harden.
Next you add the filling. These ones I filled with liquid caramel. It's in the jam and honey section at the grocery store.
I just warmed it for 30 seconds in the microwave so it softens.
You want to fill your trays below the top so you have room to put 

the last layer of chocolate on.

Here you can see the cashews in the peanut trays. The top ones have already been covered with chocolate. Now they need to be set outside, or in the freezer to harden. Once they are done you turn the trays upside down and pop them out onto waxed paper.
Here I put them in a plastic container from store bought chocolates.
I have also used Christmas tins in the past.

There is still room for another layer of treats so of course I HAD to make some microwave caramel popcorn. The recipe is here. My next problem was packaging! I wanted to put another layer in here, but you CAN'T give someone just a small bit of caramel's just not right! So, since I seem to be very low on Christmas tins, I decided to use a gift bag lined with a waxed paper bag.
I am sure you can do something fancier than this, but here's what I managed to make as a gift bag liner bag. A little tissue paper and you are all set.

I tried to get that Ferreo Rocher sticker off but it just wasn't budging! The best way to make homemade chocolates is to do it with friends with Christmas music and something hot to drink. It's easy but can be a bit tedious so conversation and atmosphere help! If you are all inspired now and want to make chocolates right away you can look for the molds at your neighborhood second hand store. You could also buy them at Michael's using their coupon they usually have on their flyer. If you are going to Michael's can you check to see if they have a chocolate painting tool??? Now I'm curious! Happy Chocolate Making!

1 comment:

Dayna Dueck said...

We love making chocolates both at Christmas and Valentines day! I like how you recycled the chocolate containers. Great idea! Last year, I decided to go to Purdy's and ask if they sell bulk chocolate for making my own chocolates. And they do! I can't remember the cost (it wasn't super-cheap), but I only needed to buy 2 hunks of it and I had lots leftover to chop into cookies. I will do this again because those chocolates were SO good!!!