Making Chocolate Candy ~ Holiday Sweets

Making Chocolate Candy ~ Holiday Sweets

**Originally posted December 22, 2018**
Melting chocolate for candy, to some it’s daunting, a disaster even. Let me tell you, I’ve had some bad experiences trying to melt chocolate for chocolate covered pretzels, etc using different methods. Some say it’s easiest to microwave chocolate to melt it. Heck, I picked up some Almond Bark at Target to try this year, and even the back of the package shows the microwave method first.

Luckily, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents when I was growing up. My grandma showed me how to make a double boiler for melting chocolate. In fact, I’ve had more failure s at melting chocolate attempting to microwave & melt chocolate. If you want, you can go out and buy a quality stainless-steel double boiler, but it’s not necessary.

You can easily use the method my grandmother taught me. She simply used 2 kettles stacked together, 1 had hot water on the bottom, and the top kettle had the chocolate to melt. The 2 kettles should be pretty similar in size. Make sure the top kettle will sit on the rim of the bottom kettle without any issues.

As long as you keep a close eye on both kettles, there shouldn’t be any issues. After bringing the water to a boil, keep it to a medium to low heat. Make sure the water pan is large enough to leave some room between the boiling water, and the top kettle. If the chocolate starts to cook more than melt, remove it for a minute, then put it back.   

Chocolate covered pretzels

By further breaking up the chunks of vanilla almond bark, it started to melt almost immediately, and it was completely melted in 2 minutes. Don’t forget to stir!
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I have had a few chocolate melting messy failures, mostly if I let the chocolate kettle sit for too long. The most important keys are to keep stirring the chocolate, to keep a fairly low, but consistent heat, and to keep the chocolate on top of the kettle with water as much as possible. 

I prefer to drop a few pretzels in the pan of chocolate, swirl them around, flip them over, etc. I used small metal tongs to pull the pretzels out, but you can also use a fork. I’ve used a fork plenty of times, but you may drop the pretzels before you get them out of the pan.

This also works well if you want to make chocolate peanut clusters. You stir in a handful of nuts, use a spoon to scoop and then carefully lay them on parchment paper or on wax paper.

My grandmother was a very thrifty person – she bought almost everything she owned second hand – but she invested in some of the most expensive cookware out there. They have a triple bottom. They are called “Lifetime cookware”. The company appears to still be around.
My grandmother bought hers from a door to door salesman, back in the 1950s or 1960s. Unfortunately, I had to fight my mother for them after she passed away. I only got 2 of the smaller kettles.

My grandmother’s “Lifetime Cookware” kettle, likely originally purchased in the 1950s.

After telling my aunt how much I wanted my own quality set of stainless-steel cookware, instead of a hodgepodge of cookware, she surprised me with a set of stainless-steel cookware for Christmas. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here, I made white chocolate/vanilla almond bark pretzels. I decided to top a few of them with mini Christmas M&M’s. I also topped some with butterscotch chips. Be sure to do this immediately, before the chocolate starts to set.  I was down to just a little bit of the white chocolate vanilla almond bark, so I stirred in half a package of butterscotch chips until they melted with it.

You can set some out on a little platter for your holiday party.

You could also put them in a cute little tin for a tasty homemade gift. They even sell cute tins, boxes, & holiday bags to use for your homemade gifts at the Dollar Tree.

Last year, I made these dark chocolate covered pretzels. Then, I put a couple marshmallows on top, & drizzled melted chocolate on top of the marshmallows. These were pretty addicting.

Last year, I also attempted chocolate rum balls for the first time (along with oatmeal cookies!)

To make the rum balls, I made brownies. Then, crumbled the brownies up, & soaked the crumbles in spiced rum for maybe 20 minutes.  After making brownie balls, & chilling them in the freezer 30-45 minutes, I dipped them in melted chocolate. Finally, I rolled those into crushed-up pretzel bits.

Perhaps all of this simply sounds like too much work?  Believe me, it is a lot of work, not necessarily hard, it’s just time consuming.  Although it is also rewarding when you’re done.  I only do this once a year. 

2 thoughts on “Making Chocolate Candy ~ Holiday Sweets

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