A box of chocolate is a versatile gift that most anyone will appreciate. It will be appreciated even more if those chocolate goodies are homemade. Here are three simple recipes for chocolate treats. Prepare a batch of each, arrange them nicely in a few flat boxes, and distribute them to your friends and family members as holiday gifts. (Sample one or two yourself, too!)
Classic Caramel Turtles
Caramel turtles are a classic, and this recipe calls for just three ingredients. Make sure the chocolate you choose is of really good quality. Look closely at the label, and steer clear of any chocolate that lists artificial sweeteners -- you want chocolate sweetened only with sugar. Also make sure the chocolate contains real cocoa butter, rather than "cocoa butter equivalents."
- 1 pound of good quality dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- 32 pecan halves
- 16 wrapped soft caramels
Lay a sheet of wax paper out on a baking sheet. Arrange the pecan halves so that they are in 16 pairs. The paired pecans should be placed long side by long side with no space between them. Leave about an inch of space between each pair of pecans.
Add water to the bottom compartment of a double boiler. Once it is simmering, add the chocolate to the top compartment. Stir constantly until the chocolate melts. Then, turn the heat off, and let the chocolate sit in the double boiler while you work on the caramels.
Unwrap the caramels, and place them in a pan. Heat them over low heat while stirring constantly, until they are melted completely. Drop a small spoonful of caramel over each of the pecan pairs.
Next, drizzle chocolate over each of the pecan pairs until the pecans and caramel are completely covered. Try to keep the candies circular in shape; don't worry if they're a bit uneven, since this just makes them look homemade.
Let the chocolates set. When they are solid, peel them off of the wax paper, and package them as desired.
This chocolate treat comes together in minutes but tastes like it took you all day.
- 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 14-ounce can of sweetened, condensed milk
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, and set it aside. Combine the chocolate and sweetened, condensed milk in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir, and microwave for an additional minute at a time, stirring after each minute, until the mixture is smooth.
When the chocolate is completely melted, stir in the walnuts and coconut. Spread the mixture into the lined pan. Place the fudge in the refrigerator to set. When it is set, you can slice it into pieces and share it with friends.
White chocolate lovers will be delighted to find this treat in their chocolate box. If you're not a fan of peppermint, you can use cherry flavored candy canes instead.
- 12 candy canes
- 12 ounces white chocolate
Line a large, flat baking sheet with wax paper. Spray it with a little non-stick cooking spray, and set it aside.
Place the candy canes in a resealable bag. Use a rolling pin or a hammer to crunch them into small pieces.
Place the white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for about 3 minutes, stirring after each 30 second segment. As soon as the chocolate is completely melted, stop microwaving it -- otherwise you may scorch it.
Stir the crushed candy canes into the chocolate, and then spread the mixture out on the wax paper-lined sheet. Try to create as thin a layer as possible.
Place the peppermint bark in the refrigerator. It should harden within about 30 minutes. Remove it from the fridge, peel off the wax paper, and break it into 2-inch chunks.
For an extra special touch, consider putting your homemade chocolates in custom chocolate boxes before gifting them to your friends and family. Check out a site like http://www.abdallahcandies.com for more information on buying custom chocolate boxes.Share