Friday, January 11, 2013

Swimming in Chocolate {Foodie Friday}

For my Christmas goodie bags this year I included chocolate dipped pretzels and chocolate dipped marshmallows. I didn’t take any pictures of the ones I made for Christmas because I ran out of time. I had lots of leftovers though, so I made dipped marshmallows and pretzels as treats for Caroline’s birthday party which is Saturday.

These can be found all over blog land. I never read a tutorial or recipe. I figured, melt the chocolate and dip. Easy peasy. Well..for the most part yes, but here is some advice and/or tips that make the experience a little easier.

1.       Use chocolate designed for chocolate coating purposes. This seems obvious, but don’t be tempted to try dipping things in melted chocolate from morsels.
2.       Don’t overheat the chocolate. I put mine if for 20 second intervals, stirring between each. If your chocolate is really thick, it’s likely that it’s too hot.
3.       I used a crockpot filled about 1/3 full with water that I had boiled on the stove and turned it on to high. I put the chocolate in our mason jars with wide mouths and set them in the crockpot to keep the chocolate warm. I saw this idea on pinterest, and it worked really well. I used to do the double boiler method which works fine, but this was much easier and resulted in much less clean up.
4.       If dipping marshmallows or anything else that can melt or is soft, refrigerate them first. This will help the chocolate to cool more quickly. I didn’t do this with the marshmallows, but should have. When we made oreo balls we put them in the freezer for 30 minutes or so to make them easier to dip and prevent the oreos from melting into the chocolate.
5.       Don’t add color to your chocolate. You can find candy coating chocolates in many colors. Adding color can change the texture of your chocolate and affect the way it does or (does not) harden
6.        Be patient! Let the chocolate drip off by tapping. If you have too much chocolate it will…well be a big mess, and if you are adding sprinkles they can fall off if you have big globs of chocolate. When I did the marshmallows, I used the back edge of a knife to scrape most of the chocolate off of the bottom. Then I dipped them in sprinkles.
7.       If dipping marshmallows, use chocolate. I much prefer marshmallows with chocolate as opposed to white chocolate.
8.       With the marshmallows I also preferred the nonpareils sprinkles. I also tried using sanding sugar and regular sprinkles. The color of the sanding sugar didn’t show up well with the chocolate (I didn’t try the white chocolate) and the regular sprinkles were heavy and had a tendency to fall off.
9.       Don’t pour hot melted chocolate into your trash can. Lesson learned. The first time I did this, it melted through the bag and is now stuck to the bottom of my trash can. I cannot get it off.
10.   I have seen many times when pretzels are dipped in chocolate and then white chocolate is added on top. This is best done once the chocolate layer is completely set. To get the best look put the white chocolate in a picnic type ketchup bottle. The small opening at the top will give you more control.

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