Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Sweet Stuff - chocolate candy on the gf/cf diet.

This was an older recipe from Facebook, and now that I understand the nature of melting things for candy better, I think I will have a better idea of HOW to properly melt it and not get the sticky-melty effect.  I usually store my candies in the freezer.  Even if I never get the hang of melting the chocolate properly to retain a confectioner's-like crispness to the outside,  it tastes great and does hold together to eat it.  It is not really messy, just not as neat as "store bought" candy.

I have two candy recipes I made a Christmas that were hits at school. These are gluten free, casein free, and soy free. If you haven't figured it out yet, Trenton is allergic to soy and wheat, and their doc wants the dairy out too.

1) chocolate sunbutter cups (think reeses)
2) chocolate covered pretzels

In both cases, melt the bag of chocolate chips in a double boiler or one smaller pan sitting inside a larger pan filled with water. It is easier to melt with less burning this way.

Recipe #1 (their teacher's favorite)
1 bag Enjoy Life choc chips
1 container of sunbutter or peanut butter, or other peanut butter substitute
paper candy liners (easy to find at a Michael's craft store or other place with a lot of baking specialty items)

Melt the chocolate.
-Put the paper liners out on a cookie sheet or in a tray sized to hold the cup-shaped liners.
-When the chocolate is melted, "paint" the chocolate on to the liners in the shape of a cup, leaving plenty of room in the middle for filling.
-Freeze or chill the chocolate until it hardens. This usually only takes a few minutes, so you can keep your remaining liquid chocolate soft on low heat.
-Fill the middle with your peanut butter or other peanut butter subsitute (in our case, sunbutter tasted very good in these candies). *
-Chill the candies again for a few minutes.
-Pour or smooth on remaining liquid chocolate to completely cover the filling.
* I have only made this once, and I am thinking that I need to mix the sunbutter with something that will thicken it a little bit, like a cornstarch. - Followup note: Mix sugar and a thickening starch or something into the filler.  It does work really well. Another followup note was to freeze the filler after rolling it out and flattening it into discs.  Unless you have a lot of cooking tools, it is hard to pour centers.  It it easier to set semi-hard centers into the chocolate cups and pour more chocolate on top.

Recipe #2

1 bag Enjoy Life Choc chips
1-2 bags Wylde's pretzels

Using melted chocolate,
-mix it and the pretzels together in a pan until the pretzels are all nicely coated, but not too coated.
-put large paper cupcake liners on a cookie sheet.
-using a spoon or tongs, put the pretzels, as clusters, into the cupcake liners.
- chill/freeze and enjoy.

I have only made both these recipes once, but I love them. I prefer to keep them stored in the freezer.

I am going to try it with maraschino cherries for some choc-covered cherries.

Oh, I have a new one now!!!! It is a spin on the pretzel recipe, only a chopped them up in the blender roughly, and threw in about 2 dozen mini candy canes. It takes almost like having a girl scout mint cookie.

I have made knock-off Almond Joy with this chocolate, sugar, coconut flakes, and almonds.  

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