Thursday, December 3, 2009

Making candies for Christmas!

We will be making chocolates this weekend to add to our Christmas baskets: chocolate covered cherries, peanut butter cups, coconut creams, molded chocolate Christmas cards and a free-standing chocolate sleigh. I use candy molds to make them but you CAN make them without molds.

Chocolate Covered Cherries
  • 2 1/2 c. confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 c. butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 Tbsp. milk
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • maraschino cherry juice
  • maraschino cherries
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips or chocolate almond bark, melted with 2 Tbsp shortening for every 12 oz. chocolate.

In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, butter milk and extract; mix well. Knead into a large ball.

If NOT using molds: Roll into 1 inch balls and flatten into a 2 inch circle. Wrap around cherries and lightly roll in hands. Cover loosely and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Using a fork (or stem if you used cherries with stems), dip cherries into chocolate; set on waxed paper to harden.

If you ARE using molds: Add enough cherry juice to the ball to make the filling more fluid. You want it the consistency of thick ketchup. Paint the inside of the mold with melted chocolate and let harden for a few minutes in the freezer. Drop in a scant 1/2 tsp of filling, then add a cherry. Press the cherry down with the tip of your finger so that the filling comes up around the sides of the cherry. Top with more melted chocolate. Put in the freezer and let harden until no print can be seen when you press lightly with a fingertip on the chocolate. Tap gently on a hard surface (table or countertop) to get the candies out of the mold.

Peanut Butter Cups (or balls)

  • 2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 c. smooth peanut butter
  • 3/4 c. graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 c. softened margarine or butter
  • Melted chocolate

Combine all ingredients and mix well, using your hands, until completely blended together.

If NOT using molds: form 1 inch balls and dip into the melted chocolate using a fork or toothpick. Let cool & harden on waxed paper.

If you ARE using molds: paint the inside of the cup mold with melted chocolate and put in the freezer for a few minutes until hardened. Make a 1/2 to 3/4 inch ball of peanut butter mix and press into the cup until the top of the ball is lower than the top of the cup. Fill with melted chocolate and put in freezer to harden. Tap lightly on a hard surface to remove from the mold.

Coconut Creams
  • 1/2 c. butter or margarine
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 lb. powdered sugar (3 3/4 to 4 cups)
  • 12 oz. bag of flaked or shredded coconut
  • melted chocolate

Melt butter or margarine. Add milk, powdered sugar and coconut. Mix well, using your hands if necessary.

If NOT using molds: form into desired shape (ball, oblong, square) and dip in chocolate or else pour a bit of melted chocolate over the coconut mix until covered. Let harden.

If you ARE using molds: paint the inside of the mold and harden in freezer. Press enough coconut mixture into the mold to fill it but not quite to the top. Add melted chocolate to fill the mold. Let harden in freezer and remove by tapping lightly on a hard surface.

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