Friday, February 15, 2013

Home is Where the Candy Is!

For our second Valentine's Day as a married couple, and my first V-Day as a herbivore, we skipped the store and made our candy at home. I scored this awesome silicone candy mold for Zach this past Christmas and we finally got to put it to good use!

Z's favorite candy is chocolate PB cups, but the store bought ingredient list is eerily mysterious and crammed with not-so-great ideas. Thankfully Z likes to make his own at home, using just plain old chocolate and peanut butter! Now that's more whole-foods-like-it! I would love to make a truly whole-foods chocolate sauce using cacao and dates. That would really be a cause for celebration...

Hmm, next V-Day project?

As far as fillings, we branched out and also made some chocolate-covered raw almonds and peanuts for variety. And I'm pretty sure any time there's chocolate, the pairing options are endless. :)

Do you want in on this low-ingredient-goodness? All you have to do is grab some dairy-free baker's semi-sweet chocolate, follow my chocolate sauce directions from this post, and get a hold of some kind of candy mold. (Note: you're going to want to double or triple the amount of chocolate in this recipe).

Next, get some nut butters, coconut, fresh fruit, raisins, raw nuts... pretty much whatever you want to nestle inside chocolate and go to town!

1. Melt the chocolate on the stove top according to these instructions!

Sorry for the yellowish night-time photos!

2. Once melted and smooth, shut off stove but leave chocolate on warm burner, stirring occasionally.

3. With a small spoon, dab some chocolate in the bottom of each well, and rub your finger around in a circular motion so that the chocolate goes up the sides of the mold.

4. Next, add a small amount of preferred filling in each cup and cover with another dab of chocolate. Use finger or spoon to smooth over top and press down around filling - but be very gentle.

And don't worry too much about trying to attain candy-artisan perfection. They don't need to be flawless... just yummy. :)

5. Place in freezer to let chocolate set. Because this chocolate is diluted with liquid, it won't stay hard and tends to melt quickly, but you can store in the freezer short term (1-2 days) and the fridge for a bit longer!

Mmm. Simple, cheap, special treats. The husband was pleased.

I find the semi-sweet bakers chocolate too sugary for my tastes, so if you try using unsweetened chocolate and adding date paste or coconut sugar to it that would give you more control over the level of sweetness. But I can't vouch for how that turns out yet!

And of course candy can never really be a "health" food - that's why it's a treat! But when you read some of the ingredient labels on most of the franken-confections out there today, I will gladly splurge on one of these. :)

Hope you enjoyed your national day of chocolate, I mean love!

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