Monday, July 4, 2011

4th of July: Candy Making

A few of my older posts showed some pictures of my candy making adventures in China. Since then, I have slaved and tried to perfect some recipes I have collected over the years. Each Christmas, I have been trying new recipes, some failures, but many successes. My two favorites: buckeyes and mint melt-aways. For three years now, I have had success with buckeyes changing and experimenting new ways of making them; the tried and true always win.

When I was a child, my grandmother used to make mint melt-aways and since she has passed, I decided to try to make them myself after finding confidence in making buckeyes. At Christmas 2009, I made my first batch. I used the wrong mint extract and the wrong candy coating. It is best to stick with plain chocolate for dipping and pure peppermint for flavoring. This Summer, I decided I wanted to try making 4th of July Candy. I wanted to dip in white chocolate and use food coloring the make red and blue. Well, seeming that I am inexperienced with while chocolate, I got it too hot, surprise, surprise, and the red food coloring came out speckled. Any old hands out there have some advice? I learned that white chocolate needs to have not vegetable fat in it and needs to be heated only until melted... but how does one make it thin enough to dip and drizzle? That is my next feat in candy making. After my chocolate got clumpy, I just spread it over the chocolate fillings of mint chocolate and peanut butter chocolate... tasty but a little rough around the edges. Better luck next time!

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