My grandmother made beautiful chocolates, and I thought I’d try to channel her. Today was a good day to do that because our puppy Sam went into the vet to get his special operation, and our angelic heroic awesome dog whisperer/walker took Gracie on a sleepover party so I had the ENTIRE DAY TO MYSELF WITHOUT AWFUL HORRIBLE ANIMALS.
The capital letters are to emphasize how happy I was to be sans chiens. Really super happy.
So I set about making some delicious things to make me fatter.
And in honor of Sam, none of these chocolates have nuts.
My grandmother used this recipe book.
I love the illustrations and the old timey language.
I made a couple of adjustments, but basically the same recipe as granny made.
I thought I’d try chocolate covered cherries first.
Drain 50 maraschino cherries wit stems on paper towels.
Then you make a fondant
combine 3 T of softened butter and 3 T of light corn syrup with 2 C of icing sugar.
Knead into a smooth dough and chill.
|my arms are very hairy. I've since had them waxed.|
|It's great to be an idiot.|
When firm enough to handle, roll small pieces into balls and flatten into discs
|Brian pretends not to notice|
|Brian still pretending not to notice|
and wrap around a maraschino cherry. Chill in the fridge.
|Brian is totally shocked|
|Brian ignores the fondant covered cherry. He ignores it.|
Then you gotta temper the chocolate which is a major arse pain. Look on the interweb for how to temper chocolate. You don’t need me to spell it out for all of youses.
|tempering chocolate. Pain in arse. Worth it.|
Dip each cherry by the stem and place on wax paper, chill til firm.
Then I figured I would make peppermint patties because she’d put a checkmark beside them and Brian likes them. Me too. Too much.
Make a fondant from 2 and 1/4 C icing sugar, 1.5 T light corn syrup, 1.5 water, 1 Tablespoon vegetable shortening, and 1 tsp peppermint extract.
Knead to a smooth dough. and roll between two sheets of wax paper to make a 7-8 inch disc.
Freeze about 15 minutes.
Then cut out small discs, rerolling and cutting, chilling as necessary. Chill fondant til firm.
|Grandma's cookie cutter|
I used the scraps to make little balls of peppermint fondant, as small little bites.
Dip peppermint patties in chocolate, ensuring that the fondant is totally covered, and place on wax paper. Chill til firm.
|I ended up just using my fingers as this dipping tool is useless|
|peppermint patty blobs|
Then I figured I should make peppermint bark like WIlliams Sonoma, but I made it in madeline molds so I could give smaller pieces away in my gift baskets.
Pour tempered semi-sweet chocolate into the molds, coating sides well and filling about half full. Chill til firm.
Pour melted white chocolate on top of the semi sweet and top with crushed candy cane pieces.
Just as delicious and much MUCH cheaper.
Grandma had two checkmarks beside chocolate covered dates stuffed with crystalized ginger. All I can say is BLOODY OH MY DOUBLE GOD! These are wicked. I made some with dried sweetened mango, too. Un-Be-Lieve-Able.
|remove pit from date, put in piece of candied ginger and seal shut|
|Here, look. I put in mango. Awesome.|
|stuffed date dipped in tempered chocolate|
|dipped stuffed dates. Uh muh Guh.|
I tried to make Smith College Fudge. But it was a disaster.
|Only the best ingredients|
|Mix a bunch of stuff together and make a disaster.|
|Heat up the fudge stuff and watch it fail|
A tasty disaster that I sent with Brian to his work where they ate it.
Fudge is hard to make. Have to do it on a clear day, no rain, thermometers and SO much beating!