Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentine's Day Candy Anytime

Valentine's Day is known for its'  lush boxes of chocolate cremes, caramels  and nuts.. They're wonderful to nibble on but there's that "Aww " moment when you run out.  Yet ,you can have them any time of the year.It all starts with a bag of chocolate chips.

Many home chefs balk at candy making and understandably why. It does require a candy thermometer  and it's tough to discern when the candy goes from the soft ball. to hard ball stage.It can also be dangerous because sugar burns can be serious enough for a visit to the ER.  Some recipes , though, don't require a lot or any cooking. Chocolate covered cherries is just mixing and blending.It's blending butter and corn syrup together , and then adding confectioner's sugar.It's kneaded until it becomes a kind of dough and then chilled. A teaspoon of it is wrapped around a maraschino cherry and then each is enrobed or dipped in either melted milk or dark chocolate. You could use chocolate confectioners; coating but the chips are also acceptable too. What about those luscious caramels? Those, too, can easily be whipped up in any home kitchen. You could make your own which would be a mix of butter, brown sugar cooked with corn syrup and condensed milk. If you're still leery about making it , buy caramel sauce, sea salt and again, chocolate chips,It's making chocolate cups first, then filling them with the sauce and salt , Afterwards, pour more melted chocolate on top as the cover.

The marriage of peanut butter and chocolate, light or dark is heavenly. Many love Buckeyes,, those peanut butter filled bonbons, named after the nuts from Ohio's state tree. Creamy can be used, but for more texture and fun, use the crunchy kind. The recipe involves mixing peanut butter, butter and , vanilla together as a paste. These are then rolled into marble-like balls to be chilled in the fridge. The coating is chocolate chips with shortening added to ensure a satiny, glossy finish. The balls are then dipped into this and left to harden until firm.  You can also chocolate dip nuts too, such as peanuts, or cashews as the candy companies do.The highlight of any candy box are the coconut cups. These are nothing more than molded haystacks, those tasty domes of toasted coconut and chocolate. It's just toasting shredded coconut on a cookie sheet for five to ten minutes in a 325 degree F oven . Melt the chips in the microwave or in a saucepan, then thoroughly blend. Instead of using a spoon to drop onto a greased cookie sheet. , spoon into a greased candy mold.Coconut can also be used in a coconut creme candy. It's mixing it with confectioner;s sugar and condensed milk to form a paste. As wth the other cremes, form into small marbles shaped balls and chilling for twenty minutes. They can be then dipped in melted milk or dark chocolate  mixed with shortening for glossiness.

You can have Valentine's Day candies all year round. Make the entire box or just the ones you love. Either way , it's a sweet treat not just reserved for the day of love but for every day.

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