This year for x-mas I want to make all homemade goodies and gifts. So far I have expiremented with Cake Balls and Oreo Truffles. Both of them turned out horrible! The chocolate was thick and not very easy to work with. I was excpecting a nice smoth surface and all I got was a big round blob! What am I doing wrong?
On a side note, I am not a fan of Cake Balls or the Oreo Truffles. Just not my style. Any suggestions on some yummy, shelf stable homemade goodies?
Get some sort of buttery round crackers (I use Ritz), and dip them in (melted) mint chocolate candy melts, place on wax paper or parchment paper, then sprinkle either very finely crushed candy canes, or if you have a candy/cake decorating store by you you can buy pre-crushed stuff, on top of them. They taste just like a Girl Scout Thin-mint cookie. Another favorite of mine is dipping Peanut butter or mint oreos in melted chocolate. Both of these can be made ahead of time and can keep on the counter in a tupperware container. Everyone loves sugar cut-out cookies! Try the No-Fail Sugar cookie recipie (from cc's recipie section), then decorate with Royal Icing or rolled buttercream. If you want to make cut-outs way ahead of time...bake the cookies then after they cool put them in tupperware containers with wax paper in between each layer, then pop them in the freezer, and when you want to decorate them defrost and you're set to decorate. You could make peppermint brittle, which is just melted white chocolate and candy canes that is poured out onto a cookie sheet and then broken apart into pieces once set. I could probably think of a million more as I do homemade goodies every xmas, but that hopefully gives a few ideas!
I don't like cake balls either (thought I was the only one!). I make regular truffles and buckeyes for Christmas. They're pretty easy. I usually use a toothpick to dip. I don't heat my chocolate in the microwave any more. All I got was the blob you were talking about (I use choc. chips with a little shortening). When I melt the chocolate in the double-boiler, I get a smooth surface.
try merkens chocolate. i have to order it.. but thats ok.. it melts great in the microwave... i keep it on heating pad,etc.. works wonderful.. after a while.. i will add a little paramont crystals.. hth
Thin your melted chocolate with a bit of shortening.
I didn't have any luck with dipping the cake balls in the chocolate either so I just used the mixture like any filled chocolate option - I used my candy molds and then filled them with the cake ball mix. Those were good and went over well in my house. I wanted to try them out before the holidays to see if I liked them well enough to give away. Still, my favorite holiday gift to give is gourmet pretzel rods - pretzels with caramel, chocolate and whatever else you want on top. I haven't had one complaint so far.
I found pretzel rings at walmart ... pretzels baked in a circle, about 2" across. I hold one end and dip about 4/5's of the circle in white chocolate, then while still wet, sprinkle with green and red sugars. It looks like a little wreath, they are small (so you can do a lot at a low cost), and they go over really well! Great to put about a dozen in a small gift bag with a pretty bow!
Thanks for this thread. Great ideas. I have been playing with chocolate for the last few weeks. It can be tempermental.
Today I made Grand Marnier and Bailey's Irish Creme truffles. They are so good. Tomorrow will be Kaluha and Rum.
I will remember this thread come Christmas time and making goodies.
IndyDebi ~ I love the round pretzel idea!
I make a christmas gift every year that people fight over!
Just take about 300 grams of marzipan or almond paste, mix it with 1 tsp grated lemon cest and 1-2 tbsp of gin. taste your way w1th the gin - start with 1 tbsp and add more if you want a more noticeabla flavor. Just use a fork to mash the marzipan, zest and gin to combine it.
Roll balls 3/4 of an inch to 1 inch and dip them in good dark chocolate.
Other popular flavorings are ( just make sure you don't use to much liquid - it will become to soggy)
Raspberry vodka ( or plain vodka) and raspeberries
Instant coffe 1 tbsp (dry) + orange zest and whiskey
Coconut liquer like Malibu and dried coconut
These are so easy to make and people just love them
A really elegant gift or addition to a cookie tray is dried apricots dipped in chocolate and candied citrus peel half-coated in dark chocolate. I do a lot of chocolate work and use tempered chocolate, which sets up at room temperature with a glossy surface and nice snap to it -- and can be stored at room temperature. But you can melt chocolate with a little vegetable oil and then keep the finished product refrigerated.