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COOKIE CUTTER CANDY BARS

After you’ve chosen your favorite vessels for the candy bars, all it takes is a little tempering of the chocolate, and deciding if you want to add toppings, such as dried fruit, nuts, or chips (like mint, peanut butter, toffee, or butterscotch). Et voila! You have a delightful gift that goes beyond the edible and may even become part of a family tradition.

 

MAKES: 1 BATCH FOR SEVERAL COOKIE CUTTERS, DEPENDING ON SIZE AND SHAPE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 pounds high-quality dark, milk, or white chocolate, finely chopped

  • 2 cups dried fruit, nuts, or flavored chips (optional)

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT

  • Variety of cookie cutters

  • Candy thermometer

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Spray inside of the cookie cutters with nonstick cooking spray and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

  2. To temper the chocolate, add 1 1/2 pounds chocolate to a metal bowl or a double-boiler. Set over a pot of simmering water without the bottom touching the water. Place the candy thermometer in the bowl and stir the chocolate until melted, about 3 to 5 minutes. Do not exceed 120°F for dark chocolate or 105°F for milk or white chocolate.

  3. When the chocolate is melted, remove the bowl from the simmering water and set on a dish towel. Slowly add the remaining 1/2 pound chocolate in intervals, stirring and letting it melt before adding more. You want the temperature to drop between 88°F and 89°F for dark chocolate and 84°F and 86°F for milk and white chocolate.

  4. Once you reach the desired temperature (raise the temperature by placing the bowl back over the simmering water or drop the temperature by stirring vigorously), spread a spoonful of chocolate on a bit of parchment. If the chocolate looks streaky, you will have to start over the tempering process (steps 2 and 3).

  5. If the chocolate looks shiny and smooth, pour it evenly into the prepared cookie cutters, about halfway up the sides. Sprinkle the fruit, nuts, or chips over the top, if using. Let cool completely before gifting.

*Photos taken by Heidi Murphy/White Loft Studio.

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© 2012 by Kate H. Knapp. All rights reserved