Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Valentine's Day Treats

There is something about Valentine's Day and Chocolate. They go perfectly together like peanut butter and jelly. And why not make your own chocolate treats this year. We have put together some of our favorite chocolate valentine treats, just in time for you to stop on in, grab what you need and head home to make your special treats for those you love.

First is one of our new favorites. Everyone is familiar with the Christmas time favorite-peppermint bark. We wondered why this had to be a seasonal treat, and decided to add a new flavor twist to the scene. One of our new products this year is candy crunch. They are a hard candy flavored with amazingly strong flavors that add a crunch to anything that you might be making!

They come in all sorts of flavors-cinnamon, tangerine, tart cherry, key lime, and boysenberry to name a few. $7.99 for a pound bag! We decided to go with tart cherry and make a chocolate cherry bark!

For this recipe we took:

8 oz of Callebaut White Chocolate Snaps

8 oz of Callebaut Milk or Dark Chocolate Snaps

And about 3/4 cup of cherry candy crunch

Melt the white chocolate on half power in the microwave for about 1 minute. Take out and stir and placed back into microwave and continue every 30 seconds until 90% melted. Take out of microwave and stirred until all chocolate is melted. Once chocolate is melted add the candy crunch and stir together, (you can adjust the amount of crunch you add to the white chocolate, we like a lot of crunch. But if you prefer more chocolate with less candy adjust the amount used). Once stirred together, pour out onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and using a spatula spread evenly to desired thickness. Place in fridge and let harden.

While the white chocolate is hardening, melt the milk/dark chocolate in the microwave using the same method as before. Once white chocolate has harden pull out and pour the milk/dark chocolate on top. Spreading with rubber spatula to get it as even as possible. Place back into fridge until hard.

To break the bark, we will just reach below and lift the parchment up, and drop it back onto the cookie sheet, This will break into large pieces, you can repeat until you get the desired size. Or once they have been broken to large pieces you can individual crack the pieces by trying to fold them in half. Once you have the right size place them in a cellophane bag or box and tie with a ribbon! Easy as that!

Our next favorite is the chocolate covered popcorn. This time around we just added the red and pink colored chocolate. You can easily add the oil based flavorings and flavor the chocolate first-some favorites are strawberry, raspberry or cranberry, but there is EVERYTHING!. The biggest thing to remember with this is your choice of popcorn. Here we have two popcorn kernals shown. The first is the normal yellow seed, popped in an air popper. The second is our Gygi "Caramel" Seed, also popped in an air popper. You can see the difference in the shape and texture. Our seed is made to be covered and holds chocolate and caramel really well. The shape is very round and doesn't have a lot of the extras that stick out on the sides. This will make all the difference in your popcorn treat, trust us! Its $7.99 for 4 lbs or $28.99 for 50 lbs.

While your popcorn is popping in the air popper, place about a cup of white chocolate in the microwave. Again we used the white snaps for this, they have a great taste and coat nicely. Melt on half power for about a minute, and stir, continue melting on half power and take out every 30 seconds to stir. Continue until almost all melted and then stir together until everything is melted.

Once you have popped the kernals, pour white chocolate over and stir carefully.

You can adjust how much chocolate you want here. If you like it extra chocolaty you can add more just remember the more chocolate the more the popcorn will stick together. After you have poured and coated the chocolate, spread out on a parchment lined cookie sheet and allow to harden. You can than drizzle red and pink chocolate over the white popcorn, allowing it to harden in between different color drizzles. Allow to harden and then place in a cellophane bag tied with ribbon.

Chocolate Covered Fortune Cookies-

This is always a crowd favorite. It seems everyone loves fortune cookies, and why not add a little personal touch to the cookie.

Here we melted the Guittard Red Vanilla Apeels ( 5lbs for $10.99 or 1 lb. for $3.99) the same way we have above. Once fully melted we took the fortune cookie and dipped it half way into the chocolate, and then placed it on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Continue until you have dipped all the cookies you desire. Once the red chocolate had hardened we melted the pink chocolate and drizzled over. Allow to harden and they are ready to package. These are really fun in colored food pails or in a cellophane bag!
Everything featured and used is available at Orson Gygi.
White Chocolate Snaps (5 lbs -$16.99)
Milk Chocolate Snaps (5 lbs- $15.25)
Dark Chocolate Snaps ( 5 lbs- $13.99)
Candy Crunch (1 lb- $7.99)
Gygi Caramel Seed (4 lbs- $7.99 or 50 lbs- $28.99)
Fortune Cookies (125 ct bag- $8.25)
Red Vanilla Apeels ( 5 lbs-$10.99 or 1 lb $3.99)
Pink Candy Coating ( 14 oz $2.99)
Pink Food Pail $1.99 (other sizes and colors available)