Make Your Own Box of Chocolates!

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Haven’t bought your Valentine’s Day chocolate yet? Don’t worry! It’s not too late to give a little handmade love to your Valentine candy box! You can make your own box of chocolates in less time than you think! Personalize it to your sweetheart’s taste… (or just make a box for yourself. we all deserve a little chocolate every now and then, right?)

Some suggestions to get your box of chocolates started:

Chocolate Covered Cherries:

What you will need:

1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp butter, softened

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 1/2 tsp milk

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Approximately 48 maraschino cherries

1 twelve ounce package of  semi sweet chocolate chips

1 tbsp shortenting

How to make them:

Mix butter, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla together.

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Form into a ball and chill for at least two hours.

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After chilled, place mixture into a bowl on ice to keep nice and chilled.

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Drain all of the excess juice off of the cherries.

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Roll the sugar mixture around each cherry forming a thin layer.

They don’t have to be perfect… this layer will not be seen.

Place onto a cookie sheet lined with wax or parchment paper.

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I like to stick toothpicks in them now (makes the dipping process easier and quicker for me…but it is completely optional). Chill the cherries again for another 2 hours.

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After cherries have been thoroughly chilled, melt the chocolate chips and shortening together over a double boiler.

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The chips melt nicely in a double boiler.

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Continuously stir chocolate until smooth.

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Remove from heat and dip each cherry into the chocolate, completely covering the cherry. Set back onto wax paper to dry and remove the toothpick.

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Repeat the dunking process for all of the cherries and chill another 2 hours or until completely set.

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And you now have chocolate covered cherries that will not only rival but blow any store bought brand out of the water any day!

Cow Pies

It’s like a yummy raisin-nutty cluster!

1 eleven ounce bag of dark chocolate chips

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup almonds (or walnuts, pecans, etc) chopped or slivered.

Prepare a cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper.

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Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler.

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Add nuts.

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Add raisins.

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Stir and mix well, covering raisins and nuts completely with chocolate.

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Spoon out clusters onto parchment or wax paper. Chill to set.

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Peanut Butter Cups

Who doesn’t love a classic peanut butter cup?

You’ll need:

1 eleven ounce package of milk chocolate chips, divided

1 cup smooth peanut butter

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

Candy mold (or miniature cupcake/muffin cup liners)

Squeeze bottle (optional)

I have found that melting chocolates in a squeeze bottle (for a minute at 40 percent power) in the microwave is the easiest way to distribute chocolate into a candy mold. Just knead plastic squeeze bottle together to churn the melting chocolate. If chocolate chips aren’t melted completely, continue to heat in the microwave in 15 second intervals at 40 percent power until chocolate is smooth.

Squeeze melted chocolate into mold.

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Use a paint brush to paint chocolate up the sides of the mold.

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Chill chocolate until set (until it hardens).

Meanwhile, prepare your peanut butter filling by mixing the peanut butter, confectioners’ sugar and salt together.

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After chocolate cups are set, scoop peanut butter mixture into a plastic cake decorator’s bag for easy distribution…

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Then fill the cups!

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Take the remaining chocolate chips and melt them in the squeeze bottle. Cover the tops with chocolate and refrigerate until completely set.

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Then, once chilled and hardened, pop them out of the mold to get a delicious peanut butter cup!

This also works well in the heart shaped candy mold!

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Chocolate Caramels

2 cups milk chocolate chips

melting caramels

candy mold

Melt chocolate chips in squeeze bottle (or bowl, double boiler, etc). Pour chocolate into mold and paint the sides up with chocolate just like the previous peanut butter cups.

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Melt caramels and squeeze or spoon caramel into the cups.

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Squeeze or spoon over another layer of chocolate. Chill to set and pop candies out of the mold when done! It doesn’t get any easier than that!

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Turtles

What you will need:

Approximately 72 pecan halves

caramels to melt

1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips

Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Then melt the chocolate chips in your squeeze bottle. Squirt one inch circles onto the wax paper.

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Next, add 3 pecan halves to each chocolate drop.

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Melt caramel according to package directions…

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Melt until nice and smooth.

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Spoon caramel over pecans and chocolate.

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And follow up with another drop of chocolate.

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Chill to set.

And there you have a complete box of chocolates… all ready for your Valentine!

There are a gazillion different easy chocolate recipes to make to fill your box… be creative and have fun with it!

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Place each chocolate (or two) into Valentine themed mini cupcake holders…and arrange them in a tin.

I found the cutest tins at Michaels… all sorts of varieties… to put my chocolates in.

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Add a bow and you are all set!

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Easy peasy!

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Happy Chocolate Making Day!

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A Place for your Cupcakes.

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For those of us who love to bake, but don’t trust ourselves not to eat the whole batch of goodies… the perfect solution is to give some away to family, friends, neighbors and co-workers.  I found the perfect solution for delivery… CUTE Wilton boxes.

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2Cupcakes! and mini cupcakes!

Time to package them up to deliver to a friend!

3There is an insert to separate the cupcakes… it holds them perfectly in place with enough room in between the bottom and the top cover. No smashing. No mess. Just perfect cupcakes arriving to the lucky recipient in one pretty piece.

9Take the insert out (or flip it upside down) and you have a great holder for mini cupcakes!

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6How cute is this box?!

It is a Valentine’s edition… but this design can be used all year long!

Just look at the scallops! I just love the pink, red and white together.

Be. still. my. heart.

I found these at Michaels but you can order them online here also.

I love, love, love the idea of using these for party favors, too!

Individual cupcakes make a great favor… from wedding showers to baby showers to birthday parties:

12Find them here.

For a wedding shower!

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Tie a cute bow (I’m envisioning red!…or polka dots!)

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Or Yellow!!

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Oh. Don’t act like you didn’t see this one coming.

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Find it here.


For a baby shower (also comes in pink):

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Or for a cupcake themed party…

16Find it here.

Or change it up and give brownies as favors! Love the stripes!

14Find it here.

How easy would the brownie boxes be if you made them in one of these?? (I think I need one.)

20Find it here.


Or even cookies! Hey it’s still winter, right? (Maybe not in South Texas…but everywhere else it is)

Check out this wintry mix!

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I could look through the selections all day long…I think I’m in love.

Yummy cupcakes, brownies or cookies + pretty packaging = one happy recipient.

Happy Baking (and sharing),

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Valentine’s Candied Candy Canes

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Candy Canes aren’t just for Christmas, ya know. They are pretty little treats for Valentine’s Day, too! Or, if you are like me and have too many left over candy canes from Christmas and hate to see things go to waste… you’ll find a good use for them. 😉 So we are going to give a little Valentine decoration to candy canes and put them to use.

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What you will need:

Wilton’s Pink Candy Melts (You can find these at any craft store…Michaels, JoAnns, Hobby Lobby…or Walmart.)

Pink, red and white sprinkles

Candy Canes

Wax paper

Double Boiler (or make due with two sauce pans like me)

Let’s start!

Fill up the bottom sauce pan with water.

Turn the stove on medium heat.

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Nice and steamy. Make sure NOT to get any water in the top sauce pan.

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While things are heating up on the stove, unwrap the candy canes.

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…and pour the sprinkles into a bowl.

While you are setting things up… set out a sheet of wax paper next to the sprinkles.

9Next, toss some of the Wilton’s Candy Melts into the top sauce pan.

Yeah, I clearly didn’t care about the visible water spots on the pan.

We like to keep it real at Huckleberry Prairie.

We’re all friends, right?

😉

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It won’t take long for it to melt. Continuously stir as the candy melts.

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Once things are nice and melty, dip the “J” part of the candy cane into the pink gooeyness.

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Get ready to dunk!

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The sprinkles should stick to the candy coating very easily.

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Don’t these remind you of Mother’s Circus Animal Cookies??

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These cookies were the treat of all treats growing up.

Not because they are that good…

but because they are pink with sprinkles.

…and perhaps because the ambiguous shapes left creative interpretation for which animal they might be.

and I had an overactive imagination.

So the circus animals and I got along just fine.

26But we’re talking about candy canes…

So make a mental note to add Circus Animals to your grocery list (Do they even make them anymore?!) and we’ll carry on like nothing ever happened.

Once the candy cane has been dunked, set it to dry on a sheet of wax paper.

You don’t have to add sprinkles to all of them.

As you can see… I left a few plain with just the candy coating.

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But let’s be honest. The sprinkles are prettier.

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I’m not a huge fan of peppermint…

so these are more for decoration until Jon gets his hands on them.

In other words, these should last around two days. haha

I’ve never met another person who loves candy canes as much as him.  Bless his heart. 😉

24A great way to display your cute Valentine candy canes… is to hang the  hook on a vase.

Then, leave them by the door for guests to take on their way out.

Or just leave them on the counter for a pretty little decoration.

Either way, it takes less than 5 minutes to make and they are full of Valentine spirit.

23…and with a little candy transformation, you hardly even remember their Christmas roots.

Even candies enjoy a little makeover every now and then.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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