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┬ádistribution…

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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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