Monday, December 23, 2013

Handmade Chocolates with Recipe and the Ice in Photos

  The sun peeked out of the clouds for a just a bit this morning, but didn't stay out long enough for me to consider making up the divinity and peanut brittle. I get much better results making candy when it's bright and sunny and not humid.

   Soooo I made my dark chocolate bark and also another dark chocolate drop candy. For our tastes, since we really love the better quality dark chocolates I no longer buy those almond barks that are common in the grocery stores which are mostly milk chocolate. Instead I buy a good quality melting chocolate for the bark, and I combine lots of different dark chocolates for the drops. They come out much richer, and very smooth, and just awesome if you are a chocolate lover. I will gladly share my recipe for the drops if interested just let me know in comments.

Since retirement and moving here to the ozarks, I have gotton spoiled and just love this slab of marble for candy making and rolling out doughs. Hubby had gotton this salvage piece out of a hotel that had gotton torn down in Chicago about 50 years ago. Wow, are we really getting that old? lol  Larry is almost 70 so yep 50 years ago is about right. We had saved this piece to put into a permanent spot upon retirement. I keep it covered with glass cutting boards when I am not using it, to keep it free from getting cuts into in the surface.

  In the bark I added in slivered almonds and dried cranberries, and in the drops it has a good quality white chocolate, about about 3 different dark chocolates that I melted together and then added in fine unsweetened coconut, pecan meal, yellow raisins, and slivered almonds. 

  It has been in the single digits most of the day, so the ice is not melting off at all. When I went outdoors to feed the wild critters I also grabbed the camera. There are also a couple photos I took through the windows. Just click to enlarge the photos, some of the photos have little birds in them too.

Recipe for Kathy's Chocolate Drops

  I got this recipe from my fellow telephone operator one year. Here is the original recipe:

     Peanut Clusters

Makes about 5 dozen pieces, I usually make half the recipe.

2 pounds white bark
1 (12 ounce) bag semisweet chocolate chips
1 (12 ounce) bag milk chocolate chips
1 12 ounce bar German sweet chocolate
4 (12 ounce) cans Planter's peanuts
Combine everything except peanuts and melt in a large bowl. To melt place bowl in 200 degree oven until melted or microwave according to your machine's directions.
  Stir chocolate often until melted, then add in the peanuts stir well.
Drop by spoonful on waxed paper, let set. store in air tight containers or freeze.

Kathy's changes: Kathy's Chocolate Drops

For the white bark I use Baker's white chocolate in those ounce bars or cubes.
I use dark chocolate chips or bars from Ghirardelli chocolate and I do add the German sweet chocolate too. I also add 2 ounces of bittersweet dark chocolate.
 I usually half the recipe and then just figure out how many ounces of chocolate I need all together. 
   I melt my chocolate in a very heavy pan on top of the stove on a heat difuser, keep  an eye on it and stir til melted. You could also melt in a double boiler.
   I like to use almonds, pecans, walnuts any other nut besides peanuts. I also like to add in sometimes fine coconut, a nut meal, dried fruits-really whatever you love just add up the ounces so it totals what you need. 
   After set I keep a tin of these-wax paper between the layers-in the frig, and the rest goes in the freezer.

Kathy's Almond Bark

I use Ghirardelli dark chocolate melting wafters-I found a nice bag of them at a good price at Sam's club this year. Melt them as recipe above. I used 3 cups to make the amount shown. I added in slivered almonds and dried cranberries-a cup total. This is also great with crushed peppermint sticks, or anything you like. Dried blueberries are excellent too.


  1. Kathy would you please share the recipes with me. They look yummy! Thanks

  2. send the chocolate and keep the ice ;)

  3. send the chocolate and keep the ice ;)

  4. Oh those chocolates look so good Kathy! I see you got hit with the ice storm too. Beautiful photos around your place. Is that an evening grosbeak in the last bird photo? The sun came out here late this afternoon, but too late to do any good for our trees. Hopefully tomorrow it will shine again or we're in danger of losing more trees to this heavy ice. Merry Christmas to you & Larry!! Stay warm :) Wendy xox

    1. Hi Wendy the little bird on those small niger seed feeders are the gold finches, just our of color in the winter.
      a cold night tonight, right at freezing tomorrow, and then 40s on Christmas-so a melt down mid week for all this ice--then the mud lol

  5. Thanks Kathy. They are on my list to make. Yummy

  6. Oh my, the candies look so good. Love the ice photos, too.
    Have a great evening. :)

  7. Ice….such a quandry. So so beautiful and yet so treacherous…
    I love your images. Thank you for the recipes

  8. Oh the chocolate all looks so yummy and good!! You've been busy!! Your pictures look like a dreary winter day until you enlarge them and the fancy shiny ice pops out! I've been crossing my fingers and praying for you and Larry! We have been loosing temps since 7 this morning!! It's27 now! Might snow later tonight, we've got mud everywhere from 2 or 3 days of rain...I lost track!! LOL Gonna help make chocolate chip cookies for Santa with Kelly and her Dalton and Bently....I hope they save some for Santa!! LOL Love and hugs to you and Larry!!!

    1. making cookies with the little ones-sounds like fun

  9. Mmmmm absolutely delicious Kathy.....I'm a chocolate lover and I shouldn't be but Christmas is my exception time and I allow myself to indulge!!!!! LOL!
    I totally agree with you marble is the best for pastry ....I have a polished version as kitchen tops and they clean down so well.
    Merry Merry Christmas

    Amanda :-)

  10. Nice recipes and love your photos. Your marble slab would be excellent for making cream candy, which has to be one of my favourites. I've just finished making my last batch of buckeyes and will be starting on the rolls soon. Looking forward to a big Christmas dinner tomorrow. I think I've already wished you a Merry Christmas and hope all that ice doesn't make you lose your electricity. Some parts of the north of Spain are without power because of the storms. We're having a rainy Christmas Eve and are expected to get some strong winds later on this evening. I'm staying in.

    1. Good morning Brenda, hope your Christmas Day was free of bad weather. I don't think I have ever made a creamed candy, yes I really enjoy using my marble for candy and pastries.

  11. Baking craisin/pecan yeast bread right now. The house smells amazing! The frozen drips certainly tell the story. It's "warmed" up to 12F from a -9F when we got up. Snow on the way.......but this is MN, after all!!!!! LOL! Blessings to you this Christmas season and hugs.............

  12. We got the ice and it does looks so pretty and sparkly out. Thanks for sharing your pictures :) That candy looks heavenly.

  13. That chocolate looks very good (except for the almonds, I can't eat nuts).

    Isn't it ironic how something so beautiful (the ice coating everything) can be so disruptive and damaging? Great photos. .

    1. the other day we had just a little bit of sun and the ice just glistened like diamonds-very beautiful. no sunshine yesterday but they promise today-so hoping all the ice gets melted off-we were very lucky to not have winds with this or we would have lost power for several days.
      Hope you are starting to feel better Mitch-and can salvage a little holiday time with family

  14. Oh yum - my lips say yes but my hips say no! There is nothing in the world that is better than nuts and chocolate!

    The ice pictures are beautiful. It is such a shame that the ice is so damaging!


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