I love Christmas, it is my absolute favorite holiday and time of year. I love giving presents, the atmosphere of good will, and the food! Oh man, the food! 😀 One year when I was still in college I just did not have enough money to buy everyone presents.
I had to get creative and still stay within my budget, luckily I have always enjoyed being in the kitchen. I threw around some ideas in my head, but finally landed on making a chocolate covered goodie bag for my sister and brother in law. That first year I stayed pretty simple, chocolate covered Oreos, pretzels and graham crackers.
I used white, dark and milk chocolate and they turned out a little ugly but so delicious. Since that first year I’ve branched out and added a new fun thing each time, and I love that it’s probably my brother in law’s favorite part of our Christmas Eve family get together!
These are all of the things I have dipped over the years since that first Christmas:
Jalapenos (weird I know, but the chocolate cuts the heat and it creates a cool combo)
Ritz with peanut butter (I sandwich them myself but you can find the premade ones as well)
Pretzels (I prefer the rods because they’re easier to dip and look really cute)
To melt the chocolate you’ll need a double boiler, don’t worry if you don’t own a specific double boiler like this one. If you have a glass or metal bowl and a pot of water it can fit over you’re golden! I usually have one of each kind of chocolate going at the same time. My kitchen turns into a bit of a chocolate factory at Christmas (probably even more reason why I love the holiday).
You’ll also need chocolate, obviously, you can buy the fancy pre melted stuff but I’m still a girl on a budget so I go for regular chocolate chips. The best part, you’ll find a lot more coupons for chocolate chips than you will for the fancy stuff! And they taste just as good.
Getting the chocolate ready is as simple as pouring the chips into your double boiler and turning it on low. You don’t want to let the chocolate get too hot or you’ll get a funky consistency that doesn’t work for dipping. Stir regularly as it’s melting so you don’t end up with any scorched chocolate.
Once you get a nice runny consistency you’re set. I leave them on the stove as I’m dipping, with the heat on the lowest setting, turning it up if my chocolate starts to get too thick. Now you’re all set to dip!
Most of the things I dip I’ll grasp by the end and do a simple dip and rotate, this works for things like pretzels, jalapenos, marshmallows, and Ritz peanut butter sandwiches. For the Oreos I’ll drop them in the chocolate and use a fork to flip them and lift out. Mess around with it and find what works best for you!
After they are coated in the desired amount of chocolate lay them out on tin foil/waxed paper/parchment paper and let them cool. I’ll cover cookie sheets and transfer them to the fridge to expedite the process. This is also the step where I’ll add some of the fancy touches.
Dipping the fork into the melted chocolate will create a nice drizzle effect, sprinkles are extremely popular in my family, sea salt is a nice touch, the sky is the limit. My mom makes cute stovepipe hats by putting a dipped marshmallow on top of a dipped Oreo and letting them cool together. Another one of my favorites is white chocolate covered popcorn.
I try and do these just a day or two before Christmas, especially for the jalapenos and fruit. But you can feel free to do all the other ones up to 4-5 days ahead of time and store them in an air tight container in the fridge. When it’s time to head to my mom’s I box them up using a shoe box I’ve wrapped and lined with tin foil, or if you want to get fancy you can buy some holiday themed Tupperware.
This is a legendary gift in my family now, I try a new chocolate covered item every year and every has their favorites. I’m a sucker for the Oreos, my sister loves the Ritz sandwiched ones and my brother in law loves them all and hates to share 😉 so I tailor each box accordingly and everyone is happy.
I hope this has inspired you to try your hand at dipping your own chocolate covered goodies! And remember, even if it turns out ugly they are still delicious! Now to think of something new for this year’s boxes…. If you have any favorite goodies leave them in the comments below!