Saturday, October 22, 2011

Halloween Treats and Death by Chocolate

As I mentioned in my last post, I made some Halloween treats last weekend, starting with white and dark chocolate covered Halloween pretzel rods.

Chocolate Covered Halloween Pretzels
Dark Chocolate Covered Halloween Pretzels
White Chocolate Covered Halloween Pretzels

These are so easy to make and they look so pretty. My favourite treats to make are the low-effort/high-impact kind. I melted the chocolate in the microwave in a bowl, and then I spooned the chocolate in the bowl over the pretzel rods while allowing the extra chocolate to drip off into the same bowl. Then I decorated the chocolate covered pretzels with a couple different types of Halloween coloured sprinkles. I plan on making a bunch of these for Christmas but they’ll have Christmas coloured sprinkles.

I also made some mint chocolate Nanaimo bars. Here is a picture of the pan before I cut them into squares.

Mint Chocolate Nanaimo Bars

The pattern in the chocolate topping  was created by adding the top melted chocolate layer of the nanaimo bar recipe and then piping alternating stripes of melted white chocolate, and melted green and orange molding wafers on top while the chocolate layer was still warm. Finally, I used the tip of a toothpick to draw lines from one side of the pan to the other, up and down, through the chocolate stripes before putting the bars in the fridge to harden.

And this is what the Nanaimo bars look like cut into squares alongside some of my other treats.

Halloween Chocolates and Cookies

The recipe that I used for the Nanaimo Bars was adapted from a chocolate orange Nanaimo bar recipe, which I intend to try on an other occasion. The bars didn’t turn out quite right—the recipe for both the chocolate top and the filling were off—and so they look a little scrappy with their broken tops, rough edges and filling oozing out.

I need to find another Nanaimo bar recipe with slightly different proportions of ingredients in order to make the top layer and the filling the right consistencies, but the cookie crumb base of this recipe was absolutely perfect. I find that Nanaimo bars tend to have really dry bases but this one was dense enough to stand up to the filling but still a bit chewy, and toasting the walnuts beforehand really allowed their flavour to be distinct and to come through the rest of the crumb base. But even though the Nanaimo bars I made are a bit scrappy and sloppy looking in these photos, they were really delicious nonetheless. They were the kind of cookies that you can’t stop at just one or two. Good thing I brought them in to work for my coworkers.

I also made dark and white chocolate witch fingers, pretzel witch fingers, and chocolate pumpkins with peanuts. These were made with the help of two Wilton Halloween candy molds.

Halloween Chocolates and Pretzels

I still haven’t perfected using those Wilton candy molds, hence the air bubbles and the chocolate that looks as if it is overflowing the mold indentations around the finger nails. The witch finger mold is intended for pretzel rods but you can just fill the finger part of the mold with chocolate and omit the pretzel. The pumpkin mold is intended for lollipops, but I just filled the pumpkin cavity and didn’t insert a lollipop stick.

My next project is to make a cake and cupcakes to bring in to the office to celebrate the birthday of my coworker and I--our birthdays are one day apart in late November. Then I’ll be making a birthday cake for myself to enjoy at home, a Christmas cake and cupcakes for our office holiday party, and a Christmas cake for my favourite meal of the year, our family Christmas Eve supper.

Looks like I’m going to be busy! But being busy is good. It helps keep me out of trouble. Athough I don't imagine that there's much trouble I could get into given my relatively tame interests and hobbies, unless that trouble is some sort of cake or chocolate-covered confection related crime. Death by chocolate, perhaps?

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