Homemade Chocolate Candy Bars

chocolatecandybars

October 28: National Chocolate Day

Giving out free candy on Halloween isn’t exactly cheap. So it is quite understandable that some people opt to buy the generic brands or bulk variety packages of assorted candies to distribute to trick-or-treaters on Fright Night. Yet somehow the neighborhood children still seem to know which homes hand out their favorite candies! We were thought to be the one of the houses that gives out the good stuff! But there is an ulterior motive—if we still have candies left over, we eat them ourselves! So we buy what we like and they are usually the miniature chocolate candy bars (Hershey’s Special Dark, Mr. Goodbar and Krackel*).

With special candy molds, chocolate bars can be made at home very easily. Just melt the chocolate in a bowl, stir in rice cereal or nuts, place in the molds and let set. We replicated the recipes for Nestle Crunch and Hershey’s Mr. Goodbar for a homemade treat that is terrific on National Chocolate Day, on Halloween and whenever one wants to satisfy a sweet tooth.

Recipe

For the Crunch chocolate bar

  • Chocolate chips or wafers (we used Ghirardelli dark chocolate melting wafers)
  • Rice cereal

Directions

Melt the chocolate in a bowl (in a microwave or over a double boiler), according to the directions on the package. Stir in the rice cereal and coat with chocolate.

crunchbarstep1

Spoon the mixture into the wells of a chocolate bar mold. Tap the mold on the counter to even out the surface. Place in the refrigerator until firm. Unmold onto a paper towel. Serve the rice cereal chocolate bar at a cool temperature.

crunchbarsteps2

For the Mr. Goodbar chocolate candy

  • Chocolate chips or wafers (we used Nestle Toll House milk chocolate chip morsels)
  • Roasted peanuts, chopped

Directions

Melt the chocolate in a bowl (in a microwave or over a double boiler), according to the directions on the package. Stir in the chopped peanuts and coat with chocolate.

mrgoodbarsteps1

Spoon the mixture into the wells of a chocolate bar mold. Tap the mold on the counter to even out the surface. Place in the refrigerator until firm. Unmold onto a paper towel. Serve the peanut-covered chocolate bar at a cool temperature.

mrgoodbarsteps2

Notes

  • The equivalent of Hershey’s Krackel is Nestle’s Crunch chocolate bar.
  • We also like M&Ms, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, KitKat bars and other candies that do not stick to our teeth (sorry, caramel, gummies and chewy nougat).
  • We make homemade chocolate candy bars for ourselves and do not give open/unwrapped candies out on Halloween to trick-or-treaters for safety and sanitary reasons.
  • Purchase candy bar molds from a local hobby and craft shop or cake decorating supply store.
  • Substitute real chocolate for chocolate-flavored confectioner’s wafers, like Wilton’s Candy Melts.
  • There are several “chocolate holidays” throughout the year. Search our blog for other chocolate recipes.

 

Double Chocolate Rum Cake

Double Chocolate Rum Cake

December 29: National Chocolate Day

Two consecutive days in December are dedicated to chocolate! So baking a double chocolate rum cake to celebrate National Chocolate Day is twice as nice. The cake contains chocolate powder and chocolate chips; its sweetness is balanced by the booze (rum). It is frosted with a basic chocolate buttercream and decorated with drizzles. There is both chocolate in the batter itself and, with the use of chocolate buttercream and chocolate ganache, the ingredients make for a doubly delightful rum cake! We added chocolate dipped strawberries with a white chocolate decoration as well for more more more chocolate! Chocoholics like us like our chocolate cakes this way to celebrate National Chocolate Day!

Recipe

(Adapted from The Cake Mix Doctor by Anne Byrn)

For the double chocolate rum cake

  • 1 package (18.25 ounces) devil’s food or chocolate cake mix (we used Duncan Hines brand)
  • 1 package (3.9 ounces) chocolate instant pudding mix
  • ½ cup rum (we used Bacardi brand gold rum)
  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

Line two 8-inch round pans with wax paper and mist the bottom and sides with cooking spray. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake and pudding mixes. Pour in the rum, water and oil.

Double Chocolate Rum Cake

Add the eggs. Mix well until the batter is smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips. Divide the batter between the two prepared pans. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 50-55 minutes, testing for doneness with a toothpick. Remove from the oven and cool the cakes in the pan over a wire rack for about half an hour. Transfer one layer to a cake board or platter. Set aside the other cake layer.

Double Chocolate Rum Cake

For the chocolate buttercream frosting

  • 1 stick (½ cup/8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa ppowder
  • 3+ cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Directions

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with the cocoa powder. Gradually add the powdered sugar with the milk, vanilla and salt. Beat until fluffy, thinning with a little milk as necessary until the frosting is of spreadable consistency.

Double Chocolate Rum Cake

Spread the frosting on top of the first layer of the cake. Place the second layer of the cake on top. Add more frosting and smooth it out on the top and sides until covered.

Double Chocolate Rum Cake

For the chocolate ganache drizzle

  • 4 ounces/squares semi-sweet chocolate (we used Baker’s brand)
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream

Directions

In a microwave-safe bowl, place the chocolate with the whipping cream. Heat on high for about a minute. Remove from the microwave and stir. Heat again in 15-30 second intervals until the chocolate is melted. Mix well. Cool for five minutes.

Double Chocolate Rum Cake

Fill a pastry/plastic bag with the ganache. Use a small round tip (tip 4 or 5) or cut a small hole in the plastic bag and squeeze the ganache from the edge of the cake. Allow the ganache to drizzle down on the sides. Let cool completely.

Double Chocolate Rum Cake

For the chocolate-covered strawberries

  • 3-4 whole strawberries, washed and dried, room temperature
  • leftover chocolate ganache or melted semi-sweet chocolate
  • ¼ cup white candy melts/wafer or melted white chocolate

Directions

Dip the bottom and side of a strawberry in semi-sweet chocolate. Place on wax paper to set. Continue dipping other strawberries. When set, fill a pastry/plastic bag with melted white chocolate. Use a small round tip (tip 2 or 3) or cut a small hole in the plastic bag and drizzle the white chocolate back and forth over the chocolate-covered strawberries. Let cool to set. Garnish the top of the cake. Chill until ready to serve. Slice into wedges and indulge.

Double Chocolate Rum Cake

Notes

  • Search our blog for more chocolate recipes.

 Mexican Chocolate Mini Pound Cakes

Mexican Chocolate Mini Pound Cakes

October 28: National Chocolate Day

Colorfully-decorated altars are being set up in some Mexican homes around this time of the year here in South Texas in preparation for El Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festivities on November 2.

Mexicans have an interesting way to honor their loved ones who have passed away. Their altars are a memorial to the dearly departed and they are adorned with bright flowers, candles, photos and candy skulls. Sometimes, pan de muerto (bread of the dead) and other favorite foods of the deceased are displayed. The dead are not forgotten; their lives are celebrated by those they left behind.

Inspired by this cultural custom, we made Mexican chocolate mini pound cakes for National Chocolate Day. But these pasteles de chocolate may be prepared ahead of time, then eaten by family and friends during graveyard gatherings or presented on the altars on El Día de Los Muertos

Recipe

(Adapted from Southern Living)

For the cake

  • 4 squares (4 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate (we used Baker’s brand)
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (we used Mexican vainilla)
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup chocolate syrup
  • 1 ¼ cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ cup buttermilk

Directions

In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with the sugar and vanilla. 

Mexican Chocolate Mini Pound Cakes

Beat in the eggs. Stir in the chocolate syrup. Mix in the melted chocolate. In another bowl, combine the flour, ground cinnamon, baking soda and pinch of salt. Gradually blend into the chocolate mixture until smooth. 

Mexican Chocolate Mini Pound Cakes

Add the buttermilk to the batter. Grease the wells of a mini fluted/bundt pan (we used a Wilton brand pan). Pour the batter no more than 2/3 full to the top in each well. Bake in a preheated oven at 325 degrees F for 20 minutes, testing with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. Invert the pan onto a wire rack to cool the cakes completely. Yield: Approximately 1 ½ dozen mini pound cakes.
 Mexican Chocolate Mini Pound Cakes 

For the chocolate drizzles (glaze)

  • 3 squares (3 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate (we used Baker’s brand)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons heavy whipping cream, hot
  • 1 teaspoon corn syrup

Directions

In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate. Stir in the whipping cream and corn syrup until smooth. Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Put the wire rack with the mini pound cakes on top. Place the chocolate glaze mixture into a pastry bag outfitted with a small round tip. Or place it in a zipper top plastic bag and snip a small hole from the corner. Drizzle the tops in a back and forth motion, allowing the glaze to drip down the sides of the mini pound cakes. Transfer to a platter and serve.

Mexican Chocolate Mini Pound Cakes

Notes

  • Mexican chocolate pound cake is a bit dense but dry. We prefer to put a chocolate glaze on top to make it more moist and have a richer flavor. A dusting of powdered sugar instead of the glaze is another option.
  • This recipe can be made for a little loaf pan. Increase the baking time by another 20 minutes, testing with a toothpick for doneness. Double the recipe of the glaze to ice the loaf-style pound cake.
  • Check out more chocolate recipes by searching our blog.

Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Cookies

December 28 and 29: National Chocolate Day

How sweet that chocoholics can celebrate two consecutive National Chocolate Days this month (and other chocolate holidays throughout the year)?!?!

We admit our chocoholism by consuming and cooking with chocolate. We also try to tour chocolate sites whenever we can. We have been to Chocolate World in Hershey, Pennsylvania; seen the world’s largest chocolate fall in Anchorage, Alaska; shared a sundae at the Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco, California;  and attended a Chocolate Show in Manhattan, New York!

Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Cookies

For National Chocolate Day, we baked a cookie chock full of chocolates, of course! Chocolate chocolate chunk cookies are a chewy choice for chocoholics to celebrate this sweet season. Indulge!

Recipe

(Adapted from Baker’s)

  • 1 package (8 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate squares (we used Baker’s brand)
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups chocoloate chunks or chips (we used Nestle brand)

Directions

In a large mixing bowl, microwave the chocolate until melted. Blend in the butter. Mix in the brown sugar. Stir in the vanilla.

Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Beat in the eggs. Add the flour and baking powder. Combine this with the chocolate mixture and stir until the dough is smooth.

Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Fold in the chocolate chunks. Scoop a tablespoon of the cookie dough onto a lightly greased baking pan lined with foil. Leave two-inch spaces between the cookies to allow spreading and puffing up. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Yield: Approximately 3 ½ – 4 dozen cookies.

Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Notes

  • In addition to December 28 and 29, the National Confectioners Association lists another date for National Chocolate Day on October 28. NCA also recognizes the third week of March as American Chocolate Week, July 7 as Chocolate Day and September 13 as International Chocolate Day. Check out more chocolate- and candy-related holidays on the NCA website.
  • We have used this recipe from the back/inside of the box of Baker’s chocolate squares. Throughout the years, it has been called “One-Bowl Chocolate Chunk Cookies,” “Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies” and “Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Cookies.” A variation includes using white chocolate baking squares.
  • Thanks to Jib W. for the Ghirardelli lunch box. It was a special welcome gift when we visited her in San Francisco, California.
  • Search our blog for more chocolate recipes.