Mike and I are trying something new this year with our boys for Easter. We are kickin’ it old school!
Not sure how popular the “Easter Bunny” will be in our house come Sunday, but I am keeping my fingers crossed! Instead of loading their baskets with neon colored commercial candies, I am making a few molded chocolates (baseball gloves, footballs, bunnies and “magic wands“). Sam is also getting his first “big boy” bike and Luke is getting a “daddy-built” sandbox complete with dump trucks, shovels and the like. I also bought some cute Jelly Belly Bubbles (sugar-free!), that I found at Toys R’ Us. 😀
Making your own chocolate candies is actually not as difficult as it sounds (trust me on this, even my husband has made them!). All you need are some inexpensive molds, which you can find at any craft store (or online) for about $1.99 each. You also need chocolate (I’m not talking Couverture chocolate here, which needs tempering, that is WAY over my head!). You can use gluten-free melting wafers (I use Chocoley’s Bada Bing Bada Boom Candy Melts), but you can also get them at craft stores; Make’n Mold Candy Wafers are also gluten-free and they come in all sorts of colors. You can also use vegan chocolate chips if you need need something that is dairy-free.
While I personally prefer the taste of Chocoley’s candy melts (over the Make’n Mold Candy Wafers), I have also made candy using the 365 Organics Vegan Chocolate Chips. The first time I just melted the chips in a double boiler then poured into the molds and placed in the fridge to set. The candies set up fine (and tasted fine as well) but there were a bunch of unsightly white spots all over the candy. I think that was something called chocolate bloom (remember, I am not an expert!):
I made the candy bars again, but this time I added 1 Tbs. of Spectrum Shortening to each cup of vegan chocolate chips as I was melting the chocolate in the double boiler. I then repeated everything else the same and no white spots!! This version of homemade chocolate candy will melt more easily, so keep it in the fridge!
I made some gluten-free “Nestle Crunch” candy bars back in December and have since been trying other add-in’s like sunflower seeds and graham crackers bits. We really like the sunflower seeds as an add-in (see above picture), the perfect blend of salty and sweet. This would be a great candy bar for those allergic to peanuts and tree nuts!
Miss Twix candy bars? I made a gluten-free version of Twix last summer (I really shouldn’t link to it, so embarrassing to look at my newbie blog posts)! I still use the Schar Shortbread Cookies (they are soooo good!) but I no longer use the Kraft Caramels. I use Chocoley’s Caramel instead.
Looking forward to Glutino’s Chocolate and Yogurt Covered Pretzels coming out!!
I am still working on my campaign to get Glutino to make some gluten-free pretzel rods! I have strapping “manly men” in my house and the teeny-tiny magic wands just don’t cut it, (nor do my homemade pretzel rods!) LOL! 😀
As I was scrolling through some older photos from back in December (still need to catch up on some long overdue reviews), I saw a photo that I had completely forgotten about. I received a lot of great goodies from Schar and one of the products were “Italian Breadsticks.” They are great on their own, but I tried to turn them into pretzel rods by brushing them with melted butter and sprinkling Kosher salt on top before baking them for a few minutes to set the salt:
THIS is what I was trying to achieve for Sam’s Friday Fun Snack a few weeks ago when they were making “magic wands!” There are also a lot of fun chocolate pretzel rod molds that are hard to make without a GF pretzel rod! Have I made my case for Glutino to make GF Pretzel Rods???? If you’re with me on this, let’s bombard Glutino with Tweets and emails, Towanda!!! 😀
I found some foil candy wrappers at the craft store to add the finishing touch!
One last thing. A couple of days ago I found Annie’s Homegrown Gluten-Free Bunny Cookies (at La Montanita Coop for folks who live in the Albuquerque area). They are perfect for Easter and I also happen to need them for Sam’s Friday Fun Snack next week when they are making Mud Pies from Chocolate Teddy Grahams. You have no idea how HAPPY I am, that I don’t have to try and make a GF version from scratch!!!!
These are really good! Now if Annie’s would just make a gluten-free version of their Cheddar Bunnies, I might be able to get out of the kitchen more often! 😉 Might need to launch another campaign…
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