I know, I hardly ever do recipes that coincide with holidays or special occasions.
Well, except for Pi Day a couple of days ago…
And fall. I love doing fall inspired recipes. Spring too, now that I mention seaso-ok, fine, I rather enjoy posting recipes that go with certain times and days.
But this is different. It’s an actual holiday, and those I don’t usually do – until now.
Some of you may know, but if you don’t, I am extremely lucky and I’m not even Irish! See, a few weeks ago I was chosen to be a part of Wilton’s Sweet Treat Team! We’re a team of 15 bloggers who will be ambassadors for Wilton and their products! I promise I’ll try to curb the exclamation points from now on, but it’s exciting! (Sorry.)
Every few months we’ll be sent a box full of new and fun products to try out and experiment with, and in turn I get the privilege of letting you know what the products can do and how awesome they are. I say that because I have been using Wilton’s stuff for yeeeeeears. And since I’ve been using them for years you know they’re worth talking about and praising. Keep that in mind if you think I’m just talking up stuff because it was given to me. That’s not the way I roll and you should know me better than that. Shame on you..
Anyway, I’ve always loved their products and I’m proud to be on the Sweet Treat Team as their ambassador!
So what type of stuff will they be sending me? I’m glad you asked! I just so happened to do an unboxing video..:
I know unboxing videos may not be the norm in the food blogging world, but in the video game blogging world it’s all the rage. Over the years I’ve done dozens of them and it’s led to this unhealthy fixation I have that I can’t open something substantial without a camera in my hand.
Don’t understand? Let me see.. Ok.. It’s kinda like going out to eat and the minute they put your plate in front of you, you’re ready to take a picture of it to post on Instagram. Hahaha, you know what I’m talking about now, huh? Sadly, I have that fixation too, and it’s kinda the same thing, just with tech and toys instead of food.
Alright, now that that’s cleared up let’s get to it..
If you watched the video, one of the main things that caught my eye was the shamrock silicone baking mold. If you listened closely you could even hear the gears in my head turning as I looked at it. I knew I wanted to make a post with it but I didn’t know what. To save the embarrassment, I won’t tell you about the 3 or 4 different ideas that I tried to execute and utterly failed at. But, I will tell you that I finally came up with something the night before St. Patrick’s Day as I was cleaning out and reorganizing my pantry – which, by the way, is still in shambles along with my kitchen because I just had to make these to try and get this post up by St. Patty’s Day.
Dedication. Ambassador status, baby.
So what I did was a candy, essentially. Something I never did before (hence the 3 or 4 failed attempts that I will not talk about), because I never owned a silicone mold before this one. I know there are other ways to make candy but truth be told I’d rather just make cookies and stuff my face with those.
But these… I dunno. These are pretty freaking good. Because of our diet we had to split one. Then, due to the experimentation process and ensuring the recipe was as best as it could be, I made an executive decision to split another one. You know, for science and all that jazz. We’ve been good, we earned it.
So what’s going on with it? Why is it so freaking good? Maybe it’s the chocolate together with the mint infused white chocolate. Or maybe it’s the crushed up sea salt potato chips that are found throughout the center.
Yeah, I think it’s the potato chips too.
I was originally going to do pretzels, but I figured, hey – potato, St. Patrick’s Day – why not.
Pretzels or chips, the one thing I knew I wanted was that salty & sweet combo. The explosion of happiness that happens on your taste buds when those two get together.
So, how do you do it? Simply, that’s how:
1 1/2 cups ~ Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 1/2 cups ~ White Chocolate Chips
1 teaspoon ~ Mint Extract
2-3 toothpicks ~ Wilton’s Kelly Green Food Coloring
about 1 cup ~ Kettle Brand Sea Salt Potato Chips, crushed
- You’re going to need Wilton’s Shamrock Silicone Baking Mold
- My wife came up with the name when she said they look like they just came out of the ground. I admit, I was going for more of a swirled/marbled effect, but the fact that it was last minute and looked edible made it a winner. Fresh out of the ground shamrocks, they’ll be! Even got crushed chips in there to act as the grindy dirt. My wife is a genius.
- I used what I had on hand, but you can also use Wilton’s Candy Melts instead of the chocolate chips.
- If you didn’t know, you measure Wilton’s amazing food coloring gels by the toothpick. Meaning you dip a toothpick in the gel and then swirl it in whatever you’re coloring. Why? Because these gels are no joke. They are insanely powerful. I cannot begin to describe how serious I am when I say “a dab’ll do ya”.
- I used Kettle Brand because I really like them and I wanted a real good crunch. Feel free to use your favorite brand chip.
Of Melting Chocolate
Alright, the trickiest part of this whole thing is going to be melting the chocolate. If you’ve ever melted chocolate before then you know what I’m talking about.
I have no doubt in your abilities, but I will not lie to you – It’s insanely easy to mess this up.
Chocolate is extremely sensitive. If the tiniest drop of moisture gets into it during the melting process it tenses and seizes and leaves you crying in a corner for hours on end while you call yourself a failure.
Why? Because chocolate is dry, believe it or not. Even when it’s melted. Explained by thekitchn.com, the process of refining cocoa into chocolate leaves it incredibly dry. So adding water to melted chocolate has the same effect as adding water to flour – it clumps up into a paste.
An evil, hate-all-things paste.
This paste kicks you when you’re down. It called you mean names and teased you in Jr. High and it didn’t even know you. If Hitler were a food, he’d be this paste.
I hope you’re catching my drift.
While there are ways to salvage the terrible tragedies that happen to chocolate when we’re melting it, it’s best to just be careful. Keep everything you’re using completely dry – the utensils, the bowls – everything. And when using a double boiler (see below), keep the bowl on the pot at all times. You’re working with simmering water. When water simmers it releases steam. Steam is the vaporous form of *smacks forehead* water. So if you lift your bowl and steam comes pouring out like an ash cloud from a volcano, it can build up moisture on the rim of your bowl and it could drip down and get into your chocolate. Then you’ll have no choice but to throw the whole bowl at the wall in an angered rage. It happens, so just be careful.
So if I haven’t scared you off already swearing you’ll never use chocolate again, there are 2 ways you can go about melting it:
First – Using a double boiler. That sounds like a fancy machine the size of your refrigerator but in fact, it’s just putting a glass or metal bowl over a pot of simmering water. Seriously.
Get a pot of water simmering and get a bowl big enough to sit on top of it – make sure the water does not touch the bowl – or you’re going to have some problems. That would make it too hot and next thing you know your chocolate will be scorched. You want to heat the chocolate using the gentle, consistent heat from the steam. So once the water is simmering, throw the chocolate in the bowl and stir until it melts.
Now, I know what you’re thinking because I’m thinking it too…
And if you are, the second method is for you.
Using a microwave – it’s easily the more dangerous of the two methods. There are many uncontrollable factors if you’re not careful. The main thing to be careful with is you could not compensate for how powerful your microwave is and you could scorch the chocolate. It’s just as bad as adding water, you don’t want to do it.
The best, most cautious way of doing it is in intervals. Put your chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and put it in for about 20-30 seconds (depending on amount of chocolate) at 50% power. Take it out after every interval and stir. It’s going to take a few goes so it’s tedious, but in the end you have a better chance of coming out with your sanity in tact.
Now, you’re probably wondering how are we going to add the extract and food coloring to the chocolate after I just told you you basically need a hazmat suit to melt it.
Well, if you add anything – extract, food coloring, butter, cream – to the chocolate while it’s still in its solid form (pre-melted) then it’s ok. Gradually heating up whatever you’re adding with the chocolate helps it blend together a lot easier. So as long as it’s in the bowl when you start the process you should be safe.
I know, melting chocolate doesn’t sound like fun. But it’s all the more reason to want to swim in it when you do melt it correctly. Don’t be scared!
Ok, now that you have a little science in your head let’s get into the simple recipe.
- First, crush your chips and set aside.
- Next, get the semi-sweet chocolate into a bowl and melt it using either method I described above. I prefer the microwave because ain’t nobody got time for a double boiler. Once melted, set aside.
- In another bowl, add the white chocolate chips, mint extract, and food coloring and stir together. Like I said, add the food coloring with a tooth pick.
Please don’t think I’m being over protective and add half the container. You’ll probably pass out because your brain wouldn’t be able to process the color of green that would occur if you did that.
- Once stirred, melt in the microwave. It took me about 4 intervals of 30 seconds and 1 of 15 seconds to get it melted – just to give you an idea. All microwaves are different.
- Now, take about a tablespoon of the smooth, not pasty, green chocolate and put it in a mold. On top of that – next to, whatever – plop down a tablespoon of the semi-sweet. On top of that, sprinkle a good teaspoon or so of crushed chips. Then take small spatula or butter knife and swirl it around, making sure to get all the chips in there – without pushing them all the way to the bottom and keeping them as much away from the edges as possible. Make sure to keep the top as flat as possible or it’ll come out all lop sided and uneven.
- Once you’ve done one mold, go on to the next. Do them one by one so your chocolate won’t cool on you and get hard in the mold during the process.
- When they’re all done, put them in the cooler for about an hour and they should be ready to go. Just stretch out the mold, pop then out from the bottom and boom – a minty, salty sweet, dirty shamrock.
I decided to go with a swirled effect because I wanted a look that I didn’t have to control. So if yours comes out looking totally different then be happy because there’s no real way they’re supposed to look. Unless they come out with actual swirls. Then know I’m jealous and not really liking you at the moment. Mine just so happened to look like they came out of the ground so they’re “dirty”. But if they actually came out looking how I imagined they definitely would’ve been “swirled”.
So that’s it! Wasn’t such a chore now, was it? And you thought working with chocolate was going to be a disaster.
Once again, thank you to Wilton for choosing me to be a member of the Sweet Treat Team!
I hope everyone enjoyed this and I hope you look forward to more posts like this in the coming year. I might even be able to host as little giveaway, who knows!
Till next time, happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Other things you can do with the mold: