Friday, June 4, 2010

Feeding the Craving Monster: 15 Minute Chocolate Covered Nuts

There is one thing and one thing only that I can count on being in our cupboards at any given time: chocolate. My mother has imparted upon me the necessity of maintaining an everlasting supply of what we like to call emergency chocolate. This is good quality chocolate that will satisfy any craving with just a few pieces. However, emergency chocolate does not mean Nestle chocolate chips. Don't get me wrong--Nestle has its place in chocolate chip cookies and some other baked items, but it doesn't really satiate those cravings for something chocolate. Emergency chocolate is a definite step up.

So, what is our emergency chocolate? Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips (also known as Double Chocolate). They're a higher quality oversized chip  that just happens to melt in your mouth. You can also buy them in three pound bags at warehouse stores, which ensures that you will rarely run out. Whenever I crave chocolate, I grab about 10 chips and my life is complete.

However, sometimes it isn't chocolate I'm craving (rare, but it happens). Sometimes I just want something sweet. This is almost always paired with no desire to expend energy to go get something or spend time in the kitchen. Plus, I usually want something now. Thus, I have had to be industrious when it comes to Feeding the Craving Monster. My industriousness usually centers around two items: fruit and my emergency chocolate. I have shared one of my fruit-centric creations, so tonight I will share a chocolate one. 

A handful of good chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
A handful of nuts (pecans and almonds are good)
Piece of parchment or wax paper
Plate/baking sheet
Small bowl

1. Take 3/4 of your chocolate and microwave it for 40 seconds. Stir well. Zap for another 20 seconds. Do this until all or most of the chocolate is melted. Add the remaining chocolate and keep stirring. The majority of it will melt, but it's okay if little pieces don't. This should  temper your chocolate.

2. Dump nuts in bowl of chocolate. Mix around with fork.

3. With your fork, scoop out nuts and place on paper (which should be on a plate or baking sheet). You can do separate nuts, or you can do 3-4 nuts together. If you do 3-4 nuts together, make sure they are touching and have some excess chocolate so they bond together.

4. Stick in your freezer for 10 minutes to speed up the setting process. If you're doing clumps of nuts, about 5 minutes in, flip those over so the inside can set faster. 

Chillin' in the freezer. You can see I flipped the big ones.

5. Indulge. And if you're going to take pictures in a lightbox, be quick so they don't start to melt!


Chef Dennis said...

I love chocolate covered nuts....what a great idea to make your own.....sometimes the simplest things escape me....sigh

Ms. WhitePlates said...

Haha! We have emergency chocolates for those times when the babies are driving mommy right up the g.d. wall and if she walks out the door, she might not come back. Or something to that effect. Our supply of emergency chocolate is much like yours, high quality and decadent. I think I'm going to try this with macadamia nuts (which I love) ... do you use salted nuts? I'd think the contrast would be delicious.

Baking Barrister said...

@MsWhitePlates: I actually just used some of our baking nuts - we always have some walnuts and pecans in the house. We randomly had some unsalted almonds too. But I think salted would be awesome.

Mother Rimmy said...

Great idea. So simple. I could do white, dark and milk chocolate. Something to please everyone!

Liv Wan said...

This looks yum....Thank you for sharing

Lisa said...

What a quick way to make a sweet snack, especially when you have that certain craving!

The Cilantropist said...

Ha! I know EXACTLY what you are talking about! My mom also always had an emergency stash of chocolate, she was obsessed (she used to wear this sweatshirt all the time that said "give me some chocolate and nobody gets hurt." :) Now I have the same stash, there are some days where it is essential to have chocolate!

Lauren said...

Mmmmm... I love love chocolate covered almonds. And espresso beans! Maybe I will make some tomorrow evening.

- Lauren

Spicie Foodie said...

I'm with you all the way on the higher quality and higher cocoa content chocolate. Your recipe sounds,looks so good and can't beat the easiness too:)


Mmmmm! I just want to lick that wax paper! What a perfect treat!

Kathy Gori said...

love this..especially your stressing good chocolate. It's amazing how many people never think of that part, the better the chocolate the better the taste..that;s why it's always wise to get the best you can afford.

Amanda said...

Great post! Stumbled it!

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