Back when my kids were eating dairy-free as well as gluten-free, most candy was off-limits for them. So for Halloween and Easter, we made our own chocolates. Even now that they can eat dairy, we still make our own chocolates. It is super easy!
The fun part is choosing candy molds to make the chocolates. I used to use plastic candy molds, but I worried about chemicals that might leach into the chocolate. So I replaced the plastic candy molds with silicone ice cube trays. There is an amazing variety of ice cube trays available. We have smiley faces, creepy Easter Island statues, peace signs — even Lego minifigures, Daleks, and Tardises (Tardii?) ! Also my local Meijer store sells seasonal silicone ice cube trays for about $2 each. That’s where I got pumpkins, bats, musical notes, hearts, strawberry-shapes, and lots more.
I thought melted chocolate would be scary-hot, but actually if you think about it, chocolate melts at about body temperature, and that’s about as hot as you want to get it — so it is really more just warm than actually hot. To make chocolates, my kids and I melt allergy-safe chocolate chips in the microwave (some dairy-free vegan brands are Equal Exchange chocolate chips and EnjoyLife), pour into silicone ice cube trays, refrigerate for a few hours, and voila — adorable chocolates that were super easy to make.
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Microwave the chocolate chips for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes in a microwave-safe cup or bowl. (I use a Pyrex measuring cup.)
- Stir with a spoon.
- If the chocolate chips aren't fully melted, microwave for another 30 seconds and stir. Repeat until they are all melted.
- Pour into silicone ice cube trays.
- Gently tap the silicone trays, or vibrate them, or wiggle them, to get any bubbles out, and to get the chocolate into the farthest corners of the design.
- Refrigerate for a few hours.
- To unmold, spread out a dishtowel flat on a table or counter. Pop the chocolates out of the mold onto the dishtowel. The dish towel will catch any chocolate scraps.
- Tip: You can wrap the chocolates in aluminum foil, and maybe add a sticker for decoration. If you do that, I recommend that you tear the foil with your hands, not with scissors. Cutting foil with scissors will quickly dull and ruin the scissors -- I found this out the hard way!
- Tip: Some of the chocolate shapes (such as peace signs) break easily when you remove them from the mold. If you need a certain number of chocolates, make extra to account for breakage.
- Tip: If you have silicone trays that are very floppy or very wide, you may wish to put them on a cookie sheet to make it easier to get them into the refrigerator without spilling.