I’m sure you all have traditions from your childhood that you remember as vividly as if they happened yesterday. Dipping chocolates is something I remember doing every Christmas with my mom and grandma. I’ve always had the intention of doing it with my girls, but every year it seems to slip past. But not this year! My drive to carry on the torch of chocolate dipping has become stronger since we moved the family closer to the grandparents a few years back. I had been telling my girls about being their ages and hauling huge slabs of marble and buckets of chocolate to my grandma’s farm table, where we’d roll and dip and scrape until we had more chocolate on ourselves than were on the drying rack. Needless to say, they were ecstatic to become part of the heritage.
Naturally, I made my favorite fillings – salted caramel, peanut butter rice crispies, lemon creme, coconut chips – and grabbed a bag of cinnamon bears. My biggest score was the bag (or 3) of Ghirardelli chocolate wafers. They melted so creamy smooth, and needed no tempering. Perfect for my crew. I’d much rather spend the time licking my fingers and watching the egg nog mustaches grow than fretting over a pot of simmering chocolate. That being the case, I also made some modifications (which is perfectly acceptable, in case you had any qualms about altering bits and pieces of your inherited traditions) to the process. Instead of heaving giant slabs of marble onto the table and having a wide-spread clean up job, I opted for sheets of parchment under a few bowls of chocolate and some small pieces of marble for drying. To amend even further, we ended up all dipping out of the same bowl….
It was fascinating to retell our memories of this particular tradition. I learned that in reality, we only did this twice. According to my mom, it was so much work, and we ended up eating everything we made…and that was the end of that. Funny that, in my memory, it was a regular Christmas ritual I looked forward to.
The best part, in true tradition fashion, was eating them. My girls couldn’t wait to get to the bottom of the bowl of chocolate so they could lick their fingers. This was the real reason we all dipped out of the same bowl; helping their cause. With a chocolate in one hand and egg nog in the other, listening to stories and asking brilliant childish questions of grandma and great-grandma (like: was chocolate invented when you were a kid?) I chalked the afternoon down as a success.
And, while some chocolates turned out rather pretty, I like the look of these the best:
photography by my friend, Sami Jo Photography