Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and along with it the age-old question: “What kind of candy will I give?”
Of course, you can purchase your candy gifts – the National Retail Federation reports that Americans spent around $1.7 billion on candy for their Valentines in the last couple of years – but it’s so fun and easier than you think to make your own.
Let your slow cooker do the melting instead of standing over a hot stove. Simply layer the ingredients and warm for an hour or so, then stir and scoop into mini-muffin papers. The recipe is delicious with or without nuts, and makes more than 50 just-the-right-sized candies for kids — so it’s a great class party treat. You can also make a large piece of chocolate bark, an impressive gift for the chocoholic in your life, or use a heart-shaped parchment-lined pan for the perfect love note.
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely broken pretzel crisps (thin, flat pretzels)
- 1 1/2 cups crispy rice cereal
- 1 12-ounce package dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup raisins
- 1/2 of a 1-pound package chocolate candy coating, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 of a 1-pound package vanilla candy coating, coarsely chopped
- Sparkling sugar crystals
- Omit the pretzel chips and use 2 cups roasted salted peanuts
- Use 1 cup crispy rice cereal
- Omit the dark chocolate chips and use one 12-ounce bag butterscotch chips
- Layer in slow cooker per recipe directions
- Heat a 3- or 4-quart slow cooker on low setting.
- Mix the pretzels and cereal together and pour into the slow cooker.
- Sprinkle the package of chocolate chips evenly over the pretzel-cereal mixture.
- Sprinkle the raisins over the chocolate chips.
- Place the chopped candy coating pieces over the raisins, then cover the slow cooker and cook for 1 hour.
- Check the mixture after an hour by stirring with a spatula. The larger chocolate pieces may not look melted but will soften upon stirring.
- If the chocolate isn’t completely melted, let the mixture cook for another 15-30 minutes, checking after 15 minutes so that the chocolate doesn’t scorch.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and mini-muffin cups.
- Use 2 teaspoons to scoop the chocolate mixture into the cups.
- Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes until solid, then store in airtight containers away from heat.
- Makes 50-60 candies (less if you use part of the mixture to make chocolate bark).