Tuesday, March 16, 2010

chocolate buttons: so in right now

So my love of all things Bakerella inspired me to recreate the chocolate buttons made by her friend Julie that she posted a while back. I wanted to make little gifties for some of my fellow contributors to the Vogue Charity Fashion Show , and they were just the perfect thing. The buttons in Bakerella's original post use a specific mold and instructions that you can find here at  Bake It Pretty. I didn't have the time to wait for shipping, so I improvised, and they turned out pretty well if I do say so myself.

You'll need:

Moulding wafers in a variety of colours (bulkbarn has a great selection)
One or more plastic moulds in disc shapes
One ziploc freezer bag for each colour of wafer
A sharp metal implement rougly as thick as a skewer
Plastic candy bags
Cardstock and ink (optional)

Start off by placing your coloured wafers into a ziploc and microwaving it, unsealed, for 30 second intervals. Between each interval, massage the wafers and only repeat until the chocolate has all melted but is still thick (about 1 1/2 mins).

Push the air out of the bag and seal it. Cut a 1/2 cm tip off off of the bag and pipe the chocolate into your clean mould. Fill each pocket completely, being careful not to overfill, and lick up any mishaps. Tap the mould on the counter a few times to settle the chocolate and then place it in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.

Once the chocolate has hardened, punch each disk out onto the counter and let them sit for a few minutes to come to room temperature. If you try to skewer them now they are even more likely to crack. You can use this time to rinse your mould and make another batch to go in the freezer. Here are some buttons waiting to be skewered.

Now comes the tricky part. Find a tool that has a tapered, but slightly rounded point for making your button holes. I used a candy thermometer, but you can improvise. Gently, but firmly press the tip into your buttons and twist a few times until the indent is obvious. If you're ambitious, you can skewer all the way through and make your buttons threadable. I did this with some of mine, and while super cool, it is risky. Brush any shavings of chocolate off the top of your buttons and congratulate yourself on a job well done. This is definitely the hardest part; prepare for some casualties.

Once you've made lots of buttons in lots of colours, you're ready to package. Bake It Pretty gives you some cute pastel labels to use, but feel free to make your own. I just used a large business card template in my office program and folded it in half. Now all you have to do is plop a few buttons into a clear plastic baggie, staple on your lovely labels and graciously deflect oohs and ahhs from your recipients.

Last but not least, a photo of the casualties. Arguably less attractive, but equally delicious. These little buddies can be remelted and used again, or simply enjoyed as progress snacks.

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