At this point in the holiday season, the entire endeavor feels like both a marathon and a sprint. With countless things to remember and much to be done, recipes like this one (if you even want to call it that) feel that much more awesome. Short of purchasing something store-bought, these freestyle dark chocolate candies couldn’t be simpler. Chances are good that with a well stocked pantry, you may already have what you need to make these right now. These are a perfect option for a handmade gift that looks fancy but takes next to no time. The kids went bonkers over these as did I, and I plan to make another batch for their teacher gifts this week.

These take just a few minutes to throw together. All you do is melt chocolate, pipe little dollops onto parchment, sprinkle on your choice of toppings, and let the discs set. I especially love using chocolate discs since they don’t require chopping before melting. (Chocolate chips have a different consistency and I don’t recommend them for melting, though they can be used in a pinch.) And let’s go ahead and buy Fair Trade chocolate because I promise, it tastes better knowing workers were fairly compensated to create it. (Whole Foods carries it as well!)

There are endless possibilities to the flavor combinations you could use on top. The combinations I have pictured here are freeze dried raspberry with marcona almond, freeze dried blueberry with roasted cashew, dried sour cherry with smoked Maldon salt, freeze dried strawberry with crispy chocolate pearls, and dried cranberry with pistachio and Maldon salt. Other fabulous options for topping would include toasted coconut flakes (the large pretty kind, especially), dried chili flake, candied citrus peel, crushed candy cane, crushed cookie (gingerbread perhaps?), and the list goes on. If you make these, I would love to hear what toppings you use. Please share in the comments below!

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, discs or coarsely chopped

Potential toppings (a non-exhaustive list): 

  • Freeze dried fruit, crushed
  • Dried fruit, chopped
  • Candied citrus peel
  • Toasted chopped nuts
  • Seeds (sunflower, pepitas, etc.)
  • Dry toasted quinoa
  • Toasted coconut
  • Chili flake
  • Sea salt
  • Crushed cookies
  • Crushes peppermint

Directions

  • 01

    Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (double boiler). Once the chocolate is fully melted, set it aside and let cool 5-10 minutes. Stir every once in a while to observe the consistency – you want it to be cool enough that it won’t spread out super thin when portioned onto the parchment.

  • 02

    Place a sheet of parchment on a baking sheet. Have your choice of toppings nearby and ready to go. Transfer the melted chocolate to a pastry bag or plastic baggie and cut off a small tip. Pipe the chocolate directly down onto the parchment so that it spreads into a disc approximately 1½ inches in diameter. Sprinkle with your choice of toppings. Chill to set. Keep chilled until ready to serve. Peel away from parchment and enjoy!

  • 03

    A note on tempering: 

    Tempering chocolate is an option, but would totally negate the beloved simplicity of these candies. I have tempered chocolate enough times to determine that in my home kitchen, I just don’t care enough to make this effort and it mainly leads to tons of swearing.

Source

  • Alison

    The note on tempering may be my favorite part of this post. It leads to the same thing in my house and my 2 year old likes to repeat whatever I say lately! :-)

  • Renee

    I can’t wait to make these! What kind of pastry tip did you use?

  • Annie

    I didn’t use a tip for these, just cut the tip off a pastry bag. As long as you pipe straight down onto the parchment, you can create nice circles pretty easily.