Create Holiday Candy Merry-mint!

November 11th, 2010 by Beth Somers

Have you ever tried working with chocolate? It can be very finicky and time consuming because it’s necessary to put chocolate through a process called “tempering.” There’s no need to go through tempering with Wilton Candy Melts®. They’re specially formulated to melt perfectly right in your microwave and to set up with a gorgeous shiny finish. So easy!

Tempering is really interesting, and really scientific…and really frustrating if you miss that specific temperature by a degree or two and have to start the process all over! It involves melting chocolate to a very specific temperature, then bringing it down to a slightly cooler temperature so that the fat molecules realign properly, assuring that the chocolate will have a shiny finish and crisp break when it is hardened.

It’s important to melt the candy at a low temperature until it is liquefied. Going too hot too quickly can cause Candy Melts to seize, just like chocolate. Put them in the microwave for 30 second intervals at 50% power, kneading or stirring in between intervals to distribute the heat, until they’re completely melted.

Candy Melts are so easy to use that you’ll want to add homemade candy to your cookie assortment and holiday table. Our Peppermint Bark Kit is a great way to give a tasty present. The kit makes 6 complete treats for gift giving and includes lovely snowflake cutters that will make great holiday cookies for years.

Chocolate Mint Bark Another option is to create gifts with your choice of Candy Melts and the Candy Cane, Gingerbread Boy or Tree Holiday Gift Cutter Set. Who wouldn’t love a piece of Dark Cocoa Mint Bark? Our Candy Cane Colorburst or Chocolate Mint candy melts add a seasonal touch. If you prefer, add Peppermint, Cherry, Cinnamon or Creme De Menthe flavor to your candy with our Candy Flavoring Set.

And did I mention that it’s easy?

Beth Somers Beth Somers is the Senior Test Kitchen Manager and has taught at the internationally acclaimed Wilton School of Cake Decorating and Confectionery Art in Darien, IL. As a competitor on the Food Network's Cupcake Wars, she shined as a champion during season 6. Before joining Wilton, Beth honed her pastry skills at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Chicago. Beth loves showing people how fun and easy it can be to bake and decorate amazing sweet treats with Wilton products.

20 Replies

  1. JoCarole says:

    I was looking at Wiltons candy melts the other day along with other edibles.

    The ingredient list was full of sugar, chemicals, etc. It may be easier to use these products but definitely not healthy.

    Hoping this policy will change. Thank you.

    • Angie Thayer says:

      The main difference between chocolate and confectionery coating is the fat system. Confectionery coatings are made with vegetable fats and oils like palm kernel, soybean, or a blend of similar kinds. Chocolate is made with cocoa butter. Wilton Candy Melts® still contain sugar, a milk product and soy just like chocolate.

  2. Townsend says:

    I agree with JoCarole. I won’t buy candy melts because they contain trans-fats and other chemicals. In an age where people are starting to care about what they eat, it’s not just taste that matters.

    • Angie Thayer says:

      For clarification, there is no trans fat in a serving of Candy Melts. Additionally, you may find interest in my response to JoCarole (noted above) regarding the difference between Wilton Candy Melts and chocolate.

      • Linda says:

        That “clarification” is so very misleading. You can not say there are no trans fats in a serving when trans fats are listed on the ingredient list. You may make the serving size small enough so you can “legally” say there are no trans fats, but that does not make it a true statement that there are no trans fats in the serving. Partially hydrogenated palm kernel oil is exactly a trans fat. You are either totally ignorant or willing to lie to help sell your product. I, for one will not buy these simply because you blatantly lied about the existence of trans fats in your product.

  3. chris lopez says:

    I agree with you ladies, she talks about tempering as being hard it is!! but it is so much better for you then the melts. I am an expert in the field of chocolate making…if it does no list coco butter it IS NOT chocolate. So many of these companies claim the product is chocolate, but it is chocolate “like”. I will stick to the hard work of tempering chocolate and enjoy something far more healthy and good.

    • Beth Somers says:

      I tried to be clear that Candy Melts are not chocolate. The Light and Dark Cocoa varieties contain real cocoa powder, but Candy Melts classified as confectionary coating, which eliminates the need to temper. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  4. egc says:

    I guess I am “old school”, but I was taught to never cook or prepare food with long hair hanging loosely. In home ec we had to tie our hair back, and I still do. I’m surprised that Wilton and many cooking tv shows allow this with their demonstrators.

    • Mary says:

      Not only did her hair hang down over the food, she even touched it at one point. Too bad she didn’t use that hair band she hand on her wrist. We would have focused more on what she was presenting than on her loose hair! As a professional chef, she knows better.

  5. Carol says:

    Be very careful, I seriously burnt my finger the other evening after the chocolate burnt a whole through the decorating bag I didn’t realize this had happened until after I had put my finger right into the hot, hot chocolate! Three days later, and my finger is still very sore.

    • Beth Somers says:

      Hi Carol! I’m sorry to hear about your burn – those can be very painful. Here’s some information, which I hope is helpful in preventing this from happening to anyone else.

      Candy Melts begin melting around 90°F, which is cooler than body temperature. The candy would have to be extremely, extremely hot to melt a hole through the plastic decorating bag. Did you melt the candy in 30 second intervals at 50% power, kneading in between intervals to distribute the heat throughout the bag and test how liquid the candy was? The candy is completely liquid and ready for piping after only a couple of minutes at 50% power, not long or hot enough to melt the candy bag and definitely cool enough to pick up and pipe with bare hands. Were you using your microwave consistently over the course of several minutes causing the plate to get very hot? If this happens, put the filled candy bags on a room temperature dinner plate in the microwave to cut down on the heat from the bottom of the microwave. Or perhaps there was some other food debris on the microwave plate that got overheated, stuck to the bag, and caused the hole?

      If Candy Melts are heated according to the package instructions, they’ll melt nicely in the bag every time. Be careful not to overheat, as the candy can scorch at very high temperatures, and once that happens it’s unusable.

  6. Deb-D says:

    Thank You Beth for the nice gift thoughts. My cake friend, family & childs teachers would love to get a new cookie cutter filled with candy melts. Happy Holidays to all the nice people at Wilton.

  7. AK says:

    Be careful about melting chocolate in plastic containers or bags, the parabens and hazardous chemicals will also get in to the candy

    • Angie Thayer says:

      This is a very good point to be cautious of. However, I can assure you that Wilton disposable decorating bags used for melting candy have been tested for food contact safety as well as leaching of substances by a third party laboratory. The product was deemed food contact safe and no substances leached from the bag when heated.

  8. Jamie says:

    I love the snowflake idea but, I wasn’t able to find the kit on the website. Am I looking in the wrong place?

  9. Erica says:

    Wow, you guys are really hard on Wilton. For you guys complaining about the health aspects of the candy melts…If you are looking for health, why are you looking at peppermint bark in the first place? If you’re looking for fat and sugar free, I suggest steamed broccoli. Here’s a little food chemistry 101: Confectionary coatings have to have sugar (otherwise they would not be confections). If you want the texture of chocolate or white chocolate, they also have to have fat. And with these two ingredients, an emulsifier is pretty much essential too. I challenge you guys to find a confectionary coating that doesn’t have these ingredients…and stays mixed together for more than a few seconds.

  10. Tammy says:

    I love Wilton and really enjoy this and other presentations. Keep up the good work. Your products are great! I’m always excited to see what you have next!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Happy Holidays. Your products will be spreading joy to many teachers and friends this season.

  11. Debbie says:

    I just finished a batch of peppermint bark from the kit. Do you have any suggestions for easily removing the chocolate snowflake from the snowflake cutters? I want to make a few more batches so I don’t want to give the cutters away with the snowflake. I tried pushing the chocolate out but I’m afraid to break it into pieces. Thank you. Love the kit!

  12. Bonnie says:

    I would also like to know how to get the candy out of the cutter easily. I gave all of mine away and would like to replace the cutters to make more. Any idea where to find these cutters? I can find sets of different sizes, but I’d like cutters like in the kit.

    • Beth Somers says:

      Just apply a little pressure to the outermost points of the candy and it slides right out of the cookie cutter. I’ve unmolded lots of these, and the candy has never broken, so don’t be afraid – just push firmly with both thumbs at the same time.

      One of the snowflake cutters in the 3 Piece Snowflake Cutter Set is identical to the cutters in the Peppermint Bark Kit. There are two other snowflake shapes as well. The only difference is that the 3 Piece set is powder coated, so they’re not shiny metal. You can really use any size or shape cutter, so get creative, too!

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