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 Post subject: How to make chocolate lollipops
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:27 pm 
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The Real Hamburger Helper
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So I've been searching for vegan chocolate to give to my kid for halloween. I swear it seems like there used to be more choices. This year I'm having a really tough time finding anything. There are some specialty vegan items out there, but they're all super expensive and that's even before shipping.

So I thought, why not learn to make my own candy? It seems like it shouldn't be too hard to melt some chocolate in some cute molds and put in a lollipop stick. Especially since my son is 3, so I'm sure this is going to come up again and again, I figure it would be worth it to learn how to do it myself. (I feel like I should add I don't give him lots of sweets or anything on a regular basis - but I don't want him growing up feeling deprived so I do try to make a little something special for holidays)

Of course I want to go the easy route and use something like the wilton candy melts so I don't have to worry about tempering. But they're not vegan and I can't find anything online that is.

So does anyone out there know a good product to use? Or if not, a website with good instructions/tips on how to temper and do it properly?

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 Post subject: Re: How to make chocolate lollipops
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:42 pm 
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This is seriously so easy. You don't have to worry about tempering as long as you don't care if your lollipop is whitish-brown instead of shiny brown. You can melt semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks of a dark chocolate/semi-sweet bar in a makeshift double boiler, then pour/mush into the mold (with the stick of course), let harden, and you're done. Store them in the fridge if your house is really warm. The double boiler is a pot of hot water, a glass bowl on top, put in the chocolate, and whisk. The pot doesn't have to have boiling water. You can boil it and just turn it off before moving forward. I would advise against doing this in the microwave because chocolate can burn quickly/unexpectedly even if you do it slowly.

Last year I made chocolate gelt this way (with a bunch of kids - that's how easy it was) and it was AWESOME.


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 Post subject: Re: How to make chocolate lollipops
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:59 pm 
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easter is about big choco eggs where i live and we make the eggs ourselves. it's really easy, and lollipops are even easier.
if you want to be a superhero, you can even mix some peanut butter with some salt and sugar (or whatever), roll it into little balls, and plop them in the middle of your lollipops. voila, peanut butter cups AND lollipops together.

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 Post subject: Re: How to make chocolate lollipops
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:00 pm 
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Hoards Peppermint Jo-Jos

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from my experience, if you:

1) melt the chocolate (you can even do it in the microwave if you're careful and stop and stir often on a lower heat setting)

2) stir well til smooth
3) stir in some finely chopped chocolate to the hot melted chocolate in the bowl til it's all melted together

you will get easily tempered chocolate. This has worked for me every time, but I'm not an expert. Then again, some fun sprinkles added before the chocolate sets will eliminate any worry of potential bloom (and up the fun factor)

ETA just saw torque's post......YESSS! PB chocolate cup things are seriously one of the best and easiest things ever.


You are a great parent for doing this :)


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 Post subject: Re: How to make chocolate lollipops
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:02 pm 
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Seagull of the PPK
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if you're in NJ, the Shoprite semi sweet morsels should be vegan, i think i bought them recently. you could just melt them down, maybe add a small plop of soy creamer. i think at aldi's they were vegan too.
what else is vegan candy that's easily available in NJ? i found peanut chews but they are probably not optimal for a 3 year old.... and maybe someone has a lead on the vegan kosher white chocolate or butterscotch chips, which i haven't been able to find. fairway, maybe?

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 Post subject: Re: How to make chocolate lollipops
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:10 pm 
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Didn't find Fairway that useful for the kosher accidentally vegan stuff. You really need a kosher supermarket for that or a ShopRite with a full kosher aisle (Livingston has one - they have great candy and frozen kosher/vegan treats).

When I did this last year I used the Divine brand (fair trade!), which worked well, but is not cheap.

tofucheez, I totally forgot about that tip!

Most accidentally vegan candy is not chocolatey. I have found accidentally vegan junior mints at Walgreens, though. I think I've seen vegan off-brand Andes mint type things. There's the usual variety of non-chocolate stuff - smarties, skittles (fairly newly vegan), etc.


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 Post subject: Re: How to make chocolate lollipops
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:27 pm 
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Awesome! I'll just melt some regular vegan chocolate chips then (they're easy to find) and put some sprinkles on top. Thanks!

As for non-chocolately vegan candy, that's a little easier. I still try to stay away from gummy stuff at this age, but he does ok with swedish fish and twizzlers. I like to avoid artificial coloring as much as possible so he'll only get a few of those and the rest I'll give away to trick-or-treaters.

He also likes fruit snacks, which are really candy anyway. You just have to watch out for gelatin but annie's bunnies are always good. I got yummy earth organic lollipops for his birthday which were awesome, so I think I'll get those again. Also some halloween shaped pretzel packs.

I figure if I have all this stuff to switch for whatever non-vegan candy he gets trick-or-treating, we should be OK without too much crying when I take the nasty stuff away!

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Last edited by Aubade on Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: How to make chocolate lollipops
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:28 pm 
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the shop rite in cherry hill has a seasonal expanded kosher section. (off-season, i don't think they sell the white chips, but i could be wrong. i've always stocked up during jewish holidays.)

tofucheez' tips are spot-on. (but also, in the first melt, make sure not to heat it too hot, or else you'll need to mix in a lot more chips to get it to the right temperature, or worse, it'll burn/make tiny black caramel spots. just keep stirring, it'll melt.) also, if you have a laser thermometer, you can look up the actual temperatures it needs to be at the different stages.

also, to reduce the incidence of streaky bloom, pour into the molds in a room without too much air flow.

but even if you don't manage to get it tempered, they'll be on sticks, so mess will be at a minimum anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: How to make chocolate lollipops
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:31 pm 
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supercarrot wrote:
but even if you don't manage to get it tempered, they'll be on sticks, so mess will be at a minimum anyway.


Wait - so does tempering make it stay hard? I thought it was just to make it glossy?

I'm trying to avoid anything that requires a thermometer because I've tried that a few times before (for caramel) with disastrous results.

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 Post subject: Re: How to make chocolate lollipops
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:38 pm 
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Oh yeah, and it might actually be Jewish "seasonal" at this point or certainly by Halloween because of Chanukah landing around Thanksgiving this year. See if you can find non-dairy gelt at your ShopRite.


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 Post subject: Re: How to make chocolate lollipops
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:47 pm 
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that's why laser thermometers kick asparagus! no need to clean anything afterwards, since there's no contact. (i broke one of those thick bulky glass candy thermometers once. that wasn't pretty.)

tempering makes it harden as if it was a candy bar. (with the snap) untempered, it'll still be tasty, but it'll be more along the lines of fudgy texture, or chocolate that's been in your pocket for too long. you can always keep untempered chocolate in the fridge to simulate the snap of tempered. but even if you keep it at room temp, it shouldn't slide down the sticks or anything.

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 Post subject: Re: How to make chocolate lollipops
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:49 pm 
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Oh OK thanks supercarrot. Maybe I will try stirring in the finely chopped chocolate then. Here I go on another cooking adventure!

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 Post subject: Re: How to make chocolate lollipops
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:59 pm 
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it's fun! :-)

if you have those disposable plastic icing bags, that'll make it so much easier to handle/fill the wells. (but if you melt it in the bag in the microwave, make sure you put it on a plastic plate that doesn't heat up, and only let it go for short bursts between kneading the bag. i had a bad time with that when a little piece of the plastic melted on the glass microwave lazy susan thing, and molten chocolate spilled onto my fingers. no fun. but i had 1/2 ghirardelli chips and 1/2 bakers unsweetened chocolate, and the bakers appeared to get a lot hotter/quicker than the chips, and i disregarded the short bursts rule, and let it go for 1.5 minutes straight. this was to fill the minonos, since very dark choc works best in those. oops! i've learned my lesson.)

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 Post subject: Re: How to make chocolate lollipops
PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:13 am 
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supercarrot, you have just blown my mind with the laser thermometer, which i never knew about before today. now i have to have one, do you have any suggestions? i see there are apparently laser and infrared and a million other kinds, ranging in price from $10 to infinity.

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 Post subject: Re: How to make chocolate lollipops
PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:30 am 
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Hoards Peppermint Jo-Jos

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Re the gummy candies......you can make healthier ones with agar and fruit juice. Just pour the mixture into cute little Halloween molds (super cheap and cute.....at a craft store or dollar store). Once gelled, they won't melt. Then you can have all manner of flavors and low sugar (really, no sugar added if you use juice).


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 Post subject: Re: How to make chocolate lollipops
PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:33 am 
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Hoards Peppermint Jo-Jos

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Ooh! And I've always wanted to make these but never have. They're like peppermint patties made with mashed potatoes. This recipe isn't vegan, but easily subbed to be so:

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/chocolate- ... t-patties/


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 Post subject: Re: How to make chocolate lollipops
PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:09 am 
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^^^what what what what!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! oh my god. we are definitely making these.

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 Post subject: Re: How to make chocolate lollipops
PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:22 am 
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torque wrote:
supercarrot, you have just blown my mind with the laser thermometer, which i never knew about before today. now i have to have one, do you have any suggestions? i see there are apparently laser and infrared and a million other kinds, ranging in price from $10 to infinity.

i just checked to see which one we have. it's infrared -50c - 380c and it must be a generic, cause i don't see a brand name anywhere.
it looks similar to this one. (which also looks similar to a lot of other ones.) :-) http://www.faryuan.com/images/infrared% ... rature.jpg
i doubt we spent much at all on it. i haven't doublechecked with a second accurate thermometer though. for the most part, it does it's job. (i love using it for deep frying stuff.)

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I solved it for once and for all -- and for everyone -- by intentionally leaving behind some 9-lives burritos... ~Lorelei4mc
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 Post subject: Re: How to make chocolate lollipops
PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:26 am 
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thank you!! i am looking online and there are so many but i looked at it and had a MILLION ideas of why i Must Have One, from frying to candymaking to "am I sick?" to "how cold is the cockatiel". sorry, /OT

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 Post subject: Re: How to make chocolate lollipops
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 8:56 am 
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OMG halloween dandies "peeps" just showed up at vegan essentials. I want them so bad!! But they're $2.39 for ONE large peep. Plus shipping, that's just too rich for my blood.

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