A plain Peep is not something that I love.  However…a chocolate covered Peep is divine.  Seriously.  I did a short stint at Chocolations (a local chocolate shop) last year and Maria, the owner, was dipping Easter Peeps in chocolate.  Well, that was it.  Done. Count me in.  My early resistance to Peeps was no more.  I lovingly dip, serve and eat them often.  Surprisingly it is not just the kids (and I) who love them.  Rob loves them coated in dark bitter chocolate – to cut the sweetness – and both milk and dark make me happy.  The ghosts are almost fully dipped in chocolate while the pumpkins are placed on a chocolate disk.  While I was at it, I decided to make some chocolate covered Halloween Oreo treats as well.

chocolate covered Halloween Peeps:

Tempering chocolate is vital in chocolate making.  Tempering allows the chocolate to dry and set with  a glossy sheen and snap when you break it.  If you don’t temper you may find that you have off color streaks in the chocolate (a whitish bloom) and sometimes the chocolate wont set unless you refrigerate.  The chocolate may also be grainy.

Tempering chocolate is crazy easy if you have a tempering machine – which if you are dedicated to dipping you may want to invest in.  I have the Rev1 Chocolate Temperer which is in the less expensive range – although they range from about $400-$2000!

It can  be hard to justify the cost of the machine, but if you do purchase, simply follow the instructions on the machine – dip ingredients (in dark, mild or white chocolate) and let set on a parchment lined baking sheet.  You can go crazy here – I’ve dipped so many things- nuts, fruits, cookies, potato chips, pretzels, and popcorn.

If you want to dip by hand, it is a little more labor intensive but still worth the effort.  It would be helpful to have a good chocolate thermometer. And follow instructions below:

Start with at least one pound of chocolate.  It is easier to work with a larger amount.  Chop the chocolate and reserve about 4 oz.  Place the remaining chocolate (12 oz) in a stainless steel bowl over simmering water.  (If you start with more chocolate — let’s say 2 pounds, then reserve about 8 oz.)  When about a half of the chocolate has melted, remove from the heat and stir.  Place chocolate back on the simmering water and continue to heat – until the chocolate registers 118-120 (for dark chocolate) and 116-118 degrees (for milk and white chocolate) on the thermometer.  Do not go above 120 degrees.

Remove chocolate from heat and add the reserved chocolate – stir until incorporated and let sit on counter stirring occasionally until the chocolate cools a bit and reaches 80 degrees.  This can take a while – so be patient.

Once the chocolate cools, return to the simmering water (barely simmering) and heat it until it reaches 88-90 degrees (for dark chocolate) and 85-87 degrees (for milk and white chocolate).  This shouldn’t take long…keep a very watchful eye because if it goes over 90 degrees, you will have to start all over again!

Now it is ready.  Take out those ghost Peeps and dip away.  For the pumpkins, drop a teaspoon (or desired amount) of chocolate onto the parchment and using the bottom of the spoon, flatten it – and then place the pumpkin on it.  You can even make Halloween bark.  Now wish I had.  Next time.

Whatever left over chocolate you have (if any, I can always find something to dip) save for next time you temper or in any other chocolate recipe.  Oh, and by the way, there are many many videos on-line for tempering chocolate by hand – which might be helpful if you are a novice or would like a visual.  The chocolate  Peeps last a long time in an airtight container.  Enjoy!

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