This year my bf and I decided to make chocolate covered fruits and nuts again. It’s really easy to do, and I thought I’d show you how.

Now, before you think “my friends won’t want a homemade gift”, on years when we haven’t had time for a “food factory” we’ve given store-bought chocolate bars. The really good ones — Theo, Equal Exchange, Black and Green, Godiva, to name a few brands. And everyone always asks if we’re making chocolates again, and if they’re on the list (hint, hint).

Making chocolates used to be a big chore. Microwave ovens make this job so much easier. In our oven on high, it takes 2 minutes to melt a 11.5 oz bag of milk chocolate and 2 1/2 minutes to melt a 10 oz bag of semisweet. Your microwave time may be different, so start at about 30 seconds less and work up. You don’t want to burn the chocolate.

Also, chocolate chips melt differently in a microwave than they do on the stove. The chips will not lose their shape. Here is a picture of completely melted chocolate chips.

As you can see, they look pretty much the same. However, when you mix them, you get a nice, smooth, melted chocolate.

For fruits, we just dip them into the chocolate and lay them on wax paper to harden. This is a sheet of chocolate covered candied ginger and papaya slices. We have also done dried fruit. It works well, too.

For nuts, we mix them with the melted chocolate and spoon them into small baking cups. If you are really particular, you can spoon them onto wax paper, let them harden and then put them into the baking cups. But we’re making over 400 pieces of candy this year and that takes up too much space for our apartment. As it is, we end up with towers of stacked paper box tops filled with chocolates.

You want to put more nuts into the melted chocolate than you think you should. Otherwise you end up with a lot of chocolate and not many nuts. Here’s a picture of the pistachio mix. It looks a lot like baked beans.

And here’s a picture of the final product. I usually put a nut on top of the candy so people can tell what type of nuts are in the chocolate.

Once you get the hang of it, making the chocolates goes really quickly. With only a few days left before Christmas, if you’re still stumped what to get for someone, try this. Everybody loves homemade chocolate! (well, almost everybody)