The posts are backing up again so hopefully I will be posting a lot over the next week or so. I wanted to update those of you that follow on Facebook and saw my post about the fire in Colorado Springs. My parents are still evacuated but are just fine, and for now their house is unscathed. The firefighters have done an incredible job of controlling this beast and keeping any more structures from burning down. Unfortunately about 350 neighbors have lost their homes entirely. Please please keep these families and the tireless firefighters in your prayers. If any of you are related to a firefighter please let them know they are APPRECIATED. They don't get told as much as they should, but they are cherished by many. It truly takes a hero to don a 70 pound suit in 100 degree weather and fight right next to a wildfire that is blazing an extra 500 plus degrees. And to do it all through the night. And the next day. And the next day. Talk about hell incarnate. Bless their hearts! And bless those of you who have given thoughts and prayers to my family and their city. It is appreciated more than you know. Wish I could give each of you a great big hug and a basket of chocolate-dipped treats!
Want to talk about cinnamon bears now?
First I have to caution you- these are infinitely easier if you don't put them on skewers. If you skewer, it takes a LONG time. You need to thread very slowly and apply even pressure or your chocolate will crack. And then, your chocolate will crack anyways. And you will be annoyed and want to throw things. So I am totally not recommending it but I admit it can be done. IMO these are just as cute in a bowl for a snack, so no need really.
Cinnamon bears are a great place to start if you haven't dipped much before. They are small and easy to work with and you can do a lot fairly quickly. You can certainly use chocolate or brown melts in place of the white melts for traditional chocolate-dipped cinnamon bears. Be aware that regular chocolate may not harden completely. I usually get the best results from using a bar chocolate with a good snap (Ghiradelli or something similar) rather than chocolate chips. You can of course do jimmies or drizzles in any color you like to make these for other holidays or occasions.
Chocolate-dipped Patriotic Cinnamon Bears
Recipe by Dip It In Chocolate
-White candy melts (I think Hobby Lobby brand tastes the best)
-Blue *candy* food coloring (Wilton sells these in packages of 4 different colors)
-Sprinkles or jimmies, if desired
Melt candy melts in a bowl at 50% power for 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until melted. (About 2 minutes) Do not overheat.
Place a cinnamon bear on a candy dipping fork (regular fork will work but be messier). Hold over your bowl of chocolate and use a large spoon to spoon chocolate over the bear. Allow excess to drip off. Tap gently on the side of the bowl to get the chocolate layer particularly even.
Slide bear on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with jimmies if desired. Repeat for each bear.
Let tray sit on counter until chocolate has completely hardened. Tint any remaining chocolate blue with candy food coloring (regular food coloring will seize your chocolate!). Spoon into a ziploc bag, cut off the corner tip and drizzle over bears.
Allow to cool completely, then you can move the bears to a bowl or container to store & serve.
Note- I know it's annoying that I don't have exact measurement for the bears/candy melts. So much depends on how many you want to do, what size your bears are, how thick you layer the chocolate on top, etc. It honestly is easiest just to guesstimate. I melted probably 1 c of melts and had plenty for a (very small) bag of cinnamon bears. You can always add more melts to your melted chocolate if you need to.