|Happy Easter Colors!!!|
I have searched and searched and don't find a source for pastel white chocolate chips! Why doesn't someone make these? Do I just not know where to look? I Googled it a variety of ways, looked online at my usual sources for specialty baking products...no success. I didn't want pastel M&Ms (although I did eat an entire bag of Easter M&Ms while I thought about this for the last two weeks). I want pastel colored white chocolate morsels (not candy coating discs either...chips please!) to make "Easter" Chocolate Chip Cookies!
OK...FINE! I'll just try to make my own!
So, it's a Saturday afternoon and our previous plans for the day got cancelled at the last minute...seemed like it was time to give it a whirl. I had previously bought both Nestle's Toll House Premier White Chocolate Morsels as well as Ghirardelli White Chocolate Baking Bars...our store didn't have any Ghirardelli White Chocolate Morsels, although I feel certain I've seen them before...and used them, unless I'm delusional...which is an absolute possibility! Tee hee :-)
My main concern with using coloring was fear that it was going to cause the melted white chocolate to seize...but I had hoped that whatever they put in the morsels as a stabilizer might help with that problem, so I went for the Toll House morsels, figuring they might be easiest to bring back to a "chip" shape since that's the way they started.
I set up my baking sheets with silicone baking liners, got out my food colors and piping bags and various tips with collars, bowls, spoons...all the things I thought I'd need.
I measured out 3 ounces of white chocolate morsels *(see note at end of post) into heat proof bowls and started on the first one. (I'm doing 4 colors and I need 12 ounces for the recipe)
I have, in my not so illustrious past, burnt the crap out of white chocolate when melting it. So, I started with 30 seconds and 50% power in the microwave. I stopped and stirred them around, but really, no significant melting yet. Added 15 seconds, 50% and stirred again...there we go - starting to melt so I stirred well - still bumps in the mix...added 15 seconds, still 50%, but stopped it at 10 seconds...stirred...perfecto!
|Melted white chocolate with one drop of blue gel color|
For the first batch I added just one drop of AmeriColor's Sky Blue (#103) soft gel paste food color. Stirred thoroughly and it was a beautiful, perfect pastel blue. Awesome! (**see note at end of post regarding alternate recommendation for food color)
I had already set up my disposable pastry bags (I'm lazy, it's all I can do to clean my tips, not doing bags too) with a collar and a Wilton #5 tip. In the same way I add anything to a pastry bag, I had it sitting in a tall glass with the bag rolled over the edge of the glass to form a collar. I scooped it in, tightened it down, sealed it with a rubber band (and later with twist ties - they worked better for me), and left it sitting tip down in the glass.
I wanted it to cool a bit before I started piping so I prepped the next color (AmeriColor Deep Pink #114) and followed the same procedure. No seizing - worked like a charm. I left it to cool in the piping bag while I worked on piping out all the blue chocolate chips.
The #5 tip worked great. I had a few different sizes out and I think the one I started with is indeed the best. Beginners luck. However, getting a neat chocolate chip took a little effort...that and I realize I can't go in a straight line :-) Oh well, it is what it is. Please don't judge me. There is a definite rhythm to the process. I pictured a machine. Squeeze, release, pause, move, squeeze, release, pause, move. If I forgot to release completely, there was a line of chocolate that followed to the next one. If I didn't move my hand down the bag to keep an even flow, wocky chips happened. I'd get going in a great rhythm with awesome little morsels...and then get out of sync, or my hand would feel tired and I'd loose it for a few chips. Oh well, I guess in a cookie, no one will really notice.
I can tell you already, I'll be too tired after I finish the next two colors to bake cookies today. (I'm taking a pause between the blue/pink set before beginning the green/peach set) I'll probably make the dough and freeze it tomorrow (I'll bake off a few to show you when I get to that point) - but I want to take them to my boys and grandchildren for part of the Easter goodies next week-end. I'll want to bake them off fresh when it's closer to the time!
OK, I finished the green and the peach...the peach actually looks, to me, more like a light pink. I used Mint Green #112 and Peach #117 for the last two batches.
I must say, that's a fine looking bunch of chocolate morsels. I must also say I will need some ibuprofen any minute now. My hands are aching!
Still, it was a fun project. I hope my progeny all appreciate the hard work for those special Easter Chocolate Chip Cookies that their momma/grandma is baking for them!!! I'll let you know.
*Follow-up Note Added 4/1/2012:
Duh, genius I am not. Need 12 ounces of chips for recipe. This made 9 ounces...because, of course, I left some in the bowl and some in the piping bags and collar area...unavoidable to use every bit I weighed into the bowls. Should have done 4 ounces in each bowl!!! (banging head)
**Follow-up Note Added 3/10/2015
After several more years of working with cookies, chocolates, and cakes.... I'll tell you this will work much better if you do NOT USE WATER BASED GEL COLORS. I frequently have the chocolate seize or get more thick than I want (thus the difficulty in the piping and pain in my hands). It works MUCH BETTER with oil based food colors (like Chef Master has). ALSO - I have given up on microwave melting of chocolate. The ability to control temperature is so much better in a double boiler on the stove top or the newer Wilton chocolate melter.
A wonderful tutorial for melting chocolate may be found on Julia Usher's Youtube Channel.
Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!
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