One other thing I added to this year's goodies packages was chocolate covered gummi bears. Chris and I discovered the existence of these little things out in Colorado. We were killing time before a movie, stepped into the chocolate shop in the mall, saw them and couldn't resist buying a bag. Chewy and chocolaty, yum, what a good combo. After that we made it a point to stop in the shop and get a bag for our movie snack. A good idea in theory, but was fail in practice. Most of the time the shop was out of stock, because everybody loved them and grabbed them up right away.
The next Christmas I decided to try my hand out at just making them for myself. How hard could it be? Not that hard at all as it turned out, just a somewhat slow process. Now I make them every Christmas and at a fraction of the cost from the chocolate shop!
This isn't a recipe per say. All you need to do is dip gummi bears in melted chocolate and let them dry. I didn't want to neglect adding them to my blog though just in case somebody hadn't heard about them or didn't think to try making them at home.
- A bag of gummi bears - I get a big ol' 3 pound bag to divide into 8 nice sized portions for shipping
- Milk chocolate chips - I ended up using about 4 or 5 bags to cover 3 pounds
- parchment paper
- a couple baking sheets or 13x9 dishes - as a means of transporting to the drying location
- double boiler - if you don't have a double boiler, just use a regular pot and set a glass bowl on top the same as you would the boiler insert
- a fork
- a place to let the gummies set without hot Florida sun melting them in the afternoon
Line a baking sheet or baking dish with a piece of parchment. Open up your bag of gummies, and open up your bag of chocolate chips.
Boil about an inch of water in the bottom of a double boiler. Set the top insert on top of the steaming water with about half a bag of chocolate chips in it. Stir until the chocolate is melted and then remove the top pot from the bottom. This is a useful step that took me a few years to work out for myself. If you keep the top on the heat source your gummies will melt into the chocolate leaving you with an unworkable chocolate mess. I use to just do very small batches of chips at a time, which added so much time to the whole process, but now I can happily use half a bag of chips without having to worry about gummi melt!
So, after the chocolate is melted and the pot is removed from the heat source, drop 1 gummi into the chocolate and using a fork (or toothpick) cover it completely, lift it out of the chocolate and set on the parchment. I use the drop, roll, slide up the pot's edge technique. Repeat approximately 3,253 times! The melted chocolate will still be hot enough to melt your gummies right after you remove it from the steam, so I would recommend dipping your gummies one by one until the chocolate has had time to cool a bit. After it is cool enough just grab a handful of gummies and drop em on in, use your fork to cover them completely in chocolate and then pluck them out one by one onto the parchment paper. This significantly speeds up the process.
Usually the chocolate takes about a day to set, but it could take longer so if you do want to ship these I would make them well in advance so that the chocolate has plenty of time to dry before you package them up. You could also put them in the refrigerator to speed up the drying process, but they might end up sweating when you ship them. I will sometimes stick them in the refrigerator after they have been drying for a night for about 30 minutes to help them completely dry. I find that I don't have any issues with them sweating when I take them back out into room temperature after the 30 minutes.
It may seem like a long explanation, but I just wanted to make sure I shared all the tips I picked up over several years of making these.