I love chocolate covered raisins, but because of Tobin’s peanut allergy, we rarely have them around the house. I have never managed to find any chocolate covered raisins that aren’t cross-contaminated with peanuts. Since Tobin has never eaten chocolate covered raisins, but he loves raisins, I thought I would try making my own for him to try. Because the recipe I found on the internet looked fairly simple, I figured it would be something neat to do with the kids.
Since Steve was still doing his school work this afternoon when we started making the treat, it ended up just being Tobin and me making the candy at first. I decided to use the microwave instead of a double boiler to melt the chocolate with since my five year old loves using the microwave. He adores pressing the numbers on the keypad and watching the food go round and round on the turntable. He even drags a stool over so he can look at it up close. (Maybe if I turned the cable television back on, he wouldn’t be so desperate for entertainment!)
For this batch of melted chocolate, I chose a combination of semisweet chocolate chips and mini Hershey Kisses, both peanut free. We microwaved the chocolate in a bowl in 20-30 second increments so that it wouldn’t burn and stopped to stir occasionally. Tobin was in heaven because he had the chance to press lots of buttons on the microwave by the time we were done.
After melting the chocolate, we brought the bowl over to the counter so we could stir in the raisins. We dumped in quite a few regular raisins and some golden raisins we happened to have sitting around the house. Tobin enjoyed mixing up the raisins and making sure they were all covered in chocolate. Once they were all mixed up, we scooped up the mixture by the teaspoon and plopped it onto some waxed paper spread out on a cookie sheet. Tobin scooped out the first few but decided he was finished and turned the spoon over to me to finish. When we were finished spooning the batter onto the waxed paper, we moved the tray to the fridge so the candy could harden. I would say it took about 20 minutes for the chocolate covered raisin clusters to get completely hard.
Our first batch was very small since I wasn’t sure how well the chocolate I had chosen would melt. We only made about 10 clusters of raisins total. I let Tobin try the first one, but after tasting it, he decided he didn’t like it! (I say, more for the rest of us.) He ended up spitting it out into the trashcan. That kid…sigh. He did however want to continue eating the chocolate chips themselves, so I poured out a few into a little bowl for him to eat. I guess he still needed his chocolate fix, and he did eat some plain raisins that we didn’t put into the candy mix. I guess that’s close enough to a chocolate covered raisin for him.
The batch of ten pieces did not last long for the rest of us, and Tobin’s big brother missed out on the original fun, so Steve decided he would make a second batch on his own. (We also wanted to set aside a few for Ken’s sister’s birthday today.) I talked him through the process a bit, but he pretty much managed it on his own. In fact, his batch came out better (and bigger) than the first because he was more patient than Tobin and I were about making sure the two types of chocolate were properly melted and mixed.
We had so much fun, we sent Ken out this evening for more supplies. Steve, Tobin, and I are going to try chocolate covered dried cherries next. I’m sure Tobin won’t eat those either. I’m sure Tobin will have oodles of fun working the microwave at least.