Oh, c’mon, how cute are these cookie cutter candy bars? I want them all — though I do have my eye on that Eiffel Tower. In all seriousness, though, isn’t it amazing how you can transform a well-loved kitchen item into a delightful and incredibly-thoughtful food gift? It all starts somewhere, people. Maybe it’s as simple as baking a pie in a vintage pie dish or wrapping bread in a special tea towel, but inspiration is everywhere, like on your kitchen counter or in the back of a utensil drawer. Just look and make. Happiest of heart-filled weekends to you! xox
Cookie cutters are pure magic. They give dough personality, help to create fun traditions, and make the most adorable decorations (ornaments, for a tree, mayhaps?).
As a child, I loved digging through my grandmother’s collection of copper animals, metal men and women, and steel snowflakes, searching for the perfect one to make our cookies. I treasure these memories, as well as the cookie cutters that hold them, which inspired me to start giving the fun shapes as gifts … but I needed something else to make it truly a gift worth giving.
Well, of course! Chocolate — because the answer, my friends, is always chocolate.
Why not simply melt chocolate into the cookie cutters and create my own candy bars? There is a myriad of wonderful shapes and sizes available, and they can be made for any event or holiday.
Let’s say, a friend is taking a trip to Paris for the first time. A chocolate Eiffel Tower to accompany her on her journey seems in order. A family member bought their first home? It’s easy to find a variety of (literal) cookie-cutter homes that would be ideal for the occasion.
After you’ve chosen your favorite vessels for the candy bars, all it takes is a little tempering of the chocolate, and deciding if you want to add toppings, such as dried fruit, nuts, or chips (like mint, peanut butter, toffee, or butterscotch). Et voila! You have a delightful gift that goes beyond the edible and may even become part of a family tradition.
Cookie Cutter Candy Bars
Makes: 1 batch for several cookie cutters, depending on size and shape
- 2 pounds high-quality dark, milk, or white chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 cups dried fruit, nuts, or flavored chips (optional)
- Variety of cookie cutters
- Candy thermometer
- Spray inside of the cookie cutters with nonstick cooking spray and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- To temper the chocolate, add 1 1/2 pounds chocolate to a metal bowl or a double-boiler. Set over a pot of simmering water without the bottom touching the water. Place the candy thermometer in the bowl and stir the chocolate until melted, about 3 to 5 minutes. Do not exceed 120°F for dark chocolate or 105°F for milk or white chocolate.
- When the chocolate is melted, remove the bowl from the simmering water and set on a dish towel. Slowly add the remaining 1/2 pound chocolate in intervals, stirring and letting it melt before adding more. You want the temperature to drop between 88°F and 89°F for dark chocolate and 84°F and 86°F for milk and white chocolate.
- Once you reach the desired temperature (raise the temperature by placing the bowl back over the simmering water or drop the temperature by stirring vigorously), spread a spoonful of chocolate on a bit of parchment. If the chocolate looks streaky, you will have to start over the tempering process (steps 2 and 3).
- If the chocolate looks shiny and smooth, pour it evenly into the prepared cookie cutters, about halfway up the sides. Sprinkle the fruit, nuts, or chips over the top, if using. Let cool completely before gifting.
- Small metal trays
- Pretty tape
- Cut the parchment to fit inside the metal trays.
- Add one or two cookie cutter candy bars, depending on size.
- Wrap parchment around the outside of the metal tray and tape the parchment into place.
Eat Boutique is an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista. After hosting pop-up markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie is now focused on opening her first permanent Eat Boutique–a food-retail concept space with a new way to the very best food. Her second cookbook, A New Way to Food: Recipes That Revamped My Pantry & Made Me Love Me, At Last, will be published by Roost Books/Penguin Random House in 2019. Her first cookbook, Food Gift Love, features more than 100 food gift recipes to make, wrap, and share and is available wherever you find favorite cookbooks.