I am in the throes of Christmas preparation with my family and I am sharing with you photos of the beautiful and delicate chocolate houses that I have been making for almost 20 years each Christmas (photo is last year’s houses). With the help of my daughters, the candy making has begun–and with Katherine’s help, the ‘housebuilding’ has begun with all the walls and roofs molded and are stored for assembly and decorating on or about Christmas eve.
For those of you asking me, the ‘house’ mold–and all my candy supplies, I strongly suggest you order from www.chocolateduck.com, they are AMAZINGLY crazy fast and I am in Pennsylvania and they shipped from Long Island, NY, to me and it arrived the NEXT day (paying regular shipping).
Before I had children, I made as many as 15 of them as gifts for my family and sold them as well. I went as far as to paint each mold with the detail of the trellis and window shutters, etc with different color chocolate, but these days my decorating of the house and the yard have declined considerably in the effort to get them done at all! I make six of them for close friends and family and wish I could make more but each one takes hours to make. The house is entirely chocolate and the roof is a sheet of chocolate, to with non-pareils (added like roof shingles). The trees are green chocolate, the snow detail on the house is white chocolate, but the housetop snow is royal icing.
I have made the toffee for the inside of the homemade buttercrunch candy and will be toasting and chopping the almonds today. Toasting almonds is actually very tricky and difficult to accomplish (in a family with four children). I need to toast 1 1/2 times the amount that I need to take into consideration the stealing that will happen. This cuts down on some of the angry accusations, finger pointing, name calling–and that’s just my husband! ( ah, the joy of a big family)… you get the idea. It can get ugly, so I just make more than I need!
Those of you who know me well, know that the only candy, cookie or cake I will eat is chocolate–so I mold chocolate houses instead of baking gingerbread ones (like normal people). I am proud of the homemade butter crunch candy that I make which I have been perfecting over the last few years. I have already made the toffee for it (I wear the burns proudly for the 320 degrees I cook it to) and have it in a sealed container to season it so that it makes the perfect center for the buttercrunch (it must melt in your mouth!).