August 29, 2009

Martha Washington Candies

These traditional chocolate-dipped cream candies are a snap to make, and have a delicious coconut-pecan taste. Traditionally, the chocolate is melted with paraffin wax to give the candies a hard, shiny finish. I dislike the texture and taste of wax, so my recipe omits that step. If you would like to try the traditional method, add 1 block paraffin wax to the chocolate when you melt it.

* 2 sticks butter
* 6 cups powdered sugar
* 1 (14 oz) can condensed milk
* 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
* 2 cups toasted pecans, roughly chopped
* 2 tsp vanilla extract
* 1/4 tsp salt
* 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
* 3 ounces white chocolate confectionary coating (optional)


1. Prepare 2 baking sheets by lining them with aluminum foil.

2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, powdered sugar, salt and condensed milk until the mixture is light and fluffy.

3. With the mixer on low speed, add the coconut, pecans, and vanilla extract, and mix until well-combined. The mixture will be stiff. Place the candy in the refrigerator to chill until it is firm enough to roll.

4. Using a candy scoop or teaspoon, form the mixture into small balls and place them on the prepared baking sheets. Return to the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the dipping chocolate.

5. Place the chocolate in a large microwave-safe bowl and melt in the microwave, stirring after every minute. Be sure to watch the chocolate so that it does not scorch. Stir until the chocolate is entirely smooth, and allow it to cool slightly until it is warm but not hot.

6. Using dipping tools or two forks, dip the candies in the melted chocolate and return them to the baking sheets. Repeat with remaining candies. Chill until the chocolate is completely set.

7. If desired, melt the white chocolate candy coating in the microwave. Drizzle the coating over the finished candies by waving a chocolate-dipped fork over the candies. Alternately, you can place the melted coating in a plastic bag and snip off a small corner of the bag to form a homemade piping bag. This creates an extra step, but allows more control in the decorating process. Refrigerate until the coating is firm.

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