Yesterday I had two firsts in the kitchen: 1) I made my very first candy 2) I used a handi-vac on the kitchen counter. I am now the proud owner of a kitchen full of jars of nonpareils (pronounced nawn-puh-rells). Martha tells us that nonpareils is French for “without peer.” If you ask my mom about her favorite candy, she would agree with that definition for these pretty chocolate sweets.
I don’t have a double boiler and I don’t see the need for one. I put a small pot with a little water on the stovetop and a larger pot with the chocolate and shortening on top and heated the water to a simmer over medium-low heat. This worked out just fine and after 5 minutes the chocolate smoothed out and became velvety in texture.
I wish I had heeded the advice in step one that says to put the parchment paper on top of a BAKING SHEET. Sigh, I skipped those two little words and put the parchment straight down on my counter. I soon realized why a baking sheet is recommended when I started shaking the little white bead sprinkles all of the candies and they proceeded to bounce onto the ground and rolled along the counters. This is where my #2 new experience in the kitchen came in…the hand vacuum.
Being that it’s winter, the heat in our house is on much of the evening so these chocolates had trouble really hardening even after 4 hours. So I finally put them all on a baking sheet and put that in the fridge overnight. This helped them solidify and they were perfect for storing. Two small boxes got shipped out in parchment paper lined tins, one to my mom and one to her brother, I guess you could say nonpareil fans run in the family. Here’s my melt-in-your-mouth chocolatey goodness called nonpareils:
Recipe from: Martha Stewart
Makes about 50 candies
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vegetable shortening
- 1/4 cup white or colored sugar beads
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In the top of a double boiler or in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and shortening, stirring with a rubber spatula until smooth.
2. Spoon the melted chocolate in nickel-size circles onto prepared baking sheet. Cool for 20 minutes; sprinkle with sugar beads. Let nonpareils harden in a cool place for 4 hours before serving.