Temper, temper.

April 21, 2009

Cooking, Lauren, Prototype

My latest kitchen adventure has been to try and figure out how to temper chocolate. (Tempering is melting it in a very science-y way so that when it cools down it hardens like chocolate again, instead of like fudge like I normally get.) I found this site very helpful, especially the comments section.

The reason I’m doing this was because Lloyd had a concert this weekend and I wanted to make homemade Thin Mints from that cookie recipe. (Note to self: Add about 1/3 tsp. peppermint extract, and don’t substitute 1% milk for whole milk.) I wanted a chocolate coating for the cookies but my first round of tempering was not too successful. The second round? Much better! But then I had some chocolate left over and didn’t know what to do with it. (No, I couldn’t eat a bowl full of melted chocolate. Bleh.)

Then I remembered that we used to make peanut butter candy as kids – aha! I’ve just invented something!! I shall call them Reezez Peanut Butter Lumps! I’ll make millions! Millions, I say!

To begin: Mix one scoop of peanut butter with another scoop of powdered sugar. It will look smooth-ish, but that ain’t right. Dump in more powdered sugar so it’s pretty dry. You know how when you eat a Reece’s Reezez and it’s kinda crumbly inside? Go for that. Roll into lumps as small or large as you wish.


Now on to the chocolate. If you don’t have a white shirt on now, go and change into one. It will make for maximum swears later. I followed the microwave/seed method. Put some chocolate chips in a bowl and microwave for 30-second bursts. When they still hold their shape but are kinda melty (around 107 degrees if you want to do this right), take them out and stir. Sprinkle in a few more chocolate chips. (This is ‘seeding’ it with the right crystal structure, but if you want to know more about that, visit the tempering site. Or talk to Superman.) Stir it until it gets to between 85 – 88 degrees. This will KILL YOU if you are impatient like me, but just do it, you big baby.


Ok, roll the lumps in the chocolate, but don’t you dare get a drop of sweat or anything in there or that chocolate will seize up like an engine that just ran out of oil. Wait until the chocolate sets to eat them. Again, killing me.

If you have followed the directions correctly, they should have a good ‘snap’ to the coating and you should need some Spray-N-Wash for your stains. Heck – just throw that shirt away, because what are the chances that you’re ever going to do this again?

About Lauren

Lauren Sommerer is a preschool teacher who likes to build prototypes, grow cats, cook things once, save money, reduce, reuse and recycle.

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16 Responses to “Temper, temper.”

  1. Brad Said on:

    You left out the last step: “Send them to Brad”


  2. Kristi Said on:

    Wouldn’t chocolate almond bark give you the same effect? You really need to make Deborah’s chocolate peanut butter balls. To. Die. For.


  3. Peggy Said on:

    Oooooooo….chocolate…I dont’ care if it’s tempered or set… I’m trying to control my urge to lick that 1st picture…YUM!! In fact, I wish they could crawl right out of the screen like Samara!




  4. Karla Said on:

    Here’s how I do it --

    1) Go to store
    2) Buy Reese’s PB Cups
    3) Go home
    4) Dig in!

    It’s a little involved, but well worth the effort. ๐Ÿ™‚


  5. Jill Said on:

    Crazy! I just made peaunut butter balls last night with chocolate (almond bark) coating, too! I add 2T butter and 1 1/2c rice krispies to the 1c each of pb and ps. Crispy and so tasty! I use the double boiler melting device…not an official one, just my pot/glass bowl version. Works like a charm, everytime.


  6. Curt Said on:

    Whoever invented these is a genious. I like the addition of rice krispies as well. Are they really that easy to make, or is it my idiot brain confusing the ease of making with the ease of eating?


  7. Curt Said on:

    I forgot to mention that I really liked your chocolate cookies that you brought to the concert. Very good.


  8. Rae Said on:

    Sam’s mom (Lloyd’s Aunt Lolly) makes the best peanut butter ball/cookie things every year at Christmas. They are my absolute favorite and I eat them the entire time that we visit. I’ll have to ask her for the recipe and see how she tempers her chocolate. Let me just say -- Lolly knows just about everything there is to know about cooking -- although she won’t admit it. Love you, Grandma!!


  9. Brad Said on:

    My mom always just added parrafin (wax) to chocolate that would be used as dipping chocolate. I looked for it when I made sugar bombs, but couldn’t find it. But I suppose parrafin could be considered cheating to a chocolate purist, huh?


  10. Deborah Said on:

    Lauren! Phone number! Now!



  1. An egg-speriment | LloydAndLauren.com - April 4, 2010

    […] the breakdown occurred. I’m too impatient, and let’s just say -- if you want to temper chocolate, you should actually follow the directions. Not me -- rush, rush! Melt! Melt! Throw in some […]

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