(Featured Recipe: Chocolate Medallions with Dried Cherries, Toasted Coconut and Walnuts)
When it comes to making fun, quick and easy sweet confections, I actually don’t think it gets much simpler than chocolate medallions. Many of us are familiar with the beautiful gold foil wrapped and coin-shaped milk chocolate medallions that you can find in many candy stores and in stores that carry a large selection of candy items. The flat round medallions are ordinarily crafted to resemble real coins or award medals, but they also can be made in so many different ways.
A Stocking Full of Coins
When I was a young girl, I used to love waking up on a Christmas morning to find whole handfuls of gold chocolate coins in my stocking. Even though my older brothers had their own handfuls of chocolate coins as well, it never stopped them from eagerly requesting for my little sister and me to trade some of our coins for their hard candy. The hard candy wasn’t a favorite of mine, so those trades never really worked out. I would take my chocolates, march off to a corner of the room with my toys also in hand, hold my head high, and display a bit of a resilient attitude- as if to say, “Hmph, they thought they were going to take my chocolate coins…I don’t think so!”
Decorating Just the Way You Like It
Chocolate medallions can be decorated in a variety of ways. They can be customized and made with embossed designs on the top (or on both sides) of the foil and chocolate. And if you want to personalize your medallions with a message, you can even do that too. There are a number of online stores where purchases can be made for your very own personalized chocolate medallions. If you’re doing it yourself, you can always use molds to achieve the look you want.
The way I like to make these confections is to layer on toppings. I use a dark chocolate blend to make the chocolate disks then top them with toasted nuts, seeds and coconut; dried or candied fruit; dark, white or milk chocolate; and sea salt. There are so many other choices of toppings to choose from as well. It’s fun to come up with ways to make these confections stand out as a party favorite. In the recipe section below, I list other types of ingredients that would make fantastic toppings to use on the medallions. If you have ideas for what you think would be the perfect toppings (or for the ways you’d like to personalize your medallions with a design), please share them with us in the comment section.
|CHOCOLATE MEDALLIONS WITH DRIED CHERRIES, TOASTED COCONUT AND WALNUTS
Recipe By Shirell Dalton, The Simple Chocolatier
Active Time: 22 minutes Yields about 1 dozen medallions
Dark Chocolate Blend:
1/2 cup quality bittersweet chocolate chips – see note below
1/2 cup quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 cup quality white chocolate baking bar (roughly chopped) – see note below
Or use 1/2 cup Trader Joe’s White Chocolate Baking Chips
3/4 teaspoons coconut oil
Toasted walnuts, chopped
Raw shredded coconut, unsweetened (toasted)
|Note: Use chocolate that contains cocoa butter and not a cocoa butter substitute such as palm kernel oil. If using chocolate baking bars, roughly chop the chocolate into small pieces for melting purposes.
To prepare the Melted Chocolate– You will need to melt each type of chocolate (dark chocolate blend and white chocolate) separately in a dry microwave-safe glass or ceramic bowl. For the Dark Chocolate Blend– combine the bittersweet and semi-sweet chocolate and add the coconut oil. Place in the microwave for 30 seconds then remove and stir with a dry wooden spoon or rubber spatula (no metal); repeat this process at shorter intervals, stirring every 15-20 seconds. Once the pieces are mostly melted (the remaining bits will melt in the residual heat), remove from the microwave and stir until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. For the White Chocolate– repeat the same melting process as above but use shorter interval times. Place the white chocolate in the microwave for 20 seconds then remove and stir; repeat this process at shorter intervals, stirring every 10-15 seconds.
To make the Toasted Walnuts– Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the walnuts onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Roast the walnuts in the oven for about 5 to 6 minutes until they are slightly browned and smell toasted. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
To make the toasted coconut– Add 1 cup of coconut to a medium skillet and cook on medium heat; stir frequently. When the coconut is mostly golden brown then remove from heat.
Use a teaspoon to scoop dollops of chocolate onto a wax or parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Using the back of the spoon, spread the dark chocolate in a circular motion to form a disk that measures about 1-1/2” to 2” wide. Top with sea salt, dried cherries, toasted walnuts and coconut. Repeat this step for each medallion. Spoon white or dark chocolate (or both, if preferred) over the toppings on the medallions. Place in the refrigerator until the chocolate is completely set. Serve, or place in gift bags or candy boxes. If using candy boxes, line the boxes with wax or parchment paper before placing the medallions in them. Keep refrigerated.
Other Toppings – choices of toppings can include dried cranberries, apricots, mangoes or blueberries; candied ginger or pineapple; candied citrus peels; edible gold; toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds; toasted or caramelized nuts; edible flowers (e.g., rose or lavender); crushed candy (e.g., cinnamon or rock candy); and crushed cookies.
Dark, Milk or White Chocolate: The chocolate medallions also can be made using milk or white chocolate chips. For 1 cup of milk chocolate or white chocolate chips, use 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil. The white chocolate and milk (or dark) chocolate can also be painted or spread together to make a marbled chocolate medallion.
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