This is a sponsored review by BlogHer and Ghirardelli.
It was an average, everyday Wednesday. Not too hot. Not too cold. Work went fine. Nothing too exciting, when a knock came at my door.
I opened the door and saw a huge box that was covered in some cool, outer space looking silver wrap. I picked up the heavy box when it struck me what this box might contain. I remembered that I had been selected to do a review for Ghirardelli and that I would be receiving some samples! Oh boy!
So I ripped open the box and was thrilled with what I found inside:
*10 bags of All Natural Chocolate Chips (two each): white, milk, semi-sweet, mini semi-sweet and 60% cocoa
*12 All Natural Baking Bars (2 each): white, milk, semi-sweet, 60% cocoa, 70% cocoa and unsweetened
*2 canisters of Cocoa Powder: Natural Unsweetened and Sweet Ground Chocolate
*1 large bag of Peppermint Bark Squares
*1 large bag of Chocolate Caramel Squares
*1 WONDERFUL Ghirardelli Chocolate Cookbook
Talk about a baker's ultimate dream come true! Now there is just one problem.....what do I make first??
I decided to try a recipe from the Ghirardelli Chocolate Cookbook. WOW! What a beautiful book. It gave the history of the company, the different types of chocolate, how to melt them and a whole bunch of interesting facts about chocolate.
I decided that I wanted to try the Buttery Breakfast Scones with Chocolate Chunks. How could you go wrong with that? What a wonderful way to start out the day. These were like warm, buttery and cakey chocolate chip cookies that would be wonderful with coffee or hot chocolate.
Look at those wonderful chocolate chunks!
And I wouldn't be "me" if I didn't drizzle a little bit of extra melted chocolate on top. I'm not too proud to admit that I have a drizzling problem. :)
Next, I decided to make my own recipe of Chocolate Covered Caramel and Coconut Pretzel Rods. I used the 60% cocoa to cover the pretzels and it gave it such a distinct and exotic taste. This ain't your everyday chocolate! I thought these would make great gifts to give away during the holidays.
Here is how I made them:
Chocolate Covered Caramel and Coconut Pretzel Rods
Things to get:
Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips (whatever kind you like. I used 60% cocoa.)
Ghirardelli White Chocolate Chips (optional)
Caramel ingredients (You can make your own using the recipe below or melt pre-wrapped caramels for convenience.)
1. Make a batch of caramel or melt your pre-wrapped caramels over low heat.
1c. Karo syrup
1c. Brown sugar
1c. White sugar
1 stick of butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk
Put first 5 ingredients in a large sauce pan over medium heat and stir until melted and combined. Bring to a boil and stir for five minutes. Be careful to keep stirring so that it doesn't start to burn on the bottom of the pan. Take caramel off the burner after 5 minutes.
2. Put the hot caramel in a deep container. I used my Pyrex 4 cup measuring cup.
3. Prepare a couple cookie sheets lined with buttered wax paper.
4. Dip pretzel rod in caramel, about 3/4 of the way and let it drip off any excess caramel. Then lay the rod on the cookie sheet.
5. Repeat with remaining pretzels.
6. Put cookie sheets in the fridge to help set up caramel.
7. Once caramel is set, lift up each pretzel rod off the wax paper and mold caramel around the rod since it will puddle on the sides as it cools.
8. Roll caramel covered pretzel roll in shredded coconut and gently press coconut into the caramel.
9. Prepare the cookie sheets again with new pieces of wax paper. No butter required for this step.
10. Melt chocolate in the microwave or double boiler and place melted chocolate in a deep container like a tall cup. Dip caramel and coconut covered pretzel rods in melted chocolate. At this point, you can also roll the rods in chopped and toasted almonds or pecans.
11. Place chocolate covered pretzel rods on cookie sheets and place in fridge to set up for at least 15 minutes.
12. In a zip lock baggie, melt the Ghirardelli white chocolate chips in the microwave 20 seconds at a time. When completely melted, cut a tiny hole in the corner and drizzle the chocolate on the rods.
13. Place back into the fridge to set up.
Aren't they pretty?
I had so much fun baking and trying to come up with all the different ways I could use my Ghirardelli chocolate jackpot. I just love to work with quality chocolate that melts perfectly and Ghirardelli did not disappoint. I would without hesitation, recommend that you use Ghirardelli chocolate for all your holiday baking. Be sure to check out their website for information about Ghirardelli chocolate and browse the amazing recipes!
What would you make if a big box of Ghirardelli chocolate landed on your doorstep? Let me know in a comment and you will be entered to win a $100 Visa gift card from BlogHer!
For more recipes and more chances to win go to the Ghirardelli and BlogHer round-up page.
For official rules click here.