Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mrs. Claus & Her Chocolate Factory

Elf #1 reporting for work.

This week Mrs. Claus gathered all of her little
elves to work in her chocolate factory so that
 all of the goodies would be ready for

She has always dipped the old fashioned way but
a few years ago she found this chocolate tempering
machine and now the elves can produce
fine chocolates a lot faster.

The smell of milk chocolate wafts through the factory
making Mrs. Claus and the elves very hungry.  When
you work in the chocolate factory, you are allowed
to eat as much as you like, just no licking your
fingers or double dipping.

The first day of the Christmas shift involves making the centers.

All of the elves have a say in which centers we are going
to make each year.  Each elf has his or her favorite so
many varieties are in production.

These lucious pink ones are Raspberry Creams, yum!

The second day in the factory involves dipping, tasting,
and dipping some more. (And tasting some more and some more.)

Everyone's favorite at the North Pole is the Almond Rum Balls.
These have a creamy white center that is dipped in milk
chocolate and rolled in toasted almonds.

You would be amazed how much elves can eat
when it comes to candy.  Amazingly they don't
gain weight from the chocolates.

Leonard our head chef in the kitchen and factory
keeps everyone moving.   I don't know how he
keeps his clothes clean around all of that chocolate.

Although Mrs. Claus likes Christmas cookies, her specialty
is chocolates.  She has been hand dipping chocolates
since the year after she was married to Mr. Claus.
You don't even want to know how long that is!

Other elves oversee the inventory
checking for quality.  The elves love to eat the

Leonard counts everything to make sure there
is plenty for snacking until Christmas Day.

Leonard shows off some of this year's varieties. 
We have chocolate covered cherries
chocolate dipped chocolate marshmallows
dusted with powdered sugar and topped with a white dragee.

The famous Almond Rum Balls,

Lots and lots of the chocolate marshmallows.

Creamy Symphony Fudge dipped in chocolate and rolled
in crushed toffee bits.

Chocolate Covered Almonds, some dusted with Chili powder
to add a little spice to life.

And Mrs. Claus's favorite, Raspberry Creams dipped in
dark chocolate.  Unfortunately some of the female elves
also love these so they don't stay around long enough.

Mrs. Claus loves cake platters, so she stacks
three (with a little glue so tiny elves don't knock them off)
and displays the finished chocolates on them.

The elves made these for her to show her how much they
love her.  The bottom one represents Mr. Claus.

(These are his slippers for relaxing.)  Yes,
the elves caught him taking a break.

The middle one represents Mrs. Claus.

(They did pretty well on that one!)  She
likes the ceramic shoes better than hers.

And they fashioned the top platter to represent
themselves, surrounded by packages.

Eat as many as you like, Mrs. Claus will refill the platters
all through the month.

"Mrs. Claus, May I please?"
Like she could refuse those eyes!

Don't mind this little elf, he was new to the factory
this year (he is only 18 months.)

Almond Rum Balls Recipe

1 C. soft butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk
4 C. powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. almond flavoring
1/2 tsp. rum flavoring

Beat everything together in a large mixer bowl until
creamy.  Cover and refrigerate at least overnight.
Flour your hands and the pan you will place the
balls on.  Roll small balls of fondant with floured
hands.  (It will be very stick and you have to
work fast.  Don't make them too big as you have
to cover with chocolate and nuts - about 1/2 inch
balls is good.)  Place on pan and place in freezer.
We are going to dip these frozen so that they
don't get too soft and fall apart.

You need tempered dipping chocolate for
best results, or you can use chocolate coating
if desired.

Chop the block of dipping chocolate into
rough chunks and place in a microwave safe
bowl.  Microwave for 1 minute.  Stir, EVEN
This will keep the chocolate from scroching on the
bottom of the bowl.  Microwave one minute more
and stir again, microwave another minute and stir.
A large bowl of chocolate will be melted in about
3 - 3 1/2 minutes. 

Now the hard part, it has to cool to about 90 degrees
or when a drop is placed on your bottom lip
 it feels cold. 

If you don't have a chocolate tempering machine,
as most don't, place 1-2 C. melted chocolate in
a cold clean electric frying pan.  Stir around with
your hand as it cools.  Chocolate must constantly
be stirred (the machine does it for you!!!) or
the butter fat rises to the top and causes bloom
or streaks and spots.  To see if the chocolate is
cool enough, test it on your lip, use an instant
read thermometer or drizzle a little on the counter.
It must set up on the counter in between 1 and 2
If you do, your chocolates will be streaked and
ugly.  Be patient.

Place frozen center (usually your centers aren't
frozen, but these are) in the cooled chocolate,
Cover with chocolate and lift with 2 fingers.  Shake
off the excess chocolate - about 5 or more shakes of
 your hand, then invert chocolate and let it drop off your
fingers into a plate of cool chopped almonds.  Use
your other hand to cover the center with nuts, rolling
it to cover.  Let the chocolate set up while it sits in the
nuts.  These are great for a beginner because if the
chocolate streaks you can't see it because of the nuts. 

Place the cooled chocolates on a
parchment lined pan.
When the pan is full, place in the fridge for a few
minutes to set the chocolate.

When the chocolate in the frying pan becomes too
cool to use, turn the heat on to the count of 3 then
turn it off.  Remember chocolate melts at a really
low temp. and if you leave the heat on you will
have to wait forever for your pan and chocolate to
cool down.  You can also dip out of a bowl that you
place in the microwave every so often for a few seconds
to reheat the chocolate.  Mrs. Claus used both of these
methods for years until she treated herself.

If you would like Santa or Mrs. Claus to bring you
a chocolate tempering machine this year check
out this website.  Hers is not as professional
as these look but it works well.
If it all sounds too
complicated just use the chocolate coating.
It won't be as good, but it is much easier
than working with couverture chocolate.
(Couverture chocolate can be purchased at
specialty stores or online.  Mrs. Claus uses Peters
or Merkens.)
  She also wants you to know that she
 has seen some similar cake platters at Home Goods.

On Pink Saturday this week they are sharing
favorite holiday movies.  Mrs. Claus can't help but mention
one of hers on this post,
with all of these cute little elves working at
the chocolate factory.  She especially loves
the 4 main food groups -
Candy canes
Candy corn

Wait, what about chocolate?

Mrs. Claus is going to go party at


Chocolat - French for Chocolate. I adored chocolate from a young age when I had to sneak in the cupboard to find where my mother had hidden the Nestle's Chocolate Chips. Having read about the famous chocolat shoppes in Paris, when I finally got there I was determined to try a chocolate from every Paris shoppe. I invite you to share my adventures in creating, in travel, and in life.


  1. Mrs Claus..I have to tell you that I think he is so cute!You take great pics.. work hard..and I love the cake stands..never seen any so cute..
    So w/ the wee elf.. and the cake plate?

    This is a big hit with me..

    I know many say CHOCOLATE is their weakness.. Me it's children:) and ok..some pretty special dishes here and there..

  2. Jacquelin -- your little Zach is so cute! I am surprised that he didn't just jump in! I love those stacked plates too -- so over the top, and SO unlike you!! I love the rum balls too -- we make them -- need to put this on the list. I hope the other elves are featured in another post! Love the striped hose too! Very fun and cute post! Joni

  3. Hi Jacqueline,

    What a wonderful post and a beautiful blog you have! You have put so much work into everything. You make it look easy to make candy. I might even give it a try.

    Thanks for stopping by to say hi,

    Merry Christmas,


  4. Jacqueline... pass me the drool rag! I'm a chocolate nut, can't get enough, the cherries are nummy num, I can just imagine the wonderful taste treat!! I so enjoy coming to visit you each day, your blog is one of my favorites. Enjoy your day. xoso Sandy

  5. Forget See's, I'm coming to your house! Your chocolate factory looks so well stocked with beautiful chocolates! You've been very busy, Mrs. Claus! I LOVE the cake stand tower, and your little elf is adorable! He has such kissable cheeks:)

  6. I love cake stands too!

    And those almond rum balls sound fabulous- 3 of my favorite things

    And a chocolate tempering machine...oh my! Now,that I know it exists I have to go get one.

  7. OH! how yummmy! love the chocolate streak on the little one's face. He was having fun & such "sweet" memories were made.
    Your candy looks delicious.

  8. "OMG Mrs Claus, Your little Elf Dumpling is the CUTEST Little Guy EVER"!!! And just how much sampling did he get to do! He looks like he could have been finger painting in the liquid Chocolate too, OH MY, NOW where is CHOCOLATE when we need it most!!! Your post is SO YUMMY! Thank you for such a wonderful treat!
    Hugs to you and Little Zach...

  9. I am swooning! WOW, you are an amazing chocolatier Mrs. Claus and your little elf is too too adorable!

  10. Yummy! I love Christmas candy!

    And all of yours look GREAT!

  11. Fun post Mrs. Claus. Those cake stands are to cute, but your little blond helper is beyond adorable.

  12. Oh my are unbelievable! WOW! Love that cake plate stack... I've never seen anything so darn cute!

    Warm blessings,

  13. Another great post Jacqueline! Your little elf looks like he was really getting into it! The candies look like spectacular gifts! My luck with tempering has been hit or miss, so I'll re-read your tips:@)

  14. How delicious do these look! And your little helper is the cutest I have ever seen! :)

  15. What a yummy, delicious post! The elf is adorable. I can smell the chocolate. *hugs*

  16. It all looks so Heavenly!!! What a lil cutie your newest lil ELF, I couldn't say no to a cutie like that either =)

  17. I follow the Elf diet carefully during the holiday! Your newest elf is too cute for words, looks like he inherited the love of chocolate from someone....

  18. Your little elf is adorable and those chocolates look divine. Wish I could be your neighbour!

  19. Oh my gosh!! I totally wish I could have been a little helper too!!! YUM!

  20. Oh man I want on Mrs. Claus's list!! Oh yum. What a cute and very delicious post. I am still drooling .... Love the cute little elf.

  21. It looks like you made all of my favorite chocolates. I would gladly help out in your kitchen if it meant I could receive a box of these.

  22. Oh man I want on Mrs. Claus's list!! Oh yum. What a cute and very delicious post. I am still drooling .... Love the cute little elf.

  23. What a sweet child. Your post, too, was beautiful. I haven't done a lot of work with candy but you have sorely tempted me. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

  24. That is one seriously adorable helper! How delicious it must be to be on the receiving end of one of your boxes of chocolate! They look so delicious.

  25. Well, Mrs. Claus in this house is more of a cookie baker than candy maker. She would gladly trade a few cookies for some chocolate dipped almonds with chili powder...yum!

  26. What a yummy post. You had an adorable helper and your photos are gorgeous. I gained 5 pounds just reading it....heheh....Happy Pink Saturday.

  27. Oh to be an elf and not gain any weight! What wonderful temptations Mrs. Claus and the elves have created!

  28. Mrs Claus your newest elf recruit is adorable.
    I think I gained 12lbs just reading this post.
    Love everything you made but the covered cherries would be my favourite.


    Oh my, I just wanted to jump into your blog and start eating. And your little helper is adorable.

    What a great Pink Saturday post.

    Happy Holidays,


  30. OOO, I love all these beautiful candies so much, I bookmarked this post. Everything looks amazing but my very favorite...
    that adorable, big eyed little fella.

  31. Those cake plates are precious! I love seeing them stacked and filled with goodies.
    Another friday favorite for sure :-)

  32. So much going on here!!

    First, as a chocolate lover this all looks devine!!!!!!!!!! I can't beleive you make all that. I need a lesson. I swear when I read blogs I wish I lived closer to your wonderfully creative people so I could learn things like candy making!

    Second, I love the plate with the legs and stockings and maybe a relife immatation, did I see?!? Too cute!

    Finally, your little elf man takes the cake- he is the most adorable creature on earth!

    What a wonderful post- thanks for sharing and for the smiles!

    Happy PS!
    In Shoes We Trust,
    Maggie Mae @
    "Do these shoes match this purse?"

  33. Oh YUM! I love chocolate and yours look wonderful Love those cake plates too. Thanks for sharing, Nan

  34. My goodness what a wonderful post and a gorgeous blog. Glad to have discovered your blog. I am you latest follower!

  35. Oh, this is the "sweetest" post ever! Love every inch of this, Jacqueline, but the newest little elf is by far my favorite shot. Oh the joys of helping in the kitchen!
    Happy Holidays, dear friend! ~ sarah

  36. Oh those stacked cake plates are soooo cute, and so is that adorable little boy. I couldn't work in that kitchen. I'm afraid nothing would never make it to the cookie trays. I'd do too much tasting! laurie

  37. Your chocolates look delicious. But I really love those footed cake stands. They are simply adorable. Thanks so much for being a part of Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper

  38. Suddenly I'm craving chocolate! These look wonderful!

    I'm hosting a Christmas Recipe party on Thursday (with prizes). Hope you can stop by!

  39. Ah, dear Mrs. Elf, may I please come live with you and work in your factory. I promise to help make the treats disappear.

    Happy Pink Saturday to you and your very cute little elf.♥

  40. I love your blog and look forward to reading each post. While I loved the Halloween cake plates, I absolutely adore the Christmas ones. Would you share your Symphony fudge recipe? Your recipes are the best and I used alot of them for my Mother's birthday lunch this year. Thanks for sharing.

  41. I love your blog! The chocolates look amazing and the stacked platters bring it all together beautifully.

  42. Mrs. Claus-you are making me hungry.

  43. this is such a fun, beautiful post, Jacqueline, but best of all is that precious, precious little elf... :) What a fabulous picture of him! ~Zuni

  44. I just found your blog today and I love it. Thank you for all the recipes you share and the details you add. I am so excited about the divinity recipe. My godmother was going to teach me to make it....she was the best....and passed away before we got together to make it. It's been 14 years and I've never had the heart to try it. Now I think I'll try your recipe with my daughter so it'll have good memories. Thanks again! Andy


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