I was in the cake and candy supply store (Heinrichs in Centerline) when I thought of making homemade Snocaps or chocolate nonpareils. I know it sounds a little crazy, but the ones at the movies are so small and I thought that they would make a beautiful candy to have in a dish at the holidays. You know, when there is snow on the ground.
Anyhoo, I was talking to a saleswoman about how I would go about it when another saleswoman came by and blurted out, "Okay, here's what you do..."
She had tried this technique last Christmas (with a mixture of red, green and white nonpareils) and it was as if she had been waiting all year for someone to ask about it.
Her enthusiasm was warranted. I just made them and they are fantastic! Each piece of candy is a little bigger than a nickel. They are the perfect size - big enough to look special and homemade, but not so big that you don't want to eat 2 or 3.
Okay, this is how you do it.
Homemade Snocap Nonpareils
Buy a pound or so of bulk Merckens Dark Chocolate Buttons for candy making and a container of white nonpareils at a cake and candy supply store. Take a cookie sheet with sides and line it with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Lay out the chocolate buttons in rows and columns. Turn off the oven and place the cookie sheet inside. In about 5 minutes (watch carefully) the buttons will soften and become shiny, but still retain their shape. Remove cookie sheet from the oven and set on hot pads. With a spoon, sprinkle white nonpareils over the softened chocolate buttons until they are completely covered. Set cookie sheet on a refrigerator shelf for a few minutes to help the candy set. When buttons are hard, remove from refrigerator. Remove each piece of candy, shake off any excess nonpareils and place in a storage container until you are ready to serve. When all of the candies have been removed, pick up edges of parchment paper and ease extra nonpareils back into the nonpareil container to use for the next batch. Put the parchment paper back on the cookie sheet, turn the oven back on and repeat steps. Enjoy!