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Working with melted chocolate is a lot easier than most people expect. If you plan to drizzle or dunk sugar cookies with chocolate, it's best to have the sugar cookies arranged before you begin.
When melting chocolate, you can use either baking chocolate or chocolate chips. There are cookie chefs that believe you can melt the chocolate by itself in a microwave or double broiler, others suggest that you should add 2 tablespoons of shortening per cup of chocolate chips or chunks. Try each method to determine which you prefer.
In the spring, create pastel chocolate for baby and bridal showers or Easter. Simply melt white chocolate in the same way as you do the milk and dark chocolates. When tinting white chocolate, use gel, paste or powdered food coloring, as the liquid version will negatively affect the chocolate by causing it to seize up.
A popular way of melting chocolate is with a double boiler or a metal bowl that is placed on a saucepan filled with hot water. It is important to make sure that the water is extremely hot, but do not let it boil as the steam can mix with the chocolate and cause it to curdle.
When using a microwave to melt chocolate, add the chocolate pieces into a plastic bowl and microwave on medium power for one minute intervals. Stir at the end of each minute until you are sure that the chocolate is melted to the proper consistency. Now you can begin to decorate your cookies with the melted chocolate.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|