Sunday, December 21, 2014

Grammy's Bon Bons

For the past few years, this has been the cyclical battle of me vs this recipe:

 1. Decide to try Grammy's Bon Bon recipe (again).
 2. Make dough and really struggle not to want to eat the whole bowl.
 3. Pray the chocolate dipping goes smoother (literally & figuratively) than the year before.
 4. Melt chocolate and hold my breath start dipping.
 5. Get way too excited for having dipped 2 bon bons successfully.
 6. Just as fast as that conquering the world feeling came, it's destroyed by clumping chocolate and ugly bon bons.
 7. Wishing I had just eaten the bowl of dough instead of even trying to dip.
 8. Deciding I'm not going to do it again next year.

A couple years ago, I even had my Aunt Sue come over and watched her dip bon bons, while picking her brain of all the best techniques. Wax? Oil? Why, oh why could I not get the hang of dipping the little balls of dough nicely in chocolate? (Okay, maybe that's just a tad bit dramatic.)

This year, however, I got to step 5 and didn't say anything out loud about how wonderful the process was going and how pretty they looked. Then, I proceeded to dip 75 of these beauties without cursing water for ruining my chocolate or any other innocent bystander. It was quite a lovely experience and I'm hoping I can repeat it again next year.

Photo by Michelle Waters
I've had a couple people ask for the recipe this year, so I figured I'd post it on here to make it's mark on internet history forever. You know, since this year I have a more than a few photogenic ones.

This recipe was passed down to me from my dear Grammy, if you hadn't already guessed.

Grammy's Bon Bons
Makes 75-80 inch diameter

12-15 oz walnuts, crushed
1 cup butter, softened
1.5 pounds powdered sugar
1 can sweetened condensed milk
12 oz shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-3 teaspoons vanilla
40 oz chocolate (for dipping)

Crush walnuts. I spread them out on a cookie sheet and use a can to crush them. It's not necessary for them to be in a fine powder but just small enough you'd be happy biting into one.

Mix the nuts and butter until combined.

Add rest of ingredients, except chocolate, mixing until completely combined.

Let this dough set for at least 3 hours in the refrigerator, per the original recipe. I think it's easiest to roll the dough into balls before refrigerating. One tip I do have would be to not making these too big because they are very rich and the bigger they are, the more difficult they are to dip.

*I would highly recommend rolling the dough into balls, placing on a piece of wax paper on a cookie sheet and putting them into the freezer...overnight if possible. I'm hypothesizing that is why I had such success dipping. But that's just a hypothesis. One I will test next year. 

Melt chocolate in double broiler (or poor-man's double broiler, Pyrex bowl sitting atop pot of boiling water). Dip the dough balls in the melted chocolate, allow to cool and harden.

These are best stored in the refrigerator.

Good luck and please, please let me know if you have any chocolate dipping secrets!

Also, one afterthought I had as I successfully finished dipping more bon bons this year than I ever have, is that maybe, just maybe all it takes is practice. I mean really, I only try this once a year, so why should I be good at it at this point? You know who is good at dipping bon bons? My Grammy. She is 79. She's dipped a few more bon bons in her life than I have. Plus, dipping chocolate would probably fall into the candy-making category and I really have no experience in this, unless you count dipping strawberries in fondue.

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