So, this post is going to be more how-not-to than how-to... Making these was a total comedy of errors... but that's what being a beginner is all about, right?
The idea for these cute little treats came from 'eavesdropping' on my mom and a few of her friends on one of their Facebook walls. Someone suggested making 'belly buttons' and eating chocolate, and I was hooked. I tried to stay out of it, but shockingly enough, a Google search of the term belly button didn't bring up anything even remotely related to chocolate. So I had to ask.
What I got in return were directions for these. It was perfect timing, because I'd been looking for something simple to give to my son's teachers for Christmas.
They're simple. If you're not me, lol.
You can use any shape pretzel for them... In some places, they sell pretzel wheels... so they're round and even cuter than what I came up with. Small pretzel twists would work too... these are waffle shaped. What I *did* like about the waffles was that the chocolate couldn't really melt through the holes... they were too small... so no mess on the cookie sheet.
All you'll need are M&Ms, Hershey's Kisses, and your pretzels, in whatever quantity you're looking to make.
Unwrap the kisses and place them on the pretzels, and line a cookie sheet with the pairs.
Then what you're supposed to do is have your oven preheated to somewhere between 300 and 350.
Place the kiss/pretzels in the oven for 1 minute and a half to 2 minutes... just long enough to melt the chocolate and make it squishy.
The best advice I got on this from "Nelle" was to do one at a time to start with, so that I could figure out the *exact* right time/temperature combination. That way, if you get it wrong a time or 2, you're only ruining one, rather than a whole tray full.
This is where I don't have the patience for this project. Or maybe I just don't have the oven for it, I don't know. I absolutely couldn't get it right... so I gave up the one at a time thing and threw whole cookie sheets in, knowing they wouldn't be perfect, but I just didn't care at that point.
My oven isn't the most...um... reliable when it comes to temperatures. I *think* it usually runs about 50 degrees hot. That's just my best guess though. It's not usually a big deal, I adjust the temperature by 50 degrees and watch whatever it is that I'm baking. Usually it's a long enough process that there's a little room for error.
Not so with little chocolate belly buttons.
It's supposed to happen so fast that there's no room for adjustment/error.
Every other batch I threw in was either not melty enough or burned. I'm not kidding. It's like they took turns.
What you're supposed to do when you take them out of the oven is then push the little M&Ms down on top of the kiss.
If you do it right, and it's perfectly melty, the chocolate will smoosh. It'll be beautiful.
If you don't... if it's not melty enough, the chocolate will crack and it won't look quite so cute.
If you don't... and it was TOO hot, or too long, the chocolate will burn... and then it won't smoosh nicely either.
It's been pointed out to me that you can't tell they don't look so good from the pictures. You're gonna have to take my word on it, lol... Half of them were cracky and half of them look funny cuz their burned little points didn't smoosh nicely, so the bent over.
At the end of the day, though, they still taste good. And my son's teachers appreciated the gifts, little cracks in the chocolate or not.
They don't take long to cool, I threw them in cute little Christmas bags, and off they went.
Who needs to be perfect?