Local Flare for the Holidays

To kick off the holiday season, I invited Emily Brooks from Taea Made to share a little about what makes her holiday special. She sent this post over and I’ve been hungry ever since!

The treats Emily makes in her studio are just as lovely as what she whips up in her kitchen. Be sure to check out her Facebook page and blog. And check back here on Wednesday, December 3 for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to Taea Made! (Get all the giveaway details at the bottom of the post.)

Here’s Emily!

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(All photos except this one are from Emily)

When Alicia asked me to write a blog post for the holiday season, I was ecstatic. The holidays are one of my favorite times of year. Steaming cups of cocoa, puffy white snow, cozy sweaters and holiday music. These are a few of my favorite things! Something regional with a twist was my suggestion, and what’s in store for you today is just that!

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Chocolate Covered Potato Chips have been a holiday staple in my family. They’re the perfect mix of sweet and salty, and are always a hit with company.

How regional they were wasn’t apparent to me until I started sending them to my husband’s grandparents who lived in Louisiana. They were a little stumped at first, but grew to look forward to them. Even Wikipedia has a nod to North Dakota in their description of this delicacy: “They are used for snacking like potato chips, and also served at parties or get togethers as appetizers and dessert items, especially in North Dakota.”

So what’s the twist? In this step-by-step instructional, I enlisted the help of my friend, Jamie, to amp up this local holiday classic. We added candy cane crumbles, chunks of Andes mints and M&M minis to make this delicious treat even more delectable!

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Follow these super easy step-by-step instructions to create something unique for your holiday celebrating this year.

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(Pictured above are the products I used to make my treats. Other brands, toppings and types of chocolate are just fine to use as well.)

First, pour your chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl. We used both milk chocolate and white chocolate chips.

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Microwave for 30 second intervals stirring after each 30 seconds. The total for ours was three 30 second intervals. It is very important not to overheat your chocolate, or it will separate and not be usable. Just make sure it’s a nice smooth, melted consistency. See the below video on dipping if you’re unsure of how it should appear.

Next, comes the dipping.

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It’s important to make sure your chips have a nice even coating without getting too much chocolate on any one chip. We use a tapping method to remove excess chocolate.

Then, lay each chocolate covered chip out on a parchment or waxed paper layered cookie sheet. Be sure to leave enough room between treats, so they don’t form together.

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Now it’s time to add the fun toppings! We used a meat tenderizing mallet to crush our candy canes in a Ziploc bag to get the right consistency for topping the chips. Put something underneath so as not to damage your table. (I’ve heard some stores sell these pre-crushed.) The Andes mints came pre-crushed, but the same method could be used for smashing regular sized M&M’s or Andes mints.

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Having your toppings ready to go before you start dipping is a good idea. If you can work fast to crumble your toppings, you can do it as you go along. You’ll want to dip a few chips at a time and then sprinkle your toppings on while the chocolate is still wet. Otherwise, your toppings won’t stick after they’ve dried.

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When you have your chips dipped and your toppings on, put your chocolate covered potato chips in the refrigerator or freezer to harden the chocolate. Living in North Dakota we have a natural outdoor deep freeze, so I set our treats out on the front step to cool (thankfully they were still there when I wanted to bring them in).

My chocolate covered potato chips usually get packaged and stored in the refrigerator for easy gift giving during the holidays. Get creative with packaging and make them extra unique. Enjoy a little local flare!

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Happy Holidays from Taea Made!
(This posting is in no way endorsed by the products used in this tutorial.)

Want to win over $1,200 in prizes from local shops in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota? Enter The 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway! Check back every single day from December 1 through December 12 — you’ll have 12 chances to win!

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