Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Thrifty Acres: An Impulse Buy

Hello! Impulse buying can be the downfall of any shopper, and the thrift store shopper is no exception. In fact, it can be even harder to resist a thrift store item because of the low price. It can all too easy to justify a purchase when you're paying a fraction of the original retail price.

Impulse buying can lead to frivolous purchases, and I can be guilty of this, as seen here:

The Easy Chef Chocolate Bar Maker. The kit was priced a little higher than I would have preferred, but it was complete and in fact, looked like it had never been used. So I guess the thrift store pricing folks took that into consideration. I still paid far less than what the Amazon listing showed. 

So what does this complete kit contain? Two sizes of chocolate bar molds (two each of each size), plus inserts to make "pockets" for adding fillings to the larger bars or fancy designs  to the tops of the smaller bars. 

There's also a plastic squeeze thingy for melting/squeezing out chocolate; this tool also has a nozzle for decorating the bars with chocolate drizzles.

The kit includes four candy bar wrapper-like bags and matching sticker labels; just the thing for four small gifts.

The molds don't look like much; the "large" ones measure about 3 1/4"l x 1 1/4"w x 1 1/4"d. The "fun" size molds are the same width and depth, but are about an inch shorter in length. 

This kit was on the "kids' crafts" shelf at the arts and crafts section of the thrift store, so I suppose the chocolate bar maker is marketed toward kids. However, among the filling suggestions are three "entertaining" candy bars that call for more sophisticated ingredients, so see, you don't have to be a kid to want to use it. 

And I did want to use it, even though I didn't have to have it, of course. But the "recipes" listed in the instruction booklet made me want to try my own combinations. 

And that's what I did today:

Left, the "sharing" bar (the three sections are meant to be cut off and shared) and right, the "swirl top" bar. (The molds used to shape the bars are behind them, of course). They look rather professional if I say so myself!

For my first "recipe", I soaked about a tablespoon of dried cherries in a small amount of chocolate liqueur, and used about the same amount of chopped toasted pecans.

I didn't bother using the plastic thingy for melting the chocolate. I figured a glass custard cup would be easier to clean, so that's what I used instead. 

Of course, a chocolate bar is really only as good as the chocolate used to make it. Well, I melted some semi-sweet chocolate chips - not fantastic quality, but good enough for this project. I used 1 7/8 ounce chocolate chips per bar. (with the add-ins, the total weight of each bar is 2 1/8 ounce.)

Here's a section of the "sharing" bar cut away:

The dark red of the dried cherry is hard to see in there, but I could definitely taste it.  This "sharing section" made for a nice little post-yardwork treat. 

Not bad for an impulse buy! It'll be fun to make other types of candy bars too.


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