Who wouldn’t want to combine two of life’s best offerings on that one special day: true love and chocolate?
Chocolate has always played a strong supporting role at weddings, and with the rise of “theme” weddings, has really come into its own (especially around February). Not only will your guests savor your sweet choice, you’ll enjoy the almost-limitless options for integrating chocolate into the reception. Chocolate isn’t merely a pleasure to the palette, it charms the eye. Extend the theme by outfitting your brides in “espresso” brown. Put yourself in a gorgeous ivory gown, and accent with peonies in the softest of pinks.
Perhaps the most dramatic chocolate wedding “favor” of all is the chocolate fountain. Holding court at the end of the table, this aromatic structure invites your guests to grab a fork and dip an array of chocolate-friendly treats, fondue style.
Up until recently, chocolate fountains were rented, not purchased, since the largest kinds sell for over $5,000. They’re available in most metropolitan areas. Prices vary, but expect to pay at least $400 for this indulgence. If your fees are on the high end, the rental company should send an assistant or two to monitor the fountain and ensure it flows freely throughout the reception.
These days, high-quality smaller chocolate fountains (five pound capacity and up) are moving into the home market, and are definitely worth a look — especially as you could sell yours after the wedding and recoup much of your cost.
Although when most people envision a chocolate fountain they think of flowing milk or dark chocolate, the fact is that chocolate fountains can serve up other treats. White chocolate, for example, or even caramel or warm cheese.
What to provide for dipping treats? Your caterer may take care of it, but if not, here are some hints:
Food Ideas for Dipping in Chocolate Fountains
Mandarin orange sections
Ruby grapefruit sections
Fresh coconut chunks
Dried fruits: mango, apricot, banana
“Buckeye” centers (Peanut butter
Pound cake squares
Angel food cake squares
Prepackaged caramel squares
Homemade marshmallows (to die for)
Crackers and Breads
Pretzels and pretzel sticks
French baguette pieces
Toasted brioche squares
Kettle-style potato chips
Make Your Own Chocolate Wedding Favors From Molds
Chocolate molds can be found in a dizzying array of shapes and themes. Thanks to the microwave, tempering chocolate isn’t half as hard as it used to be, and many brides find it surprisingly easy to make pretty, customized creations for their favor bags. Whether you’re looking for Celtic knots, a certain sports team, Scotty dogs, Valentine cameos, your alma mater, or the letters that make up your name, someone has made the mold. You can even order chocolate molds with a personalized message. The ambitious can order custom molds made to spec from $250 and up.
One idea: play with colors for drama. For example, pair a white mint chocolate bride with a dark chocolate groom.
Dipped Oreo® Cookie “Wedding Cake” Favors
There’s something about the usual wedding favor cookie that fails to jump off the plate, aeshetically speaking. But chocolate-dipped sandwich cookies are the exception. To make your own sandwich cookie “wedding cake” favors, you need sandwich cookies, frosting (make your own, or buy the premade tubs for a useful cement-like consistency), dipping chocolate and decorations. Remember, you need paste food coloring to tint chocolate. Don’t try the liquid stuff.
Once all is assembled, just glue two cookies together with frosting. Round out the edges with frosting as well, so you don’t get that sandwich look on the sides. Dip cookies in warm chocolate (dark, white or tinted). Place on waxed paper. Press decorations onto top cookie while still warm. If you don’t press in time, use a dab of melted chocolate to “glue” the pieces together.
Some decoration suggestions:
non-pareils or Jimmies
Small chocolate figurines from molds, in colors
that match or contrast with your cookies
Small sugar roses or bells (buy to make this easy)
Do you have a bit of pastry chef in you? Add simple piping around the edges of your cookies. Or top with a monogram for uber-elegance. Don’t forget to set off your creations with an elegant box; they’re worth it.
Ye ol’ Chocolate Kiss
Sweetheart Roses Bouquet This cute and comfortable favorite can be made quickly once you assemble the materials. Find full directions here. You don’t have to hot-glue the “roses” together if you wrap the cellophane tightly; that way, the chocolate can be safely eaten (which is good, because any kids and several men at your reception would eat it anyway).
“Manly-Man” Chocolate Liqueur Favors
For a favor with a slightly more masculine edge than usual, buy chocolates filled with vodka, brandy, various popular liqueurs, or even sake. Place in cool bags of your choice and tie with metallic ribbons.
“Tie the Knot” Wedding Pretzel Favors
You’ll love these easy wedding favors: chocolate-covered pretzels adorned with with tiny sugar flowers. Decide whether you want a contrasting look (one white pretzel, one dark) or whether you prefer two white pretzels tinted with your wedding colors.
Gather the dipping chocolate, paste food coloring (if desired), small sugar flowers and pretzels. Gently warm the chocolate and thoroughly stir in non-liquid food coloring. Dip the pretzels and place on waxed paper to rest. While still warm, press a small sugar flower in the center of each. When dry, wrap a pair
of pretzels in cellophane and tie with a delicate ribbon. Attach a tag: Thank you for joining us as we tie the knot! Mr. & Mrs. Doe, Date.
Chocolate-Dipped Berry Favors (Without the Chocolate Fountain)
Chocolate-dipped cherries and chocolate-covered strawberries are incredibly luxurious-looking. If you’re a diva in the kitchen, show off your decorative techniques. At the very least, double-dip in contrasting chocolates for instant drama. (Let cool completely between contrasting dips.)
Four-Chocolates-in-a-Box Favor with Cute Saying
This old friend is still a great way to make a statement on a budget. Buy Hershey Hugs, Hershey Kisses, Dove Promises, and Nestle’s Treasures, package them attractively, and attach an appropriate tag:
Hug, a Kiss, and a Promise to Treasure.
Hugs and Promises,Treasures and Kisses:
Meet the new Mrs.
Simple but Sumptuous: Heart-Shaped Brownie Favors All you need is a tested brownie recipe and a heart-shaped cookie cutter. Fancy up the brownie with caramel toppings and the like if you wish; use quality bittersweet chocolate in the baking. The humble brownie was never really humble: wrap her up with a pretty ribbon and she’ll shine.
Chocolate-Dipped Pretzel Favors: Standard or Stick You can buy chocolate-dipped pretzels in bulk, of course. But they have a way of looking dusty and worse for wear by the time they show up in those bins, not to mention they’re not very personal. Dipping pretzels in chocolate requires no special skill and looks fantastic. Chocolate-dipped pretzel rods sell for at least $2 apiece commercially (closer to $3.50 on average), so you know your guests will feel special.
All you need is to gently melt chocolate in a microwave and lay the chocolate bowl on top of another one filled with warm water. Reheat as needed. Dip pretzels, shake off excess, and rest on waxed paper. The rest is up to you!
A few tips: Leave a portion of the pretzel chocolate-free when dipping; it’s cleaner and looks just as nice. Keep in mind that pretzels come in a number of attractive shapes: the traditional double-twist, stick shaped, and even addictive little rectangles. Don’t go too light on the chocolate, or the pretzel can taste dry.
Here are some ideas for making them special:
dip first in dark chocolate, then stripe with white. Let the
first chocolate cool and harden completely before decorating
with contrasting chocolate.Try dipping in caramel first for a magnificent “turtle”
effect that may have some of your guests groaning out loud.
Sprinkly accents: While
still warm, top with grated chocolate in contrasting flavors.
Or colored sprinkles in your wedding colors. Or white nonpareils
(very elegant).Chunky coatings: Rice Crispies, peanuts,
pecans, cashews, shredded coconut, chocolate chips. Crushed
English toffee, peanut brittle or Oreo cookies.
Caramel and Chocolate Dipped Apples
These incredibly indulgent treats are never left at the table. Of course, you can buy them … but the nice ones can run at least $15 per apple, not including shipping. Isn’t it worth a little test run to get the hang of making them yourself? That way you limit your expenses to ingredients, wooden sticks and boxes: perhaps an 80% savings!
Homemade caramel is a delight, but to make this even easier, melt Kraft caramels for dipping. Dip again in chocolate, then decorate: try bright stripes of white
chocolate, crushed nuts, any candy that reflects your wedding theme or colors, or all of the above! Like the feel, but not feeling crafty? Get the gist across by handing your guests “caramel apple kits” — pretty favor boxes stuffed with an apple, a stick, and some pre-wrapped caramels
Chocolate-Covered Espresso Beans This “food of the gods” comes with a matching price tag (expect to pay at least $8/lb. once you add shipping), but some things in life are worth it. Your guests will cheer when you present them with small bags or boxes of chocolate-covered espresso beans, finished with a metallic gold ribbon. Any leftovers (as if!) will be surreptitiously gobbled by bridesmaids.