Need to get un-bored with some creative fun in the last days of your summer break? Here at Wilbur Chocolate, we have plenty of great ideas for activities involving delicious chocolate that you can do at home. Or, come visit us in Lititz, PA for even more sweet excitement!Create a new treat
While the heat of summer may make cranking up the oven or the stove to craft traditional chocolate desserts like cake, brownies, and pudding seem like an uncomfortably warm idea, there are lots of recipes for delicious treats that don’t involve much heat at all. Some are meant to be served cold or at least include chilling between heat-intensive steps to give you a chance to keep cool as you work.
Peanut Butter Eggs
Have you ever tried to create your own candy at home? One of our favorite recipes from the Wilbur Chocolate collection is Peanut Butter Eggs. This confection is usually associated with the Easter season and springtime, but the fact that it involves shaping chilled peanut butter into egg shapes and melting chocolate over lowheat (or even in the microwave) makes this recipe perfect for summertime preparation. Our Wilbur Cocoa Confectionery Wafers melt quickly without the need for high stovetop temperatures and make dipping your chilled peanut butter eggs incredibly easy for kids and adults alike. Be extra creative.... besides an egg, make other fun shapes with the chilled peanut butter center!
Ice Cream (without a machine)
Ice cream is, of course, the most summertime treat there is. But have you ever made your own? While the process takes a few hours without the aid of an ice cream-making machine, it only requires a few ingredients. One of the best recipes we’ve found also requires no heat at all!
And the greatest part about homemade ice cream is how customizable it is. You can experiment with flavors, “mix-ins,” and toppings. In fact, one of our classic recipes for Rich Ice Cream Topping will add a delectable Dutch cocoa and honey-sweet zing to your ice cream that will have everyone coming back for seconds! Wilbur Chocolate also has all kinds of other yummy add ins available to make your ice cream treat your own: cookie drops in different sizes and flavors and caramel.
Paint with chocolate…or on chocolate
If you do an internet search for painting with chocolate, you’ll find several interpretations of the activity, and we challenge you to try as many as you can. Finger painting with chocolate is a fun activity typically for younger kids, but we challenge the “older kids” to enjoy this fun activity too! While it can be messy, you’ll find that it’s safer and definitely more appetizing than finger painting with regular old paints.
All you need is some water and cocoa powder to make your “chocolate paint,” and this can either be mixed together in one container or worked with from two separate containers. Kids (and you too!) dip their fingers into the mixture (or into the water and then the powder) before painting with their chocolatey hands on plain white paper. Or, if messy hands aren’t anyone’s idea of fun in your house, you can also use clean hobby/art paintbrushes to apply your chocolate paint instead.
It’s true that finger painting with chocolate does not really allow you to eat your work when you’re done. So, what about painting with chocolate ON chocolate? This activity is geared more toward older kids and teens or even adults and will require you to learn some intermediate-level candy-making skills , including chocolate tempering techniques.
White chocolate formed into a large rectangular slab allows you to create your canvas, and your chocolate paints can be made in a few different ways. One method calls for mixing powdered food coloring with melted cocoa butter, but we like the much sweeter method of melting colored confectionery coatings and painting with those directly. You can use either brushes or pastry bags to apply your “paint” to your “canvas” depending on the look you’re going for in your finished work.
Read a chocolate-themed book or watch a chocolate-themed movie
When the temperatures soar, and you just want to stay inside and enjoy the air conditioning, it can feel like you’re trapped in your house. Instead of going stir-crazy, come up with a unique theme for the day and read books, watch movies, and eat foods that correspond to the theme! We, of course, suggest a chocolate and candy theme for your next indoor day (you can eat all the treats you created earlier), but you can also come up with other good ones, too, like baseball day, 1980s day, or pizza day.
A few books and movies to jump-start your creativity…
- Chocolate Memorabilia by Donna S. Baker Great read on the history of chocolate and specifically Wilbur Chocolate. Features lots of photos of items from Wilbur’s historical collection of molds, equipment, packaging, chocolate pots, and more. Available here
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964 classic book by Roald Dahl, or 2005 movie directed by Tim Burton, rated PG)
- Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971 movie starring Gene Wilder, rated G)
- The True History of Chocolate by Sophie D. Coe and Michael D. Coe (3rd edition published in 2013 – exhaustively researched, but easy and fun to read for adults and teens)
- The Chocolate Touch by Patrick Skene Catling and illustrated by Margot Apple (for kids ages 8-12 years, this story changes up the legend of King Midas in an entertaining, chocolatey way)
- Chocolat (1999 novel written by Joanne Harris, or 2000 film starring Juliette Binoche, rated PG-13)
Have a backyard campout with plenty of s’mores
It’s a known fact that kids love to camp out in the backyard, and it’s convenient and easy for busy grown-ups to get in on the fun, too. Set up a tent, or just spread out your sleeping bags under the stars to experience “cowboy camping.” Build a campfire and try your hand at creating dinner and dessert over an open flame. Our favorite campfire food is s’mores, of course, made with our Wilbur Semisweet Chocolate Bars –just add your favorite marshmallows and graham crackers to create the ooey-gooey camp food staple. You can add some fun challenge and make your own s’more chocolate pieces before you camp out. Melt Wilbur cookie drops or Wilbur chocolate or confectionery coating and pour into square type pieces on parchment. Let the pieces harden and they are ready to s’more!
And the best part about camping in your own yard? You don’t have to rely on potentially icky campground bathroom facilities. And, if a surprise thunderstorm kicks up, you can always abandon camp for the dry safety of home in minutes flat!
Visit the Wilbur Chocolate Store and Lititz, PA – America’s Coolest Small Town
Are you just tired of spending all your time around the house? In the mid-Atlantic region, our Wilbur Chocolate Store and hometown of Lititz, PA, are just a quick road trip away! With lots to see and do for kids and adults in the downtown blocks surrounding our store location, you may just want to stay and play for a few days instead of taking your chocolate to go. Check out Lititz Springs Park, the coolest downtown shopping district around, or discover the history of pretzel-making at Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery. And don’t forget to stock up on our famous Wilbur Buds, which make great gifts for your chocolate-loving family and friends!
Plan your visit today – the Wilbur Chocolate Store is open 9 am – 5 pm Monday through Saturday. Or, give us a call with questions (toll-free) at 1-888-294-5287. We hope to see you in Lititz!