My husband is lucky he wasn’t a lobster in all of our wedding photos.
The day before we got married, we relaxed with our wedding party and friends on the beach most of the afternoon. We played volleyball, enjoyed the cool waters of beautiful Lake Huron, and ate heaps of junk food that the girls and I had prepared the day before.
It wasn’t until we were leaving to get ready for the rehearsal itself that my incredibly pale-skinned husband-to-be realized that while he had put sunscreen all over his body, he had completely forgotten his face.
By some miracle, he looked fine the next day for the wedding and only slightly pink in the rehearsal dinner photos. I wish I could say I had served some magical healthy snacks packed with antioxidants that day at the beach, but in reality we feasted on a huge bowl of a concoction irreverently termed “white trash.”
That party dish is a cockamamie mix of Fritos, popcorn, and peanuts covered in white chocolate, if I remember correctly.
One thing I’ll never forget is that while my girlfriends and I were having fun in the kitchen that week preparing all the (delicious) junk, we had to run to town not once but TWICE to purchase more white chocolate chips. Both in the microwave and on the stovetop, we’d burned the heck out of the first two attempts at melting chocolate.
My mom finally took over and succeeded without a problem. The secret? Read the directions on the bag and follow them. (I know, I know…we were young!)
That story will live in nostalgic memory forever, but I assumed once I really made the switch to real food that “white trash” would be equally eternally lost to me.
When I finally pitched my last stockpile of cheap white chocolate because I just couldn’t handle the hydrogenated oils (and other junk) in the ingredients list, I figured it was the nail in the coffin of all those white-chocolate-covered goodies I used to enjoy.
Saved by Santa Barbara
Then I discovered Santa Barbara Chocolates. Their white chocolate has simple ingredients:
sugar, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, emulsifier: soy lecithin and natural vanilla.
Yes, there’s sugar in there, but at least it’s not anything worse, and the cocoa butter is ethically traded. (Santa Barbara does have soy-free chocolate including all their organic dark chocolate, as well as 100% cacao so you could technically melt that down and add your own sweetener too to make your own without any sugar.)
I took extra care not to burn this stuff while melting it!
This recipe is sponsored by the Santa Barbara Chocolate Company.
Real Food White Trash?
My attempt at remaking the fun dessert (classified as a snack back then) from my college days looked something like this:
- 3 c. popped organic popcorn
- (butter and salt optional on the corn)
- 1 c. cashews
- ½ c. any dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, cherries)
- ½ c. Santa Barbara white chocolate chips
- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler (or "homemade" double boiler, see above for directions).
- Stir frequently.
- Mix the popcorn, nuts and dried fruit in a bowl. When the chocolate is completely smooth and creamy, pour it over the mixture and use a spatula to mix it all thoroughly together.
- Store in an airtight container.
* Add ¼-1/2 cup dark chocolate chips to the mix to make it a truly decadent dessert.
3 c. popped organic popcorn
1 c. peanuts (or other nut)
2 c. organic corn chips, broken into pieces
1 c. Santa Barbara white chocolate
Mix the popcorn, nuts and chips in a large bowl to make sure they’re ready when the chocolate is melted.
Melt the chocolate gently in a double boiler, stirring frequently and taking care not to let the water boil.
*If you don’t have a double boiler, do what I do and rest a smaller pot inside a larger pot. Put enough water in the larger pot so that it touches the smaller pot. This will ensure even heating of the chocolate in the smaller pot and no scalding and burnt chocolate and tears from the cook.
As soon as all the chocolate is smoothly melted, stir it into the mixture in the big bowl. I recommend using a spatula to make sure you scrape every last bit out of the pot and off the sides of the bowl.
Just try to keep it around for more than a day or two!
Improving on the Original: Sweet-n-Salty Snack Mix
Once I started covering things in white chocolate, it was hard to stop. Our very favorite creation was this one:
Once You’re Melting Chocolate…
…you might as well try some other things.
It turns out dehydrated bananas covered in white chocolate are delicious, and trail mix is positively decadent:
Above is 1/2 c. each crispy walnuts, almonds, and cashews + 1/4 c. raisins covered in 1/3 c. white chocolate – and more would be better up to a full cup, but we like to stretch our expensive ingredients.
Leah wants you to know that the dark chocolate melts up just great, too:
That’s raw coconut delights with white and dark chocolate…
And the rest of the family would say skip the melting – just eat the chocolate! Actually, Leah and I would too. It’s really, really good chocolate… What’s your favorite way to use chocolate? Do you melt it?
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. See my full disclosure statement here.