I tried making my own soaps, creams and cleaners for Christmas last year, which all turned out pretty well, but the one thing I have continued to make is the cream. I know it sounds a little crazy to make your own cream, but trust me, this cream is great for everything…it is a fantastic hand and body cream, I also use it on my face. I like the fact that I know every ingredient!
There are only three ingredients; Shea butter, coconut oil, and almond oil.
I use the whole container of shea butter, half of the container of coconut oil, and about 3-4 tablespoons of the almond oil. I have also added a fragrance in the past, but I think this cream has a nice smell without adding anything. Both the coconut oil and Shea butter are solid at room temperature, but melt at a very low temperature. I use the #2 setting on our stove top. You just have to warm them up to melt them.
The Shea butter is sort of crumbly out of the container, so I use a fork or knife to scoop it out into a pot. I would use an old pot that you don’t use for eating, but there is nothing in this cream that will seriously harm you. A lot of people use the coconut oil for cooking.
The coconut oil is more the consistency of butter.
And finally, add the almond oil. The almond oil is liquid at room temperature, so you just have to pour it in.
Basically from here you stir it as it melts, and once it has all melted, pour it into your containers. I just use a few plastic containers, although I have been keeping my eye out for a good source to buy glass ones.
What are the kids doing now? As you can see, I had help from my son with the stirring. Because it melts at such a low temperature, I let the kids help with the stirring.
As you can see, today I put the containers out in the snow to cool. I will keep the unopened containers in the fridge until we need them. I wouldn’t keep them for longer than 2-3 months.
Last night, one of my projects was to finish up a project I thought I would share because it is so easy to do, and relatively inexpensive. But, because it is homemade, it is much nicer than a box of chocolates.
So, I will show you how to make holiday chocolate “bark”. Basically, what I mean by bark is, melted chocolate mixed with another ingredient. Is is called bark because when it hardens, it looks kind of rough and textured, like tree bark.
I ended up making six different kinds of bark, but all of them are made in the same way. I bought most of the ingredients at Bulk Barn- I love that place! I would recommend buying a better quality chocolate for this, as it does make a difference to the taste.
So…start by melting the chocolate. I always melt chocolate in a glass bowl that I sit in a pot of simmering water. I have tried melting chocolate in the microwave, but I have never had much luck…it always melts unevenly or burns on me…
after the chocolate has melted, I mix in the topping and spread it out onto a piece of waxed paper on a cookie sheet.
To make it look a little more festive, (and to make it easier to figure out what kind it is) I then melt a little bit of coloured chocolate in a sandwich bag. To melt just a little bit of chocolate, put the bag into a cup of hot water and squeeze it around until it has melted. Then snip off the corner and squeeze it on top.
I either put the cookie sheet outside or in the freezer for a few minutes to cool down. Test to see if they are cool enough by breaking them. If they snap, they are ready. If they bend, they need to be cooler.
I break them into bite sized pieces, then put 6-10 pieces in a small cellophane bag (also from Bulk Barn) I printed out some little labels (Avery from Staples or Office Depot), and put a few different kinds in a box with tissue paper.
The six different kinds I made are
-almond and orange chocolate (I used the Terry’s chocolate)
-m&m’s and milk chocolate
-candy cane and mint chocolate
-chocolate chip cookies and dark chocolate
-skor pieces and butterscotch chips
-dried cranberry and white chocolate
Btw-part of the reason I package them up is so they don’t get eaten!