Chocolates are sweet treats that are made through the fermentation process of cocoa pods. After the drying, roasting, and grinding series, it produces a compound known for its luscious, bittersweet taste. This chocolate treat can be eaten on its own or prepared on several dishes like mousse, pancakes, tarts, and pies.
This ingredient can be available in chocolate drops, powders, oils, essence, butter, and even chunks and nibs. In the field of baking, the use of baking chocolates gained popularity. These chocolates have different sizes and cocoa percentages compared to commercialized chocolate—providing it another flavor compound in each type.
In chocolate used for baking, the standard go-to are chocolate bars, nibs, and chips. The use of candy-coated chocolate arises as soon as several people introduced the use of M&M’s to their dough. It innovated the baking scene with colorful and tasty chocolates instead of the typical chocolate chunks.
Are There M&M’s for Baking?
Every day, there are around 4 million M&M’s chocolates produced. This chocolate is produced by coating chocolate pellets with a thin layer of colorful sugar shells. This sugar shell is made with sugar fondant, which hardens through time. Eating M&M’s will give you a different experience of eating chocolate—it has the right balance of bitterness from its chocolate mixed with the crispy and sweet exterior from the hardened sugar.
How M&M’s are produced?
Just like any other chocolate product, M&M’s follows the native method of extracting chocolates. As mentioned earlier, chocolates are gathered from the seeds of cacao pods. As soon as these pods ripen, the seeds are removed from the inside. Several chocolate producers ferment the chocolate seeds before drying. It requires applying ingredients such as sugar and yeast to speed up the seed’s fermentation process.
These materials allow the chocolate to produce deeper, nutty tones—creating a different flavor compound than those unfermented. Due to its tedious tasks, several manufacturers discard the fermentation process and begin the drying process. The pulp from the cocoa pods is removed to release the actual seeds before the actual drying process.
After collecting the chocolate powder, it is mixed with fresh milk and other ingredients to produce chocolate candies with the proper chew and bite. It is later on coated with a sugar coating similar to a fondant—before it is sprayed with edible color and its trademark M&M’s® logo.
Are there M&M’s for baking?
While you can use the regular M&M’s chocolate candies for baking, the manufacturer has utilized M&M’s with a smaller size and more rigid candy shell. This modification allows the M&M’s® Milk Chocolate Baking Bits to be distributed more efficiently. More miniature-sized chocolate candies or mini chocolate versions are recommended for baking. It provides better spreading when stirred together with the batter.
Another reason why choosing baking chocolate is better compared to the regular variant shows on its candy. Regular-sized chocolate has thinner candy that can crack during the baking process. This leaves open chocolate, which can ruin the chocolate’s bright candy-coating colors. If you don’t bother eating cracked chocolates, you may skip the baking variant and use the regular M&M’s chocolate.
What Is the Difference Between Baking M&M’s and Regular M&M’s?
While some believe the baking M&M’s and regular M&M’s are the same things, the output shows vast differences. Regular M&M’s have larger sizes with thinner candy coating. During the baking period, the chocolate can melt the sugar candy faster, which cracks the colorful layer all over.
This may not look disturbing to the chocolate-flavored dough. Still, the color streaks throughout the colored variant maybe look unappealing and unappetizing. Baking M&M’s uses the same ingredients found in the regular variant. Still, it is modified in a way that works better for your baking needs. Several noticeable changes are as follows:
- Baking M&M’s have a smaller size than regular M&M’s, which allows the product to be dispersed evenly. Chocolate candies required enough space for them to be appropriately melted without cracking their hard shell.
- Due to their smaller size, baking variants have a thicker candy shell. While some may think this reduces the chocolate before baking, it allows the chocolate to melt inside the hard coating without spilling outside the cracks.
- During the cooking process, the chocolate filling expands—which can damage the hard candy coating. This results in the abrupt cracking of the candy coating that gushes out the chocolate. Chocolates that are released will lose their moisture, producing a more complex layer.
Can Regular M&M’s Be Used in Baked Cookies?
As mentioned earlier, regular M&M’s and other candy-coated chocolates can be used for baking. However, these variants crack faster when they are exposed to direct heat. Regular M&M’s have thinner yet crunchier candy coating, which provides texture and flavor for your baked product. This provides a better eating experience without the need of baking it.
Baking chocolates transform the chocolate’s composition and consistency. The heat coming from the heat source allows the chocolate to melt throughout. The candy coating serves as a vessel that prevents the chocolate from spilling. As soon as the chocolates bleed throughout the candy, it will create a crack. The melted chocolate will begin oozing on the batter.
To shorten things out, using regular M&M’s for your baking needs involves the following:
- Make sure that the chocolate candies are placed underneath the batter. This will prevent the thin candy coating from melting rapidly. A melted candy will create a space for the hot chocolate to release outside the batter.
- Coating the regular M&M’s with a small amount of melted butter and flour will create a thin barrier against the hard shell’s breakage. This works only if you place the chocolate candies inside the cookie dough.
- If you want to place chocolate candies on the top of baked cookies, make sure that the baking pan is not placed near the oven’s heat source. This will prevent the candy coating from melting rapidly. You may also place chilled regular M&M’s, which will give space which reduces the melting time.