Candy Melts vs Chocolate Chips

Candy Melts vs Chocolate Chips

Cake pops and chocolate chip cookies are two of my all-time favorites.

Maybe I’m just a chocoholic at heart and can’t help myself but there’s just something about that combination of chocolately goodness and smooth mouthfeel I can’t resist.

If you’re anything like me, you probably feel the same way about most recipes containing chocolate!

But maybe you’ve come across a tasty-looking one you’re dying to try but it calls for candy melts and you don’t have any or vice versa.

So what can you do? Can you use candy melts instead of chocolate chips or not?

The answer is that it depends on what your needs are.

In this article, we’ll dig deep into both of them so hopefully you’ll have a better idea of which to use and why.

Are Candy Melts And Chocolate Chips The Same?

No, they aren’t.

The fundamental difference between candy melts and chocolate chips is that candy melts are made from ingredients that make them easy to transform, shape or reshape. On the other hand, chocolate chips are to be used in their finished form, which is a baking chip, and this is because the ingredients used in them are stable in high temperature environments like baking.

Aside from the differences in melting, candy melts are not made of chocolate although there are varieties that are chocolate flavored. 

What Are Chocolate Chips?

Chocolate chips are the direct result of a relatively recent culinary invention having been created in 1938. As the story goes, a chef named Ruth Graves Wakefield and her husband, Kenneth, owned a lodge in Massachusetts known as the Toll House Inn.

It was here that Mrs. Wakefield experimented with a variety of cookies and other desserts before coming up with the idea of adding chocolate bar chunks to cookies, expecting them to melt. To her surprise, they didn’t and instead her creation yielded what is today known as the Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie.

From those humble beginnings, the chocolate chip cookie exploded in popularity and today it’s estimated that about $20 billion dollars’ worth is consumed annually worldwide.

What Are Chocolate Chips Made Of?

Chocolate chips are made of a combination of semi-sweet chocolate, sugar, milkfat and cocoa butter.  

Why Don’t Chocolate Chips Melt?

Chocolate chips can melt but are more resistant to it than other types designed for that purpose.

The reason for this is they use less cocoa butter, which enables them to better hold their shape as opposed to running freely when melted. You can see this effect clearly when you break open a fresh baked chocolate chip cookie. The chocolate won’t run all over but resists it thanks to the increased viscosity (or thickness) that lesser levels of cocoa butter impart.

Can You Use Chocolate Chips For Dipping?

Yes, in a pinch, chocolate chips may be used for melting but they won’t stay that way for long.

When chocolate completely melts, the molecules in it will separate thanks to a process known as tempering but as previously mentioned, lower levels of cocoa butter used in chocolate chips will prevent them from melting completely.

What Are Candy Melts?

Candy melts are confectionary products that are designed to liquify and be used as a coating or poured into molds. They are produced in a wide range of colors and are typically vanilla-flavored. Some would liken the taste to white chocolate and that’s pretty accurate, unless otherwise noted by the manufacturer.

What Are Candy Melts Made Of?

Most candy melts are made from a combination of whey powder, sugar, palm oil, whole milk and vanilla. Artificial colors may also be present since there are all kinds of colors available depending on your needs.

There are even some candy melts that are flavored to taste like cheesecake, peppermint, peanut butter, strawberry, salted caramel, brownies and of course, cocoa.

Can You Remelt Candy Melts?

Yes, candy melts can be reheated/remelted but you’ll need to keep an eye on the consistency.

When reheating, it can be surprisingly easy to dry them out so it helps to add small amounts of palm oil handy.

While candy melts contain palm oil as an ingredient, small amounts can be lost once they’re heated and then cooled for storage so by adding it back in, you can restore the texture of the candy melts to their original form.

Candy Melts vs Chocolate Chips – Usage Differences

Now that we’ve covered what makes candy melts and chocolate chips different from one another, lastly we’ll touch on the best applications for each.

What are Chocolate Chips Used for?

If you’re a chocolate chip lover, you’re probably already familiar with all the ways these tasty morsels can be used. They’re perfect in all sorts of baked goods like cookies, pancakes, muffins, pastries, waffles and more. Chocolate chips are also used in a wide array of snack food items like ice creams, granola bars, and trail mix.

What Are Candy Melts Used For?

If the recipe you’ve got your sights set on calls for dips, drizzles, shells or molds, then candy melts are the way to go. The ability they give you to decorate to your heart’s content makes them perfect for almost any dessert from cakes to cupcakes and everything in between.

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