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Can I use Hershey Kisses as melting chocolate?

Hershey’s Kisses are a popular and iconic chocolate candy, but can they be used as a substitute for melting chocolate in recipes? The short answer is yes, you can use Hershey’s Kisses in place of regular melting chocolate or chocolate chips in many recipes. However, there are some important things to keep in mind.

The Pros of Using Hershey’s Kisses as Melting Chocolate

There are a few advantages to using Hershey’s Kisses as melting chocolate:

  • Convenience – Hershey’s Kisses are readily available in most grocery stores, so they provide an easy and convenient melting chocolate option.
  • Affordability – Buying a bag of Hershey’s Kisses is often cheaper than buying bars of baking chocolate or chocolate chips.
  • Pre-portioned – Each Hershey’s Kiss is pre-portioned at about 14 grams, so it’s easy to measure out the amount you need for a recipe.
  • Familiar flavor – The iconic Hershey’s chocolate flavor is nostalgic and familiar to many people.

The Cons of Using Hershey’s Kisses

However, there are also some downsides to be aware of when using Hershey’s Kisses as melting chocolate:

  • Different formulation – Hershey’s Kisses are formulated differently than baking chocolate or chocolate chips. They have less cocoa butter and more milk proteins and emulsifiers.
  • Texture – When melted, Kisses tend to have a thicker, gluey texture compared to smooth, fluid melted chocolate.
  • Flavor – The high milk content gives Hershey’s Kisses a milder chocolate flavor than darker baking chocolate.
  • Appearance – Baked goods made with melted Kisses may have a lighter brown color versus goods made with dark chocolate.
  • Challenging for dipping/coating – The thick texture makes it difficult to thinly coat items like strawberries or pretzels when melted.

Best Uses for Melted Hershey’s Kisses

Keeping these pros and cons in mind, here are some of the best ways to use melted Hershey’s Kisses in recipes:

  • Cookies – Add melted Kisses to cookie doughs and batters like chocolate chip, oatmeal, etc.
  • Brownies and cake – Substitute melted Kisses for oil or butter in brownie and chocolate cake recipes.
  • Hot chocolate – Stir melted Kisses into hot milk for a quick mug of hot cocoa.
  • Chocolate hummus – Melt Kisses into hummus for chocolate hummus dip.
  • Frosting and ganache – Blend melted Kisses into cream cheese or whipped frostings.
  • Fudge – Make simple fudge by melting Kisses with sweetened condensed milk.
  • Mug cakes or cobblers – Mix Kisses into individual quick bread desserts.
  • S’mores – Use melted Kisses instead of chocolate bars for s’mores over a campfire.

Tips for Melting Hershey’s Kisses

Follow these tips when melting Hershey’s Kisses to get the best results:

  • Use a double boiler or microwave on half power to melt slowly and prevent scorching.
  • Stir frequently to help smooth out the texture.
  • Avoid overheating or the milk solids can separate and look curdled.
  • Add a teaspoon of shortening or coconut oil to help thin out the texture.
  • Temper with chopped chocolate pieces to improve fluidity and sheen.
  • Let cool slightly before adding to batters so it doesn’t melt other ingredients.

Substitutions for Hershey’s Kisses

If you don’t have Hershey’s Kisses, here are some good alternative melting chocolates:

  • Semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • Baking bars or wafers
  • Candy melts, like chocolate or butterscotch chips
  • Chocolate-flavored almond bark
  • Melting chocolate squares or discs
  • Ghirardelli chocolate squares

Just note that some substitutions like semi-sweet chocolate chips still have a different fat and sugar content than baking chocolate, so they may not provide identical results in all recipes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use Hershey’s Kisses in chocolate fountains?

No, Hershey’s Kisses are not recommended for chocolate fountains. The thicker melted texture does not flow smoothly and can clog up the inner machinery. Stick to using melting wafers or chocolate specifically made for fountains.

Do you have to unwrap Hershey’s Kisses before melting them?

Yes, you should unwrap Kisses before melting them. The foil wrappers are not made to withstand high heat and can burn, leave an off taste, and contaminate melted chocolate.

Can you melt Hershey’s Kisses in the microwave?

You can melt Hershey’s Kisses in the microwave but use care not to overheat them. Microwave in short 10-20 second bursts on half power, stirring well between intervals. Melted too long, the milk solids can burn and separate.

How do you thin out melted Hershey’s Kisses?

To thin the thick melted Kisses texture, stir in 1 teaspoon of shortening, coconut oil, or flavorless vegetable oil per cup of melted Kisses. You can also temper it by mixing in chopped chocolate bits.

Is there a difference between Hershey’s Kisses and Hershey’s Chips?

Yes, Hershey’s Chips are formulated to maintain shape and texture for baking. Kisses have more milkfat and emulsifiers to create a melt-in-your mouth texture. Chips melt thicker like chocolate; Kisses melt creamier.

The Bottom Line

While not a perfect substitute for baking chocolate, Hershey’s Kisses can work in a pinch for many recipes needing melted chocolate. Just keep in mind their unique texture and flavor. For best results, use Kisses in cookies, brownies, hot chocolate, frostings, and other un-molded treats. With a little finesse and proper melting technique, you can put those extra holiday candy kisses to delicious use in desserts.