Do you prefer to give homemade or store bought gifts? If you are like me, even if you give a purchased gift, a gift card, or cash, you like to add a little something that's handmade just to make the gift that much more special and memorable.
High school and college graduates can be difficult to buy for, so for some of the graduates I know, I will present them with these Chocolate Graduation Cap Boxes. Each edible hat will not only be filled with bite size graduation chocolates, but will also hide a small envelope filled with cash. What kid wouldn't love finding money amidst candy? O.K. there may be a few that wont appreciate it, but I know the recipients of my gifts well enough to anticipate their positive reaction. Now I just need to decide how much money to stash inside.
These chocolate boxes can also be used as a centerpiece on your dessert table, giving you a very visually appealing way to serve small treats, like mints, nuts, candies, or chocolates. You can create larger boxes if you'd like to use them to serve something like homemade cookies or chocolate dipped pretzels. I plan to make one that will hold several pounds of handmade chocolates for a client who will host over 100 guests at her graduation party.
Chocolate Graduation Cap Boxes
12 ounces melted and tempered pure semi-sweet chocolate
OR melted dark confectionery coating/candy melts
8 inch X 8 inch square non-stick baking pan
4 1/2 inch round cookie cutter
clay extruder (clean and used for food only)
fine tip paint brush (clean and used for food only)
BEFORE YOU BEGIN: I've shared tutorials for several chocolate boxes, so I didn't get incredibly detailed here. Check out my Chocolate Penguin Box tutorial for very specific instructions on rolling out the modeling chocolate to create the sides of the box. If you want to create a large box, you can pour your chocolate onto a parchment lined baking pan, allow it to set slightly, then cut a large square and circle to the size you desire.
Pour 10 ounces of melted and tempered semi-sweet chocolate or melted dark cocoa confectionery coating/candy melts into your 8" X 8" square baking pan (I poured chocolate out of my tempering machine, which is always filled with semi-sweet chocolate.) Once filled, tap the pan on the counter to remove air bubbles and to flatten the chocolate in an even layer. Refrigerate tempered chocolate or freeze confectionery coating until set.
Pour 2 ounces of chocolate into your 4 1/2 inch round cookie cutter. Spread it out in an even layer then tap to remove air bubbles. Chill until set.
Remove hardened chocolate from baking pan and cookie cutter. Turn pan upside down and allow the square of chocolate to gently fall out. Pull away the sides of the round cookie cutter and allow the chocolate to fall out.
Roll out dark modeling chocolate, cut into a 2 inch by 15 inch strip. Create the sides of the box, cutting off any excess modeling chocolate. For specific instructions and step-by-step images of creating the sides of a chocolate box, see my Chocolate Penguin Box tutorial.
Use a clay extruder to create the tassels out of white or colored modeling chocolate. For detailed instructions see my Flourless Chocolate Cake Graduation Cap tutorial. Use white modeling chocolate to create a small disc that is large enough to cover the end of the tassels.
Attach the tassels, disc, and the sides of the box to the chocolate pieces with melted chocolate, using a fine tip paint brush.
Fill you Chocolate Graduation Cap Boxes with candies, nuts, gifts, or bite size graduation chocolates. I made some white chocolate diplomas and books for in my boxes. If you've never used candy molds to create chocolates, I've also included a tutorial with the Chocolate Penguin Box blog post.
I used food coloring markers to add some color to the white chocolate pieces in the box.
As I'm writing this, I realized that I need to go buy some boxes to package these in, and think small cake boxes will do the trick, so I'm off to the cake decorating store to get what I need.
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Items used to create this project that are available on Amazon.com (commission earned for sales)
More Graduation Ideas
(I'm definitely seeing a theme here!)