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How to Cook With Semisweet Chocolate Chips

Updated on September 26, 2014
Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Glimmer has been writing recipes online for almost 5 years. She enjoys coming up with unique and tasty dishes, especially sweet treats.

If you have ever baked then there is a good chance that you have used semisweet chocolate chips. If you don't know what they are, semisweet chocolate chips are those small chocolate morsels found in the baking aisle at the grocery store. They are the main ingredient in what many think is the best cookie made, the chocolate chip cookie. They are also incredibly versatile and easy to use. There are a few things you need to remember when cooking with this sweet ingredient.

Discover some background, cooking tips and a few easy recipes when you learn how to cook with semisweet chocolate chips.

Source

Brief History of Chocolate

There is evidence of cacao dating back to 1900 BC. It was used in Mayan and Aztec civilizations. When the explorers brought it back to Europe, the Europeans added milk and sugar and used it as a drink. It was in the 19th century that the method to solidify the liquid was invented by John Cadbury. Chocolate is currently manufactured around the world. While it originated in the Americas, West Africa now produces the majority of the cocoa the world consumes.

About

Semisweet chocolate chips were originally invented in 1937 when Ruth Wakefield used chopped up pieces of Nestle chocolate bars in the cookies she made at the Toll House Inn. By 1941, chocolate chips started being sold for baking purposes. Today there are many variations of the original chocolate chip, ranging from milk chocolate to peanut butter chips. There are also mini semisweet chocolate chips which are perfect for adding to sweet breads and cakes.

Chocolate chips are made with less cocoa butter than baking chocolate so they can retain their shape when baked. While chocolate chips can be melted and quite often are, it is advisable to use baking chocolate when a recipe specifically calls for it. Melted chocolate chips tend to be more difficult to work with and don't have the same texture as melted baking chocolate.

From the standard chips found at every grocery store to the high end chocolate chips found at finer stores, there are many brands to suit every baker's needs.

Safety tips

  • Don't let babies eat semisweet chocolate chips. They may present a choking hazard.
  • Chocolate is toxic to dogs. Keep it out of Fido's reach.

Perfectly melted on the left.  15 seconds too long on the right.
Perfectly melted on the left. 15 seconds too long on the right. | Source

Tips

Ask almost anyone and they will tell you that they have a bag of chocolate chips in their kitchen. They may not be able to tell you how long they have been there or what they used them for, but they are there. Here are a few helpful hints when using semisweet chocolate chips.

  • Store the chips in an airtight container once the package has been opened. Keep in a cool, dry area. Properly stored, they have a shelf life of approximately 18 months.
  • Semisweet chocolate chips can be frozen in an airtight container. They may look a little gray when they come out, but they should be fine. If they are exposed to moisture, they won't be good.
  • If you notice that your chocolate chips tend to sink to the bottom of your cake or bread recipes, try coating them in a little flour. This helps stop the sinking. Another way to prevent this problem is to use mini semisweet chocolate chips instead of the regular ones.
  • Semisweet chocolate chips can be melted on the stovetop in a double boiler, or in the microwave. Whichever way you melt them, be careful. It is very easy to overheat the chips and once overheated, the chocolate will seize up and burn.
  • When melting in a double boiler, stir continuously and as soon as the chips start melting, take the pot off of the heat and stir until all of the chips are melted.
  • When melting in the microwave, only heat in 15 - 30 second intervals. Stir in between intervals and as soon as some of the chips have melted, stir until the rest are melted too.

Source

Uses

Here are some of the many ways to enjoy semisweet chocolate chips.

  • Add to pancakes.
  • Add to cookies, muffins and sweet breads.
  • Use as cake decorations.
  • Melt and use as dip. It will harden and leave a nice crunchy chocolate coating.
  • Sprinkle on top of ice cream.
  • Use in snack mixes.
  • Use in hot chocolate.
  • Use in candy making.

Ready for snacking!
Ready for snacking! | Source

Dipped Chips and Pretzels

If you need some quick nibbles, then these are perfect.

You'll need ridged potato chips, pretzels and chocolate chips (adjust the amount based on number of potato chips and pretzels you are using). Melt the chocolate chips in a small microwave safe bowl and dip chips and pretzels into the chocolate. Place on a baking sheet covered with wax paper and refrigerate just until chocolate is hard. After the first time my daughter tried these she exclaimed: "Who knew chips and chocolate taste so good together!"

Chex Peanut Butter Chocolate Snack Mix

  • 9 cups of Chex cereal (any kind)
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup of butter or margarine
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, finely chopped

Pour cereal in a large bowl and set aside. Melt remaining ingredients except the powdered sugar and chopped nuts in the microwave. Pour over cereal, add chopped nuts and mix everyting until evenly coated. Pour powdered sugar over the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Shake to coat, being careful not let the plastic wrap go. You can also use a big bowl with a lid for this process.

*Recipe adapted from GroceryBudget 101.com

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Saltine Cracker ToffeeBrown sugar and butter ready to be melted.Crackers laid out.Brown sugar and butter and boiling.Pouring mixture over crackers.Sprinkling chocolate chips on top.Spreading melted chocolate.Sprinkling crushed crackers on top.
Saltine Cracker Toffee
Saltine Cracker Toffee | Source
Brown sugar and butter ready to be melted.
Brown sugar and butter ready to be melted. | Source
Crackers laid out.
Crackers laid out. | Source
Brown sugar and butter and boiling.
Brown sugar and butter and boiling. | Source
Pouring mixture over crackers.
Pouring mixture over crackers. | Source
Sprinkling chocolate chips on top.
Sprinkling chocolate chips on top. | Source
Spreading melted chocolate.
Spreading melted chocolate. | Source
Sprinkling crushed crackers on top.
Sprinkling crushed crackers on top. | Source

Check out another hub for using semisweet chocolate chips from Mama Kim 8: Chocolate Covered Cereal Treats for Easter!

Saltine Cracker Toffee

  • 1 1/2 sleeves of saltine crackers
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups of semisweet chocolate chips

Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray foil with cooking spray. Cover cooking sheet with one layer of crackers placed side by side so there are no spaces. Crush the rest of the crackers for use later.

Melt the butter and brown sugar over medium heat until boiling, stirring constantly. After mixture comes to rolling boil, gently pour the mixture over the crackers. Take care not to do this to quickly or the crackers will shift. Bake at 350° for 5 minutes or until toffee is bubbling. Take out of the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top, letting them soften for approximately 1 minute. Using a knife, spread the chocolate evenly over the crackers. Sprinkle the cracker crumbs over the top and refrigerate for about 1/2 an hour. Once cooled, remove from refrigerator and break into small pieces. Store in an airtight container.

*Recipe from about.com

© 2012 Glimmer Twin Fan

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    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      I have a bag in the fridge and you are so right most of us always seem to have a bag of these treats. I like the semi sweet chocolate right out of the bag. Recipes look wonderful and voting Up.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      I too always keep a bag in the fridge, because you never know when you will need to sue them. Loved the recipes here and have pinned to try with the ones that I do have in my refrigerator!! Thanks and have of course shared and voted up too!!

    • profile image

      ignugent17 4 years ago

      This is very useful. It is always nice to have different recipes and chocolates are all time favorite! :-)

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks so much Carol! I love them right out of the bag too. I appreciate the visit.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Hi Janine - We love to throw them in pancakes so we always keep them around. I always appreciate you comments, vote and shares. By the way, love the family photo in the hub by marcoujor about you!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      You are right, chocolate is an all time favorite, especially in this house! :) I appreciate the comments.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Finally, a recipe I can get excited about. All I needed to see was the word chocolate and I was all over this hub! Well, that and the fact that you wrote it! Loved the ideas; I just happen to have some semisweet chocolate in the cupboard at this very moment. Thanks for the motivational speech. :)

    • rcrumple profile image

      Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

      I'm on a diet and you write about chocolate! "Oh, the humanities!" lol Great uses and recipes provided. If I ever hit the weight I'm after, I'll definitely go for it. Great Job!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I am going to have to try the saltine toffee idea, this sweet and salty is one of my favorite tastes. I also appreciate your tip on flouring the chips before adding to the batter. I always enjoy reading hubs when they contain chocolate! Voted up.

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Sweet Glimmer Twin! I do not use chocolate to cook much - it's tricky and tastes terrible if you mess it up. I have burned it before..:)

      I did buy some semi sweet chips in a cup you can microwave but I had not figured out what to do with it yet. I want to try some dipped chips and pretzels - thank you!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Aww...thanks for the comments/compliments Bill. I appreciate them and think you should try one of these recipes since you have the chocolate chips on hand. Even just a handful of chocolate chips does the trick to satisfy a sweet tooth.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      I appreciate the visit rcrumple. Sorry the hub is distracting your diet. Believe me, I am on a perpetual diet but a sweet treat every once in a while is a good thing. Keep at it and good luck. Thanks for the comments.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks teaches! Those saltine toffees are out of this world and incredibly easy to make. It's also made from things I usually have on hand. This is not necessarily a good thing when it makes it easy to make this. It never lasts long in our house. I appreciate the comments.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Hi RealHousewife - I hope you give the dipped chips/pretzels a try. They are so good and really easy. Just keep an eye on your chocolate when melting and you'll be in good shape. Never heat until all of the chocolate is smooth. Take it off of the heat before and then stir. The rest of the chips should melt. Good luck!

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      The history of chocolate chips was fascinating. I've always wanted to try the toffee crackers and your chocolate dipped chips and pretzels sounds like just my things as I love salty/sweet combinations. Thanks so much! I've marked this for later reference.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks so much vespawoolf! You won't regret trying the toffee crackers. So good and so easy. We've been snacking on them all day, which is probably not a great thing, but we can't help it. I appreciate the comments.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for sharing. Did I give you my address? :))

    • ESPeck1919 profile image

      ESPeck1919 4 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      Ooh...this makes me so hungry. Nice work!

    • vibesites profile image

      vibesites 4 years ago from United States

      It's not only dangerous to dogs, but also to cats too... luckily chocolates are ok for us! Hehehehehe.

      Chocolate dips for chips? Sounds quite novel to me.. But the saltine toffee looks delicious! Gotta try that recipe. Thank you. :)

    • GoodLady profile image

      Penelope Hart 4 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Nice history and some delicious recipes- awfully good! Thanks

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Come on Mhatter! These are so easy even you can make them! Just kidding, you may be a gourmet chef for all I know. :) Thanks for the comments.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks ESPeck. These things are great to nibble on when we are writing all of our hubs!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks vibesites! I did not know that cats could not eat chocolate. I'll have to add that to my hub. Hope you enjoy the recipes. I appreciate the comments.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks so much GoodLady. The other day I was in a specialty grocery store and they had beautiful figs and I thought of your fig tree hub and your cake one. I bet figs would go well with chocolate too! I appreciate the visit.

    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      I love semi-sweet chocolate chips! Thank you for sharing these chocolate chip recipes...I have had the Chex mix above and it's delicious. Just yesterday I made a Cannoli cream pie and sprinkled mini chocolate chips all around the top. So yummy!

    • profile image

      KDuBarry03 4 years ago

      I actually prefer less sweet chocolates and one of my old neighbors used to make homemade candies from dark to semisweet chocolates. Definitely an interesting history on this chocolate and its usages; great hub!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks Jamie! Cannoli pie sounds delicious. Anything with chocolate chips is good in my book. I appreciate the comments.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Hi KDuBarry - I appreciate the comments. I like the less sweet chocolates too, but sometimes any chocolate will do!

    • GiblinGirl profile image

      GiblinGirl 4 years ago from New Jersey

      Your hub has me hankering for some chocolate. I like your tips about using chocolate chips - especially the one about coating them in flour so they don't sink to the bottom when you use then.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      I appreciate the comments GiblinGirl. If that doesn't work, try the mini chips. Sometimes the baking mixture is too thin and the regular chips are too heavy.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 4 years ago

      Great hub. You showed how chocolate chips are a practical and everyday food. Thanks for all the good ideas.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks toknowinfo. Chocolate chips are one of my favorite kitchen staples.

    • ptrg777 profile image

      Peter 4 years ago from New York

      Great Hub! One of my favorite things that has so many uses. I've been cutting back on my sweets so this hub comes in perfect time. Thanks!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks so much ptrg777! I just had to buy a new bag for my cupboard. They are great and even just 2 can cut a sweets craving.

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Wow, I enjoyed this hub. Craving now!!! The extra history information and tips is awesome. I think I'm going to try the saltine cracker toffee. Sounds great and easy too.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      I hope you give the toffee a try. It really is delicious and easy to make! Thanks for stopping by.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      Fantastic and drool worthy hub! I added a link to it in my chocolate covered cereal treats hub ^_^ Also voting a bunch and sharing

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      I appreciate the support Mama Kim! I'll check out your hub. Thanks.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Wonderful hub and appreciate these interesting chocolate recipes. Care also has to be taken while melting in the double boiler that the chocolate does not come into contact with water or moisture as it will seize.

      Voted up and interesting.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      That is right...I need to add that about water getting into it and seizing the chocolate up! Thanks so much for the votes and comments rajan.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      These treats look delicious! I have had chocolate covered pretzels (love them) but never thought about having them on potato chips. Yummy!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Thanks Rebecca - You definitely won't be disappointed if you try the chips. They are yummy! Have a good day.

    • rose-the planner profile image

      rose-the planner 3 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      Mmmmm.........these recipes look amazing! I found this article about semisweet chocolate chips very informative and you have offered some great tips. Thank you for sharing. (Voted Up) -Rose

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Thanks so much Rose - I could go for some chocolate covered chips right about now. I appreciate the comments and they prompted me to make a snack this afternoon.

    • profile image

      Estefani 2 years ago

      I Made Chocolate Covered Strawberries But For Some Reason Once I Took Them Out The Fridge The Chocolate Melted :'(

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 2 years ago

      I wonder why the chocolate melted. That is too bad that happened.

    • Fox Music profile image

      Fox Music 21 months ago

      Thank you for sharing the delicious Hub "How to Cook With Semisweet Chocolate Chips"

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 21 months ago

      Thanks so much for reading an commenting Fox Music.

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