Nonpareil Candy is a showoff! Little buttons of chocolate covered with tiny sugar pearl sprinkles can’t help but be the center of attention. Who can resist all those sprinkles?
Why you'll love this recipe
Chocolate nonpareils are incredibly simple, but incredibly elegant at the same time. These nostalgic confections are eye catching in holiday candy dishes and a special treat for food gifts and care packages.
With just two ingredients, you can create enough chocolates to fill several candy dishes or holiday gift bags in under and hour!
I created a template of circles so that my nonpareils would be the same size. You can certainly create the chocolate discs freehand on parchment without using the template if you don’t care about the sizes or are good at guessing.
- If using the circles template: Prepare a baking pan with sides (10” x 15”jelly roll pan). Print the circles template and tape it to the inside bottom of the pan. Tape parchment paper over the template. The template should be visible through the parchment paper.Melt the chocolate until smooth and transfer it to a disposable piping bag or ziplock bag.
- Cut off a small piece off the tip of the piping bag (or a bottom corner of the ziplock bag). Pipe circles of chocolate onto each circle on the template by holding the open tip of the bag still over the center of a circle and squeezing out chocolate until the circle is filled.
- The nonpareil sprinkles must be added before the chocolate begins to set, after about 12 circles. The number of candies that can be piped before sprinkling depends on how quickly you work.
- Sprinkle the nonpareils over the candy to cover them and place in the refrigerator to firm.
Remove the firmed candies. Pour off excess sprinkles to be reused and repeat the process.
The chocolate may need to be microwaved to re-melt. You can speed up the process by using two pans and templates, then alternating pans being filled and chilled.
Frequently asked questions
Nonpareil sprinkles are sugar pearls, tiny balls of sugar and starch. The sprinkles are called nonpareils in the United States and in the UK are called Hundreds and Thousands. (I really like the British name!)
Nonpareil chocolates are little button-sized discs of chocolate coated in sugar pearl sprinkles.
The word nonpareil comes from a French word meaning “without equal”. Perhaps these chocolates are without equal in deliciousness or perhaps, like snowflakes, each little disc is unique and “without equal”.
More chocolate candy recipes
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Homemade Peanut Butter Cups taste so much better than the store bought version. You have control over the ingredients and potential allergens.
Quick and Easy Peppermint Fudge is the perfect homemade Christmas gift. Made right in the gifting container, this fudge is a great time saver.
Rocky Road Candy is soft, chewy and irresistibly delicious.
My recipe story
My fond memories of nonpareil chocolates are connected to my maternal grandmother.
Years ago, it wasn’t considered at all odd (or dangerous) that at ages 10 through 12, my mom would take me to the railroad station where I would take a 1 ½ hour train ride alone into Manhattan to visit my maternal grandparents.
My grandmother would meet me at the station. Before we caught an additional train together to get to my grandparents' apartment in the Bronx, we'd stop at the candy counter at Schrafft’s.
We would buy black licorice (a shared favorite) and my grandmother would buy herself the indulgence of a small box filled with nonpareil candy. I was allergic to chocolate as a child, but snuck nonpareils out of that candy box anyway.
I couldn’t resist, and repeatedly itched my way through mild allergic reactions. That never stopped me.
Luckily, I am no longer allergic to chocolate and can happily nibble nonpareil candy whenever I wish.
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- 1 cup melting chocolate chocolate discs meant for dipping and coating
- ¼ -½ cup tiny sugar bead (nonpareil) sprinkles
- Prepare a baking pan with sides (10” x 15”jelly roll pan). Print the circles template and tape it to the inside bottom of the pan. Tape parchment paper over the template. The template should be visible through the parchment paper.
- In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate at 50% power for one minute. Stir. If not completely melted, return the chocolate to the microwave and heat at 50% power for 15 second intervals until melted.
- Use a rubber spatula to scrape the melted chocolate into a disposable piping bag or ziplock bag.
- Cut off a small piece off the tip of the piping bag (or a bottom corner of the ziplock bag).
- Pipe circles of melted chocolate onto each circle on the template by holding the open tip of the bag still over the center of a circle and squeezing out chocolate until the circle is filled.
- The nonpareil sprinkles must be added before the chocolate begins to set, after about 12 circles. The number of candies that can be piped before sprinkling depends on how quickly you work. Sprinkle the nonpareils over the candy to cover them and place in the refrigerator or freezer for about 5 minutes to firm.
- Remove the firmed candies, pour off excess sprinkles to be reused, and repeat the process. The chocolate may need to be microwaved for 15-30 seconds at 50% power to re-melt. The process can be speeded up by using two pans and templates, then alternating pans being filled and chilled.
- Nonpareil candies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for at least 2 weeks.
- Candy nonpareils also make beautiful decorations on top of cookies, cakes, cupcakes, and gingerbread houses.
- Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate or white chocolate can be used interchangeably in this recipe.
- Use colored nonpareils sprinkles that match a holiday or use white nonpareils for a classic nonpareil chocolate that is perfect for year round gift giving.
- Nonpareil candies can be packaged in small bags for individual portions or in a larger airtight container. However they are packaged, the candies should be snug in their packaging with no room for movement in transit.
- Crinkled tissue paper or waxpaper can be placed in larger containers to keep the candy from moving.
First Published: December 23, 2018. Last Updated: May 13, 2021. Updated for better reader experience.
Nonpareils were my Mom's favorite candy. We love them too! I can't wait to make these for holiday hostess gifts.
Hi, Ellen! I get warm feelings just looking at nonpareils! I think a lot of people do. Food (including cookies and candy) with fond memories attached always taste the best. 🙂
Wendy, sorry to bother you. I found the template! I have a REALLY OLD desktop that is finicky. Have a wonderful New Year!
No problem, Paula! Asking questions is NEVER a bother. I am always grateful when someone lets me know if something is messed up with a post or link. I'm so glad that you found the template because when I clicked on the link, nothing happened!! I'm going to see if I can't make those easier to find! Wishing you a happy, healthy New Year!
Hi Wendy, I usually roll my eyes over people who can't follow directions, but I'm having trouble finding the template for these. I tried looking for a hyperlink but couldn't find any. Thanks!
I’m looking for a peanut butter version of these candies. Any ideas?
Hi, Lisa. I DO have some ideas! If I understand correctly, you want the discs to be peanut butter flavored, then you will cover them in the tiny sprinkles just like this version. If you google "peanut butter candy melts" you will get several brands that make peanut butter flavored melting discs that would be perfect. Another option is to use white chocolate with added peanut butter. I don't know the exact proportions for that. What I would do is start with a half cup of melted white chocolate and mix in one half tablespoon of peanut butter. Use a spoon to make a few discs with the mixture, let it harden, and test to see if the flavor is ok and if the discs harden correctly. You can remelt the discs and adjust your amounts of peanut butter and white chocolate as needed. (Certainly, the white chocolate method will take more time to figure out than the candy discs, but might have a creamer flavor) I hope this helps! I think your idea sounds delicious!!
Thank you!! I am definitely going to try .. I found some at a market & they were delicious. I thought these really can’t be that hard to recreate.. well here we go - baking juices flowing!
Please, let me know how your experiments turn out! This sounds so good that I'm thinking of adding a peanut butter version to the blog!
Wendy, that’s such a sweet memory of time spent with your grandmother. I have always seen non-pareils at the supermarket, but have never bought them to use in baking. Will have to try these. So simple but elegant.