Candy melts are a coating .... chocolate baking squares are chocolate. With the exception of Unsweetened chocolate baking squares which contain chocolate and milk solids, the other baking squares contain chocolate and cocoa butter.
Dark Chocolate candy melts contain some cocoa powder and aratificial flavor; colored do not contain any cocoa powder and are artifiically flavored.
Each has their purpose. If you need real chocolate, use either cocoa powder or baking squares.
For the most part, chocolate chips contain real chocolate and cocoa butter. It you need real chocolate, read the label and look for chocolate and cocoa butter in the ingredients.
With chocolate and butter I stick with the name brands and never use a store or off-brand product. Recently, tried a new powdered chocolate made by Clabber girl ... Called Caribbean Cocoa ... 100% Cocoa Powder .... the powder is not as dark as hershey's and the powder seems to be finer intexture.
After trying this in my Devil's Food Cakes, it has become my #1 brand for cakes; Hershey's for making candy as it produces a darker fudge. For icing, I use baking squares.
Hope this helps. ^_^ DeLores
Have only made one batch of candy clay and used candy melts .... however, it is worth a try with the baking squares or chips ..... would make sure they contain cocoa butter. After it dries, the modeling chocolate might be harder than with candy melts ... but room temp and the temperature from you hands should soften it up so you can work with it. Am thinking making it with baking squares or chips might produce a better product for molding figures. The candy clay I made with candy melts softens quickly when working with it. Have to keep putting my flowers in the fridge ... this is a pain.