Sunday, December 27, 2009

Hot chocolate on a stick!

Here's a cute idea I ran across this year when making my homemade gifts. This whole website is fun and creative!

Take chocolate (milk, semisweet, and bittersweet all work), cocoa, and powdered sugar. Melt together and pour into ice cube trays and insert craft sticks. Cool to room temp. Tie up in little bags with labels. The receiver just adds milk! I used these as Christmas gifts, but who wouldn't love a hostess gift like this anytime this winter?

Hot Chocolate on a Stick
makes 10 cubes of chocolate
8 oz. chocolate (any kind), chopped
1/4 c. cocoa
1/2 c. powdered sugar
pinch of salt
a few ounces of a contrasting chocolate, for dipping
festive sprinkles

In a double boiler (or a glass bowl set over gently simmering water), melt chocolate. When it is about 2/3 melted, remove from heat and continue stirring until completely melted (this just keeps it from overheating).

Add cocoa, powdered sugar, and salt and stir until well combined. Don't stop until it's all incorporated! It'll start to look better/smoother after a few minutes of stirring.

Either pipe the chocolate mixture into a clean ice cube tray (a Ziploc bag with the tip cut off works well) or use a small cookie scoop, being careful not to make a big mess of the ice cube tray so that the resulting pops will look clean and professional. Tap the ice cube tray mold on the counter to ensure that there are no air bubbles.

Add a stir stick (I found some at A.C. Moore) to each cube. It should stand up straight without any issues.

Cool to room temperature (or in the fridge if in a hurry).

Once hardened, to remove from the mold, twist the ice cube tray the same way you would to remove ice cubes. They should come right out.

To make the pops a bit more festive, I melted a small amount of white chocolate and dipped each pop in at an angle then topped with some Christmas sprinkles. Be sure to have some tall glasses or vases ready so you can prop up the dipped pops so they can dry.

They can be stored at room temp, but I recommend making them nearly the same day as you give them—my milk chocolate pops started getting speckled at room temp because I think I waited too long to cover them with plastic wrap.

If these are gifts, be sure to provide instructions for the receiver. Each ounce of chocolate should be melted into a cup of milk or cream, but since these ice cube tray pops are 3/4 ounce, they should be stirred into 3/4 cup of milk or cream when making the hot chocolate.

Bailey's/Kahlua/Schnapps/Godiva/Creme de Menthe/fluffy Williams-Sonoma marshmallows optional. ;)

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