I know, I know. You guys would say, "I could've used this during the holidays!" Pretty much, so did I.
But hey, you can give this wonderful gift at ANYTIME. So hush. And read on. :)
Just Spotted OC tweeted about this fantastic gift idea of Hot Chocolate on a Stick on Giver's Log website.
Sounds like fun! You know, stick this in a hot cup of hot milk and make yourself an AWESOME mug of hot chocolate.
[ETA: Many have asked if you can just eat it from the stick. My answer would be, why not? LOL. But the purpose is to get melted into a hot cup of milk though.]
So I set off to make a batch of 40 sticks for my coworkers. The recipe is simple enough so I was all cocky about it. And I got my butt kicked a couple of times before I got it right.
If you make sure to do the following, you will NOT fail.
- 8 oz. chocolate bars, chopped up. Bittersweet, semisweet, milk, OR white! Just not chips. I used 4 oz. each of Ghirardelli 65% Cocoa and the Bittersweet chocolate bars from the baking aisle.
- 1/4 cup dutch process cocoa, sifted. I also used Ghirardelli here.
- 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
- pinch of salt
Just FYI that about one ounce of Hot Chocolate On A Stick to 1 cup of milk is the ratio.
For my version, I used 1-oz Dixie condiment cups (from Smart & Final) for the mold and fancy bamboo skewers from Cost Plus World Market. But you can find one-ounce cube ice cube trays anywhere, really.
Now the tips to follow strictly.
1. Not a drop of water or any other liquid anywhere. A drop of water and the chocolate will seize up. There is a fix by adding some oil, but seriously, would you want THAT?
I found online that someone said I could add liquor to chocolate before melting and it will not seize up. Sure, that works if you're not adding anything else to said melted chocolate. It does NOT work here.
After my first semi-successful batch (see next), I put some Grand Marnier in with the chocolate chunks. They melt just fine. But then, once I added the dry ingredients, it seized. Completely. No saving it.
2. Measure the dry ingredients AFTER they have been sifted. Yep. I got lazy there with the first batch and put everything in the sift and sifted onto the melting chocolate. It started to look like it seized up but I added more chocolate chips (see next) and it melted out. However, the end result had a bit of a dull and slightly gooey finish and refused to come out of the shot glasses I used as molds.
3. Use good chocolate BARS. My first batch I used good chocolate CHIPS. Apparently, not the same thing. I learned my lesson.
4. Keep your eyes on the sticks. It may be standing up when you first put it in the chocolate, but it might not stay there. Keep adjusting. I didn't have too much time to get it properly straight but that sort of added to the charm.
To wrap the finished products, I used snack-sized Ziplock bags. Sure, I could've wrapped each of them in cellophane--or even with the sandwich bags--then tied them up with bows and cute little labels. However, I was pressed for time. So, I printed a sheet of return labels of what it is and "Melt into 1 cup of HOT milk" instruction and slapped that on the ziplock bags. Heh.
It was so much fun to make, I'm a bit addicted.
Now I am a proud owner of a couple of plastic ice cube trays which do hold 1-oz each per cube. And a couple of the silicone ice molds from IKEA. (Word of warning. The IKEA molds, each of the heart- and flower-shaped ones only holds 0.5 oz. Yeah, I'm thinking maybe I can use hot metal skewers to put 2 hearts together afterward? Hmm....)
I'm thinking up ways to incorporate booze into this. I mean, booze + chocolate chunks = well melted chocolate. Maybe I can dip the finish stick in a coat of boozy chocolate melt? Then again, I can always give someone a jar of the 0.5-oz nuggets and a baby bottle of Kaluah. Right?
I am also thinking I can use the molds to make, wait for it, chocolate-covered candied bacon...ON A STICK!
So much fun. So much possibilities!