Seriously — how cute are these? Just pop them into heated milk, and voila: hot chocolate complete with a fun topping!
There is much to love about this easy DIY holiday gift. For starters … NO special skills or fancy ingredients required. Only your imagination limits the ways in which these can be flavored. (I’ve shared three to get you started: peppermint, marshmallow, and sea salt.)
These lovelies will solve all of your holiday gifting and hostessing needs. Place a few in a cellophane bag and tie with a ribbon for a decadent gift (bonus points for tucking the bag into a pretty ceramic mug). Put out a tray, along with some bowls filled with an assortment of toppings, at your holiday party. Or, pack them up in a festive box with little jars of various accompaniments and send to a far away loved one.
Of course, once you try homemade hot chocolate you’ll never go back to the packaged variety again, so be sure to make a few to keep for yourself too!
Hot Chocolate on a Stick
from various sources
Makes: 15 1-ounce cubes
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, Dutch or natural (read here to learn the difference!)
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 16 ounces high-quality chocolate (I used 61% bittersweet chocolate but feel free to use semi-sweet, milk, white, or any combination you like), chopped
- 1-2 teaspoons vanilla, almond, or hazelnut extract
- 1/2-1 teaspoon (or to taste) cinnamon, chili powder, or instant espresso
- 4 mini or 1 large (per cube) marshmallows
- 3-4 pieces (per cube) candy canes, coarsely chopped
- 1 pinch (per cube) flaky sea salt (such as Maldon; available at specialty food shops and many grocery stores)
- silicone molds or ice cube trays
- sticks or stirrers (you can use coffee stirrers, wooden popsicle sticks, or rock candy
- skewers — avoid paper lollipop sticks as they will start to fall apart as they sit in the hot chocolate; I used plastic coffee stirrers)
Whisk cocoa powder, confectioners’ sugar, and salt (plus any dried flavoring, if using) in a large bowl.
- Place the chopped chocolate (plus any extract, if using) in the top half of a double boiler set over barely simmering water. Stir occasionally until fully melted. Remove bowl from heat and wipe the bottom dry.
- Using a rubber spatula, scrape the melted chocolate into your dry ingredients. Fold in until mixture is smooth and ingredients are evenly incorporated.
- Transfer mixture to a heavy-duty Ziploc bag. Snip one corner and pipe into your mold. Tap the mold on your countertop to evenly level the mixture. Working with one cube at a time, add your stick/stirrer (plus any topping, if using). Let sit until it has hardened, which will take 3-4 hours (you can place in the fridge to speed things up, which should harden the cubes within an hour).
- Remove cubes from your molds, wrap, and store at room temperature.
- To serve: heat up 4-6 ounces of milk, add a cube, and stir until dissolved (be sure to include directions if giving these as a gift).