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It was really Cold in Florida this past weekend. I don’t mean cold for Florida or cold for this time of year. It was 36 degrees when I woke up this morning. That’s COLD! Our cat, who insisted on going out last night, couldn’t wait to come in as soon as we opened the door. I know that up north it’s colder by quite a lot, but this is Florida. We would like our warmth back. In the meantime, these Hot Chocolate Sticks from Kristi’s blog, 30 Pounds of Apples, seemed like just the thing to make on a cold day. I saw this pin around the holidays and liked the idea and the gift-ability of them. But it took freezing temps to motivate the Pin Test, so let’s get going.
A funny thing happened on the way to this Pin Test… I was gathering all of the ingredients to get started and thought I’d put all of the dry ingredients into one bowl. I had just added the salt when I knocked the bowl off of the counter. (EEK!) My lightning fast ninja reflexes caught the bowl and saved my kitchen, my floor and what was left of my sanity. However, the nicely separated dry ingredients were no longer separated. Oh well, they’re going to get mixed together, and my floor is clean. It’s a good trade.
Here are the rest of the ingredients. I like that the recipe calls for milk and dark chocolates as well as the cocoa. This should give a greater depth of chocolatey-ness.
The recipe says to sift them together but I find that whisking works well for cakes and other pastries, so I whisked. More about that later.
Next, chop up the chocolate into small pieces for better melting.
Put the chocolate in a clean and dry microwave-safe bowl. Heat at 30-second intervals on medium power until two-thirds of the way melted. Stir until smooth.
NOTE: Be patient while melting the chocolate! If you heat the chocolate too high it will seize up and you’ll have to throw it out and start over.
Now pour the melted chocolate into dry ingredients.
Stir to combine.
Do you see those little, unsifted balls of powdered sugar and cocoa? That’s why I was supposed to sift the dry ingredients. If you make this recipe, please don’t try to take a shortcut. Listen to Kristi and sift. It took a lot longer to work out all of the little clumps.
Mix until the chocolate is smooth like a soft tootsie roll.
Fill a piping bag. The mixture is thick so you don’t need to use a coupler or tip.
Then fill the molds.
Finish by topping each one with 4 mini marshmallows and a stick. The next time I’ll use wooden stirrers or bamboo sticks. The paper sticks were cute but began to unravel while stirring in the hot milk.
Now leave them to dry, like I did, or you can refrigerate if you’re in a hurry.
Once they’re dry, pop them out and stir one into 8-oz of hot milk. . .
. . .until dissolved and yummy.
This was a welcome warm treat on a very cold day. One note about possible user error. I had set some of these out at work with instructions on how to use them to make a cup of hot chocolate. Unfortunately, people don’t always read instructions; just ask any guy who’s built anything from a kit. I had about half of the testers tell me how hard it was to eat the chocolate. I recommend putting instructions on each and every hot chocolate stick. That could be really cute with little flags!
The Pintesting Results:
Overall Rating: 4.7 Pins
Accuracy: The recipe was simple enough to follow and I really liked the tip for melting chocolate. The chocolate set up nicely in the molds, and when stirred into the hot milk, gave a nice frothy foamy cup of hot chocolate. The hot chocolate was creamy, rich and chocolaty. I will add a teaspoon of vanilla the next time I make this to see how it affects the flavor. One of my testers noticed that as the milk cooled, the chocolate started to separate and clump a bit. However, that left chocolate surprises at the bottom of the cup, so it wasn’t really a complaint. Just drink it quickly. 5 Pins.
Difficulty: The recipe was simple. I had issues with how thick the chocolate mixture became. Even without a coupler or tip in the piping bag, it was very difficult to squeeze it into the molds. Someone with arthritis or dexterity issues might have to come up with an alternative way to make these 4 Pins.
Time: It took about 2-3 minutes to melt the chocolate and 30 seconds to whisk the dry ingredients. Add about 2-3 minutes to sift the dry ingredients properly (like the recipe instructs). I was going to check on the drying after half an hour and then every 15 minutes after that, but they were set in 30 minutes. 35 minutes – 5 Pins
Cost: The chocolates were the most expensive ingredient, but I used the large Hershey bars. You can usually find them on sale for 2/$5 or less. 5 Pins
Practicality: This was cute and fun to make, and perfect for holiday gifting. However, if you just want a quick cup of cocoa it’s faster to use a packet or add some Hershey’s syrup to a cup of milk and microwave. It does take some extra time to stir until everything is melted. 4 pins