Hot Cocoa Bombs

Hot Cocoa Bombs became all the rage this winter. They were the perfect homemade gift to give anyone on your Christmas list. And while the holidays may be long over that doesn’t mean that drinking a nice mug of hot chocolate is. And truthfully since the rage has died down a bit it might be easier to get the molds needed to make these. I tried ordering them in early December and it was as if the internet was laughing at me because they weren’t in stock anywhere I checked. I was finally able to order them in early January. These are the ones I ended up getting.

 

Using one 12oz bag of Sweet Tooth Fairy Meltables  I was able to make 6 cocoa bombs.  I melted the chocolate in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring between each until the chocolate was melted and smooth.

Once the chocolate was melted, I scooped some of it into each crevice of the molds and using the back of a small spoon I spread the chocolate around as evenly as possible. This probably would have been easier with a brush, but I made it work. Once the crevices were coated well I placed the molds in the freezer for about 5 minutes so the chocolate could set. I then added more melted chocolate and spread it around again to ensure that the shells would be strong. After freezing them for an additional 5 minutes it was time to unmold and start filling them.

To make filling them easy I placed half of the shells into cupcake liners. This helped to keep the shells from rocking and also was an easier way to handle the cocoa bombs once assembled. Now, you could make your own hot chocolate mix, but I decided to go the easy route and used Swiss Miss Milk Chocolate mix. I filled each half shell with a tablespoon of the mix and a tablespoon of mini marshmallows. For two of them I also added in crushed peppermint candy and for two other ones I added in a soft caramel I cut in half along with salt. I used Werther’s Original Soft Carmel. I placed it in the refrigerator for a few minutes before cutting in half. As for the salt, I used a salt grinder and added in a few grinds of it. I would say it was about 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

When it came time to top the bottom shell with the top shell, I tried two different ways to adhere them. The first way, I heated a frying pan over low heat and placed the empty shell on the pan for a second or two to melt the chocolate and then placed it on the filled bottom shell. This method did not work for me at all. The two shells did not stick together. Instead, using some of the leftover melted chocolate I had I dipped the empty shell in it and then placed it on the filled bottom shell and it stuck together perfectly.

Once the cocoa bombs were assembled it was time to decorate the outside. I transferred the leftover melted chocolate to a piping bag and snipped off a small piece of the end. I drizzled the chocolate over the assembled cocoa bombs and for the hot chocolate ones I placed marshmallows on top, for the peppermint hot chocolate ones I arranged marshmallows and crushed peppermint candies and finally for the salted caramel hot chocolate ones I placed a few pieces of caramel and marshmallows along with salt. I topped each of them with a little more chocolate drizzle after placing the toppings to hold it all in place.

And then it was time to try one. I placed one in a mug…

Heated milk until it was steaming and then poured it over the cocoa bomb.

In no time the chocolate shell melted, and the mini marshmallows rose to the top. I gave it a few good stirs to make sure the chocolate and caramel candy had melted. And it was delish! While you may be tempted to add more hot chocolate mix to each of the cocoa bombs a tablespoon is more than enough. Remember, that chocolate shell will melt and will add to the chocolatey flavor of your drink.

 

Hot Cocoa Bombs

Ingredients:

12oz. Chocolate Melts

6 Tablespoons Hot Chocolate Mix

3/4 cup mini marshmallows

 

For Peppermint Hot Chocolate:

Crushed peppermint starlight mints

 

For Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

Soft Caramels

Sea Salt

 

Directions:

Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

Using a brush or small spoon spread a few tablespoons of the melted chocolate in the crevices of the silicone mold. Freeze the molds for 5 minutes so the chocolate can set. Once set, add more melted chocolate and spread evenly again and freeze again for an additional 5 minutes.

Once the chocolate shells are set unmold them and place half of them in cupcake liners.

Fill the shells in the liners with a tablespoon each of the hot chocolate mix and mini marshmallows.

If making flavored ones: For the peppermint hot chocolate, add in a crushed peppermint starlight mint along with the hot chocolate mix and marshmallows. For the salted caramel, add in a soft caramel cut in half and a 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt along with the hot chocolate mix and marshmallows.

Dip the other half of the shells in the leftover melted chocolate and place on top of the filled shells.

Transfer the leftover melted chocolate to a piping bag and cut a small piece of the end off and drizzle the top of the cocoa bombs with the chocolate and place a few marshmallows on top. For the peppermint hot chocolate also add some crushed peppermint candy and for the salted caramel, a caramel candy cut in half and salt. And top it all with more drizzled chocolate.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to use.

To make, place the cocoa bomb in a mug and top with hot milk. Stir a few times and enjoy!

Cookie Palooza: Spicy Chocolate Cookies

Winter is the perfect time to enjoy a warm mug of hot chocolate. I am partial to peppermint hot chocolate myself. Today’s Cookie Palooza cookie, Spicy Chocolate Cookies, has all the decadence of hot chocolate in one bite, but, with the addition of cinnamon and cayenne pepper they are reminiscent of a Mexican Hot Chocolate. Don’t fear though, the cayenne doesn’t make these super spicy or anything. It’s actually a nice complement to the chocolate. And the chocolate chunks added to the cookies melt perfectly while baking to create a nice smooth texture within them. To top them off, they are rolled in turbinado sugar before baking… Yum!

Spicy Chocolate Cookies

  • Servings: 30 Cookies
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Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups unbleached flour

1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 large egg, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chunks

1/2 cup turbinado sugar

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together the dry ingredients – flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, salt, cayenne pepper and baking soda.

In a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter and dark brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until well combined. Reduce the speed to low and beat in the flour mixture until just combined.

Place the turbinado sugar in a small bowl. Use a cookie scoop to scoop the dough and then roll into a ball and gently roll in the turbinado sugar and then place on the prepared cookie sheets 2 inches apart.

Bake in the preheated oven for 11 to 14 minutes, or until the cookies begin to crack slightly. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes until transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from Martha Stewart’s Cookie Perfection

Dalgona Chocolate

Have you tried the new coffee craze all over social media? In case you didn’t know it’s called Whipped Coffee, or more formally Dalgona Coffee. It’s made by whipping together equal parts of instant coffee powder, sugar and hot water until it becomes creamy and then adding to cold or hot milk.

Since I’m not a coffee drinker I decided to make the chocolate counterpart. For the chocolate version, besides swapping the chocolate for coffee, you use heavy whipping cream in place of the water.

First, I tried it with warm milk and some Starbuck’s Peppermint Cocoa mix that I had in my pantry. I buy a canister of this every holiday season. It’s my favorite drink from Starbucks and I order it pretty much any time of the year.  In a medium bowl I combined the cocoa mix with heavy cream and using my handheld mixer I whipped the two ingredients together on high speed for about 4 minutes, until stiff peaks formed.

Next, I warmed milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until it just started boiling. After pouring it into my mug I topped it with my whipped peppermint cocoa.

After trying the trend with warm milk and peppermint cocoa, I decided to try again with cocoa powder and cold milk to make a kicked-up version of cold chocolate milk. In a medium bowl I combined unsweetened cocoa powder, sugar and heavy whipping cream and once again I beat the ingredients until stiff peaks formed. I tried to get a little fancy this time and used an ice cream scoop to scoop the whipped chocolate on top of the milk. It didn’t come out exactly how I was imagining, but, it worked anyway. And, I must say that the whipped chocolate mixture tasted exactly like chocolate ice cream… YUM!

With both of these versions, I stirred the whipped mixture into the milk before drinking so the chocolate flavor could blend into it. And while both were good, and it was a nice treat, I just don’t think this will be my go-to way of enjoying chocolate milk going forward. Truthfully, for me it wasn’t worth the extra time or the dishes!

 

Dalgona Chocolate

Ingredients:

With Chocolate Powder Mix:

1 Tablespoon chocolate mix (flavor of your choice; peppermint, strawberry, vanilla, chocolate, etc.)

4 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream

 

With Unsweetened Cocoa Powder:

3/4 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon sugar

3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

 

6oz. Milk (any type of milk will work)

 

Directions: Add your ingredients to a medium bowl and using a handheld mixer on high, beat the ingredients together until stiff peaks form.

Spoon the whipped chocolate over warmed or cold milk. Stir together and enjoy.

Pink Hot Chocolate

An all-natural Pink Hot Chocolate just in time for Valentine’s Day! How you may ask, well, instead of using red or pink food coloring to get the pink hue, you use a few tablespoons of beet juice. And before you cringe your face because beets are not your favorite vegetable or something you are willing to try once or again, just know that you will not be able to taste the beet flavor whatsoever. But, if you are still intrigued by the idea of making Pink Hot Chocolate for your Valentine this week (or for yourself) but are completely against the beet juice, I will give you a few options to get the pink color that might sound more appealing.

The base of this hot chocolate is white hot chocolate. You start off by bringing milk (I used whole milk) and salt to a simmer over medium heat. Then remove it from the heat and add in grated white chocolate and vanilla extract. Grating the chocolate allows it to melt easier and quicker. Once the chocolate has melted then stir in a few tablespoons of beet juice. But, if you are not inclined to use beet juice, you could substitute it with cherry juice or the juice from maraschino cherries. Just be aware that either of those options could make your hot chocolate a tad bit sweeter. Now, if none of those options work for you, you could tint the hot chocolate with a few drops of either pink or red food coloring. And finally, top the hot chocolate with a healthy topping of whipped cream and then sprinkle with cinnamon. YUM!

Pink Hot Chocolate

Ingredients:

2 cups milk

Kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 ounces white chocolate, grated*

2 tablespoons beet juice**

Whipped cream, for topping

Cinnamon, for topping

 

*I used Baker’s White Chocolate

**substitute with cherry juice, maraschino cherry juice, food coloring

 

Directions:

In a small saucepan combine the milk and a pinch of the kosher salt and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

Remove the saucepan from heat and add in the vanilla extract and grated chocolate, stirring until the chocolate has completely melted. Stir in the beet juice.

Diving among mugs and top with whipped cream and cinnamon.

 

Recipe from Real Simple

 

Slow Cooker Sunday: Pumpkin Spice White Hot Chocolate

You may be wondering why I would take the time to make hot chocolate in a slow cooker when I could easily just make it on the stove. Well, I saw a video on Instagram one day for it and thought it would be a nice treat, which it was. It was also a good excuse to use some white chocolate chips I had and to use leftover pumpkin puree I had from making Pumpkin Cannoli. All pretty good excuses in my book!

In my slow cooker I added whole milk, white chocolate chips, pumpkin puree, cinnamon sticks, vanilla extract, ground ginger and freshly grated nutmeg. Trust me, it’s worth using freshly grated nutmeg as opposed to the powder form. Ground nutmeg can sometimes leave a pungent flavor, but, using freshly grated nutmeg eliminates that. After giving all of my ingredients a good stir, I set my slow cooker to low and let it cook for 2-3 hours. For the first hour, I gave the mixture a good stir every 10 minutes to make sure the chocolate was melting and to evenly distribute all of the ingredients. As an aside, is it still right to say cook when it comes to making hot chocolate? Or, maybe I should say simmer? Hmmmm???

I enjoyed it topped with whipped cream and freshly grated nutmeg and a cinnamon stick as a garnish/stirrer. I actually used one of the cinnamon sticks that I added to the slow cooker. This is the perfect autumn warm-me-up beverage. Or, thinking ahead, an ideal complement to your Thanksgiving desserts. You could easily double or triple the recipe for a large group of people.

If you’re curious about the Pumpkin Cannoli recipe check back tomorrow!

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice White Hot Chocolate

Ingredients:

4 cups whole milk

1 cup white chocolate chips

1/4 cup pumpkin puree

4 cinnamon sticks, additional sticks for garnish

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, plus more for topping

Whipped cream

Directions:

Combine the milk, chocolate chips, pumpkin, cinnamon sticks, vanilla, ginger and nutmeg in a slow cooker and stir together.

Heat on low for 2-3 hours, stirring every 10 minutes for the first hour to stir in the melted chocolate. And occasionally after that.

Serve in mugs, topped with topped whipped cream and freshly grated nutmeg. Add a cinnamon stick that can be used as a stirrer in case the pumpkin settles.