Nothing beats a mug of hot chocolate in front of a warm fire.
Mix it up this Winter and serve Hot Chocolate on a Stick instead!
One of my favorite things to do in the Winter is light a fire and curl up on the couch with a good book and a cup of coffee or hot cocoa. Ok, I admit that the book often gets put down and football gets turned on…but the coffee or cocoa is a must! Way back in the Spring, my wife and I traveled over to Belgium and the Netherlands for vacation. (In reality, that was only about 7 months ago, but it feels like forever ago…especially when they are calling for 6″-12″ of snow here tomorrow.) While we were there, we got the chance to go on a private tour of the Lotus (aka Biscoff cookies) factory. That was an absolutely awesome experience. I think I ate my weight in cookies during that trip. (My next post later this week talks more about the Lotus factory tour…stay tuned!)
When I wasn’t munching on speculoos cookies, I was probably either snacking on Belgian chocolate or one of the iconic Belgian waffles. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but Belgian chocolate really is some of the best chocolate in the world. We visited the chocolatier who supplies the chocolates for the Belgian royal family…and the chocolate was almost too pretty to eat. Almost. There are chocolate stores literally on every block. Not only was the quality amazing, but the flavors were things I’d never seen before. One of my favorites was chocolate bark sprinkled with crumbled speculoos cookies. Talk about combining the best of both worlds!
Hot Chocolate on a Stick
One evening, we were wandering the streets of Brussels after dinner, and we stumbled on (another) fun chocolate shop. Of course, we had to go in and sample a piece. Aside from some really unique flavors of chocolate bark (like lavender!), this store had a really fun twist on hot chocolate. When you ordered a hot chocolate, they gave you a steaming hot mug of milk and let you select a chocolate-on-a-stick. They offered all sorts of flavors, and you simply stirred the chocolate into the hot milk until it melted and left you with the most delicious hot chocolate ever. (The photo above is from the store in Belgium.)
Now that Winter is here and the weather outside is
a bit crisp downright cold, I figured I’d re-create that idea of Hot Chocolate on a Stick. Truthfully, this is somewhat of a mix between hot chocolate and hot cocoa because the recipe uses both chocolate and cocoa. When mixed together (along with a little bit of powdered sugar), you end up with a soft, pliable piece of chocolate that you can push down into an ice cube tray. Insert a craft stick into the chocolate and throw that ice cube tray of chocolate-y goodness into the fridge for a few hours or overnight. Now you’ve got a really fun (not to mention delicious) treat to offer your family and guests during the holiday season!
I had such a fun time making this Hot Chocolate on a Stick that I got a bit carried away and made several different flavors. After all, it’d be pretty cool to pull out a plate of these and offer your guests a choice of hot chocolate flavors! I could even see tying these up in cellophane bags and giving them to neighbors as a little Winter treat. So warm up a mug of milk and make one of the tastiest mugs of hot chocolate ever!
Did you make one of these flavors of Hot Chocolate on a Stick? Let me know, or better yet snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog) so I can see it! Enjoy!
Hot Chocolate on a Stick
Hot Chocolate on a Stick
- 10 oz. good quality chocolate coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup milk
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- ½ cup + 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
- Ice cube tray
- Craft sticks
For Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate (Optional)
- 3 Tbsp creamy peanut butter or 3 full-size peanut butter cups
For Peppermint Hot Chocolate (Optional)
- ¼ tsp peppermint extract
- 1 candy cane crumbled
For the Caramel Hot Chocolate (Optional)
- 3 Tbsp caramel sauce homemade or store-bought
For each mug of Hot Chocolate
- 1 cup milk
- 1 Hot Chocolate on a Stick
- mini-marshmallows optional garnish
- Place a medium saucepan filled with about 1” of water over medium-low heat. Place a small heat-safe bowl on top of the pan. Add the chopped chocolate and milk to the bowl and heat, stirring occasionally, until chocolate has fully melted and mixture is smooth.
- (Optional) If making the Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate, add the peanut butter in Step 1. Heat, stirring occasionally, until chocolate and peanut butter are fully melted and well combined.
- (Optional) If making the Caramel Hot Chocolate, add the caramel sauce in Step 1. Heat, stirring occasionally, until chocolate and caramel are fully melted and well combined.
- Meanwhile, sift together the cocoa powder and powdered sugar.
- Once the chocolate has fully melted, remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the cocoa powder and powdered sugar. Stir until mixture is smooth. (It will almost resemble a stiff dough.)
- (Optional) If making the Peppermint Hot Chocolate, add the peppermint extract along with the cocoa powder and powdered sugar. After pressing the chocolate into the molds, sprinkle the tops with the crumbled candy cane.
- Press chocolate mixture firmly into the ice cube tray.
- Insert craft sticks into the center of each cube and place tray in the refrigerator overnight, or until fully hardened.
- Remove the chocolate from the molds. (Tip: Use a small butter knife to help loosen the edges of the chocolate cubes before pulling them out of the mold.)
To make the Hot Chocolate
- Heat milk until very hot (but not boiling). Place one Hot Chocolate on a Stick into the mug and stir for 3-4 minutes, or until chocolate has fully melted. If necessary, reheat the milk in the microwave.
Looking for more hot drink recipes? Check out these other family favorites, too: