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!
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!