Everyone loves edible homemade gifts, whether you’re talking about a batch of homemade cookies, cakes, pies or even extracts. One of my favorite homemade gifts in the past has been my Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix, which I’ve been making for years and packing up with cute mugs for holiday gifts. For a real chocoholic, though, it doesn’t get any better than Homemade Hot Chocolate On A Stick, which makes a much more indulgent and interactive version of my hot cocoa mix! The Hot Chocolate is exactly what it sounds like: a cube of chocolate on a stick. Simply heat up a mug of milk (or coffee, or a combination of the two) and drop in your chocolate. Use the stick to stir it around until completely melted, then enjoy a chocolaty beverage!
You only need three things to make your own Hot Chocolate On A Stick: chocolate, sticks and an ice cube tray. When it comes to the chocolate, you can use any good quality dark, milk or white chocolate. When I say “good quality” chocolate, I mean that you should use chocolate that has a flavor you enjoy and that has no added vegetable fats (it should only contain cocoa butter). You can use your favorite premium chocolate bars or your favorite brand of semisweet chocolate chips (which are, in fact, dark chocolate). The only thing you need to keep in mind is that you will want approximately 2 oz of chocolate per treat, so plan accordingly.
The sticks and the ice cube tray are how you transform chocolate into chocolate on a stick. You can use lollipop sticks, which I used, or popsicle sticks. You can find both types of food-safe sticks at craft stores. For the ice cube tray, you will want to use a silicone tray that has large, cube-shaped molds. Simply pour your melted chocolate into the silicone tray and loosely place a piece of aluminum foil over it. The foil will allow the sticks to stand upright while the chocolate sets. Poke your sticks through the foil so that they are centered in each one of the chocolate-filled cavities and wait for your chocolate to set up.
If you don’t have a square silicone ice cube tray already, I recommend adding one to your kitchen. Not only are they good for making chocolate treats, but the large ice cubes are excellent for all kinds of drinks, from iced tea to cocktails. While I like my chocolates to end up being about 2-oz each for this particularly treat, you can actually make them work with any ice ice cube tray that you have, larger or smaller. If you are using a larger mold, however, consider only filling the tray halfway up because if you have too much chocolate per stick, it might not dissolve in your mug completely (though you could always simply eat the leftovers).
It is important to temper the chocolate when making these treats. Fortunately, it is a technique that you can easily do at home with the help of a microwave and an instant read thermometer. Tempering the chocolate will give your treats a smooth, shiny finish and will ensure that the chocolates set up quickly. Not only will it ensure that they release from the molds quickly, but they will look just as good (if not better) than the expensive versions of this cold-weather favorite that you can buy at expensive gift stores. If you do not temper your chocolate, the chocolates will have a matte, cloudy finish and may need to be refrigerated to set up. These candies take so little time to make that it is worth putting a few extra minutes in to ensure they come out to be picture perfect!
Homemade Hot Chocolate on A Stick
12-oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
6 popsicle/lollipop sticks
In a large, microwave-safe bowl, temper the chocolate. Cook the chocolate in 30 second intervals in high heat in the microwave, stirring between each interval. When the chocolate is approximately 70% melted, stop microwaving it and simply stir until all the chocolate is melted and smooth.. Read here for a detailed tutorial of how to temper chocolate.
Divide chocolate evenly into a silicone ice cube tray, pouring about 2-oz of chocolate into each cavity. Tap the tray on the countertop to knock out any air bubbles.
Loosely place a sheet of aluminum foil over the top of the mold. Poke a popsicle stick through the foil and into the center of each mold (use a paring knife to puncture a small hole if the sticks do not go through the foil easily). The foil will hold the sticks up while the chocolate sets.
Allow chocolate to set until hard in a cool place. Pop the chocolates out of the mold and wrap in decorative paper before gifting.
To use: Heat up 10-oz of milk or coffee. Drop your hot chocolate on a stick into the hot liquid and stir until completely melted. Serve.