Thursday, December 22, 2011

Chocolate Spoons for Hot Cocoa

I had seen this idea a couple of times but I'm not sure that they were meant to be swirled in hot milk for the purpose of making hot cocoa. Instead, they were made to be eaten like candy. I am not a big fan of candy myself (although, I do occasionally eat candy if it's the right kind). I am, however, a big fan of hot cocoa. I will go for the chocolate mix in the package if I absolutely have to, but, if given a choice, I'd rather have real chocolate (not some processed powder) in my warm cozy beverage.

These spoons are a great way to give the gift of truly great hot cocoa and they look pretty as well! I gave a couple of tins of assorted baked goods to some friends and I included a few of these spoons with directions on how to use them written on the back of the tag I attached.

I went at this project rather ambitiously by buying a ton of random candies and chocolates. I loved the ones that were made with Hersey's miniatures that were various mint flavored. I tend to favor dark chocolate for these spoons because it gives the drink a richer and fuller taste that is much more difficult to achieve with milk chocolate.

There really is no recipe. Instead it's kind of a wing-it-as-you-go type of situation. What I can provide are tips to make the process more fool-proof and some ideas on what kind of spoons you can make.

Here are the ingredients I had on hand (Although I didn't use most of them):

Okay, so here we go:

Tip 1: Melting the chocolate. You really, really don't want to overheat the chocolate. I filled a mug with chocolate and placed it in the microwave for twenty second intervals, stirring between each heating. Do this until the chocolate is nearly lump free. It really doesn't need to be absolutely and completely smooth, it just needs to be warm enough so that if there are any lumps left, they eventually melt.

Tip 2: when you dump each spoon in to the chocolate, make sure it is overflowing and don't be concerned with neatness. Less chocolate will make for a neater looking spoon but a weaker taste. That is a trade-off I'm not willing to make.

Tip 3: USE WAX PAPER to set filled spoons on. This is kind of a no-brainer for those who bake or cook a lot. For those that don't... seriously, you want to follow this suggestion.

Tip 4: Chill finished spoon in fridge. I placed my spoons on top of wax paper that was spread out on a cookie sheet and slid the cookie sheet on to the bottom shelf of the fridge.

Tip 5: Specify the amount of milk to be used for each spoon to whoever you give it to. I used the ration of one spoon to one cup of very hot milk. Obviously if you use more milk, it will result in a weaker taste.

Tip 6: This is probably pretty common sense, but I'll say it just in case this post is confusing. You'll want to add any toppings to chocolate while chocolate is hot. I added marshmallows, sprinkles, and crushed candy canes to mine.

I made three different kinds of spoons. The first used dark chocolate melties as the base and marshmallows and sprinkles as the toppings. The second was the same dark chocolate but with crushed candy canes as the topping. The third, I used Hershey's dark chocolate miniature mint
squares as my base and added little red sprinkles to the top. The third was by far my favorite and gave the richest taste of them all.

Happy spoon making!