Trader Joe’s Hot Chocolate Sticks, reviewed

Trader Joe's Hot Chocolate Sticks, reviewed
Hot chocolate is a wonderful way to treat yourself on a cold, wintery day. I’ll make it in the morning, but I tend to opt for coffee earlier in the day and make my hot chocolate a mid-day or evening treat instead. Powdered hot chocolate mix is the most common way to make …

The post Trader Joe’s Hot Chocolate Sticks, reviewed appeared first on Baking Bites.

Trader Joe's Hot Chocolate Sticks, reviewed
Hot chocolate is a wonderful way to treat yourself on a cold, wintery day. I’ll make it in the morning, but I tend to opt for coffee earlier in the day and make my hot chocolate a mid-day or evening treat instead. Powdered hot chocolate mix is the most common way to make hot chocolate and you can make it yourself with cocoa powder and sugar or simply buy your favorite brand. Trader Joe’s Hot Chocolate Sticks are another way to make yourself a hot chocolate and I picked up some this holiday season to give them a try.

The Trader Joe’s Hot Chocolate Sticks are individually wrapped sticks of dark chocolate, each of which is about 3 inches long. Eight come in the box and each is almost an ounce. You simply unwrap and stir into a mug of hot coffee or milk, letting the chocolate melt. It’s the same idea as hot chocolate on a stick, but without the stick! The chocolate has a wonderfully fruity dark chocolate flavor and I like it even better with coffee than I do with milk alone. The downside of these sticks is that your fingers might get a bit messy while melting them, but that’s a minor inconvenience – especially if you, like me, would like to stir in some chocolate and simply eat the last bit!

I like that these are easy to share, single serve and individually wrapped. They make a good little stocking stuffer gift, alongside a mug and a spoon, too. And you can always eat them as mini candy bars if you’re in need of a chocolate fix and don’t have a mug of hot coffee or milk handy!

The post Trader Joe’s Hot Chocolate Sticks, reviewed appeared first on Baking Bites.

Hot Chocolate Cookies

These hot chocolate cookies taste just like the cozy drink, with a rich chocolate flavor and gooey marshmallow center. They’re…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

These hot chocolate cookies taste just like the cozy drink, with a rich chocolate flavor and gooey marshmallow center. They’re divine!

Hot Chocolate Cookies

Here’s a holiday cookie we just can’t say no to. These Hot Chocolate Cookies taste just like the holiday drink! The cookie batter channels just the right flavor of the liquid chocolate: it’s textured with sugar crystals and studded with chocolate chunks. The best part? A marshmallow center ties it all together, forming a melty lake of gooey bliss. These are divine. We’re not big cookie people (I know, gasp!), but these blew us away.

Ingredients in hot chocolate cookies

These Hot Chocolate Cookies are essentially a chocolate sugar cookie with a marshmallow center. The base cookie is inspired by a book by one of our favorite bakers, 100 Cookies by Sarah Kieffer. Instead of mini marshmallows, the center’s got half of one big marshmallow, which melts into a gooey pile. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • All purpose flour
  • Dutch process (dark chocolate) cocoa powder: see notes below
  • Baking soda and kosher salt
  • Granulated sugar
  • Butter
  • Vanilla
  • Eggs
  • Dark chocolate
  • Large marshmallows
Hot Chocolate Cookies

Notes on Dutch process cocoa powder

The cocoa powder in these Hot Chocolate Cookies is special: it’s Dutch process cocoa powder. It’s been treated with an alkali to make it pH neutral, which gives it a darker color and milder flavor. It makes the flavor ultra chocolaty, like in Chocolate Banana Muffins and Healthy Chocolate Pudding.

You should be able to find Dutch process cocoa powder at your local grocery next to the regular cocoa powder. If you can’t find it, you can buy it online: try Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder or Ghiradelli Dutch Process Cocoa Powder.

Hot Chocolate Cookies

Tips for baking hot chocolate cookies

These Hot Chocolate Cookies are easy to make, but you should know two things before you start. Here’s what to know:

  • Baking 1 tray at a time makes the most even bake. Our oven is a little uneven on the two racks, so cookies can come out a little different based on their difference from the heating element. To make perfect cookies, bake one tray at a time. (We know, it takes longer! But it’s worth it.)
  • Important: refrigerate the formed dough balls while baking. The dough becomes warm as it sits, so you’ll want to get those formed dough balls into the fridge during baking. If the dough is too warm, the marshmallow simply melts (instead of looking white, it turns clear). Trust us: we know from experience!

Otherwise, Hot Chocolate Cookies are pretty simple to make. Flatten the dough into a disk, add half of a large marshmallow, make a ball, and roll it in a plate of granulated sugar. It’s easy as that and they come out simply beautiful. The perfect Christmas cookie, in our opinion!

Hot Chocolate Cookies

More Christmas cookies & treats

Looking for more holiday cookies? Here are our favorite easy Christmas cookies this time of year:

This hot chocolate cookies recipe is…

Vegetarian.

Hot Chocolate Cookies
Print
Hot Chocolate Cookies

Hot Chocolate Cookies


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 30 cookies
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

These hot chocolate cookies taste just like the cozy drink, with a rich chocolate flavor and gooey marshmallow center. They’re divine!


Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup Dutch process (dark chocolate) cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 ounce dark chocolate bar, chopped into chunks
  • 15 large marshmallows, cut in half

Instructions

  1. Preheat: Preheat 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients: Stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and kosher salt.
  3. Mix the dough: In a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, cream the sugar and room temperature butter on medium speed for 4 to 5 minutes until fluffy. Reduce the speed to low and mix in the vanilla and eggs. Once incorporated, add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chunks.
  4. Form the cookies: Prepare a plate with a layer of granulated sugar. Pull out 2 tablespoons of dough. Flatten it into a disc, then place a half marshmallow on top and wrap the dough around the marshmallow. Roll the ball in the plate of sugar. Repeat until you make 8 cookies.
  5. Prep for baking: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add 8 cookies to a pan and stagger them so they have as much space as possible around them. You can bake the first batch immediately (go to Step 6). While the first pan is baking, form the other 22 balls and place them on a baking sheet in the refrigerator. It is important to chill the unbaked cookies because if they’re are too warm, the texture is off (you can also chill the dough and form the balls right before baking).
  6. Bake: Bake one pan at a time on the center rack for 12 to 14 minutes until the marshmallows are melted*. Store for 3 days at room temperature, 1 week refrigerated, or several months frozen.

Notes

*If you prefer, you can bake 2 sheets at a time; baking one at a time ensures the most even bake.

Cookie recipe inspired by 100 Cookies by Sarah Kieffer. Marshmallow center inspired by Salted and Stirred.

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Cookies

Keywords: Hot chocolate cookies

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Homemade Hot Chocolate

Here’s the very best homemade hot chocolate recipe: full of rich chocolaty flavor and easy to whip up in 5…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

Here’s the very best homemade hot chocolate recipe: full of rich chocolaty flavor and easy to whip up in 5 minutes. Never buy the mix again!

Hot chocolate

Sure, you can buy the premade packets with pictures of snow covered ski chalets. But did you know the absolute best hot chocolate is homemade in just 5 minutes? After years of tinkering, we’ve got a master recipe for you. Here’s our very best homemade hot chocolate recipe: it’s creamy, rich, chocolaty, and tastes like a dream. All you need are a few ingredients, and you might already have them on hand. And if you’ve got chocolate chips…well, they make all the difference.

Hot cocoa vs hot chocolate

First though: what’s the difference between these two similar terms? Is there even a difference?

  • Hot cocoa and hot chocolate are commonly used as synonyms, especially in the US. So you’ll find people using them interchangeably.
  • The technical definitions are hot cocoa is made with cocoa powder, milk and sugar: it has a thinner consistency and is very sweet. Hot chocolate is made with real chocolate, and may be thicker and less sweet.

Either way, you can generally use these two as synonyms. So this recipe is both a homemade hot chocolate recipe and a hot cocoa recipe! Score.

Hot chocolate recipe

Ingredients for the best hot chocolate recipe

There’s a bit of a debate in the culinary community about what makes the best homemade hot chocolate recipe. Some claim it’s chopped melted chocolate. Others claim cocoa powder is the way to go. After numerous tests, we found cocoa powder plus real chocolate is the real winner. But you can omit the chocolate if you don’t have it on hand! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cocoa powder
  • 2% milk (or oat milk)
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon
  • Semi sweet or dark chocolate chips (optional but recommended)

How to make homemade hot chocolate: a few tips

There’s not much to a homemade recipe: it’s pretty much dump and whisk! But we’ve got a couple tips before you scroll down to the recipe:

  • First, whisk a little milk with the cocoa powder. This helps to make a paste and dissolve most of the powder, which can get lumpy.
  • A pinch of cinnamon adds complexity. You can add even more if you’d like a stronger flavor.
  • Real chocolate adds richness, body, and depth in flavor. You can make it with just cocoa powder, but the real chocolate takes it to a whole new level.
Homemade hot chocolate

Add toppings to serve

This homemade hot chocolate recipe tastes absolutely amazing as is. Honestly, we rarely add anything else. But if you’d like, add toppings to make it next level cozy! You can use it as part of a hot chocolate bar and let guests top their drinks as desired. Try these toppings:

  • Homemade whipped cream
  • Shaved chocolate
  • Cocoa powder
  • Marshmallows (homemade or purchased)
  • Peppermint candies, crushed
  • Chocolate sauce

Variations on hot chocolate

There are so many ways to vary this hot chocolate recipe! Add flavors or mix it up by spiking it with booze. Or, go for a healthier spin with less sugar and richness. Here are the best variations on this cozy drink (add the quantities to the 2 serving recipe below):

Hot cocoa

More hot drinks

Once the weather gets a chill, it’s time to cup your hands around a cozy mug. Outside of this homemade hot cocoa, here are some other hot beverages to take off the chill:

This hot cocoa recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten free. For dairy free and vegan, use oat milk and dairy-free chocolate (or omit).

Print
Hot chocolate

Homemade Hot Chocolate


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 drinks
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Here’s the very best homemade hot chocolate recipe: full of rich chocolaty flavor and easy to whip up in 5 minutes. Never buy the mix again!


Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 cups 2% milk (or oat milk)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • ¼ cup (1 ½ ounces) semisweet or dark chocolate chips*

Instructions

  1. Place a saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and ¼ cup of the milk and whisk until the cocoa powder is mostly integrated. Whisk in the remaining milk until smooth.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and heat over medium heat until the chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes. Do not boil. Serve immediately, garnished with whipped cream or marshmallows.

Notes

*You can omit for a great cup of hot cocoa with a lighter flavor (and less calories). But the chocolate really adds richness in flavor. We highly recommend it!

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Hot chocolate, Hot chocolate recipe, Homemade hot chocolate, Hot cocoa

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Holiday Drinks

This year, it’s a sure bet that holiday gatherings will likely be more intimate, with perhaps more celebrating online rather than around a table. As you cozy up to the chimney…or computer, it’s nice to have a drink in hand either to take the chill off or to make things feel more festive. Unless you’re the lovely Ina Garten, who prefers to make drinks by…

This year, it’s a sure bet that holiday gatherings will likely be more intimate, with perhaps more celebrating online rather than around a table. As you cozy up to the chimney…or computer, it’s nice to have a drink in hand either to take the chill off or to make things feel more festive. Unless you’re the lovely Ina Garten, who prefers to make drinks by the pitcher, individual drinks are a nice way to celebrate more intimate gatherings and you can make just one to two, or scale ’em up to make four or six, if necessary. My hot chocolate recipes (below) can easily be made in advance – in fact, they’re better if they are – then rewarmed right before serving. Marshmallows and whipped cream are optional, but if I’m going to be honest, they’re encouraged.

Here are my favorite and most popular drink recipes on the blog that’ll warm you up, including two types of hot chocolate (there are several others in Drinking French, including a Salted Butter Caramel version), French mulled wine, an apple-based cocktail, and a few libations with cranberries. There’s also a brown-buttery Old Fashioned, a pink Cosmo to brighten things up, a creative Kir, and Jeff Morgenthaler’s amazing eggnog. So no matter where you are, whether you’re at home with friends and family or able to gather out and about, here are some drinks I hope will help make this holiday season more enjoyable…

Vin Chaud

A winter classic in many countries, when they’re open (they’re closed at the moment), cafés in Paris will have the words ‘Vin chaud’ scribbled on a blackboard either inside or out, beckoning people to come in from the cold to have a glass. Patrons are usually huddled around terrace tables or standing at the bar, sipping glasses of warm spiced wine, but this year, mulled wine maison will be in fashion. My version of vin chaud is spiced with cardamom, star anise, cloves, and fresh ginger. And it’s even better if you tip a bit of brandy in it!

Continue Reading Holiday Drinks...

Drinking French is Out!

I’m excited to announce that Drinking French: The iconic cocktails, apéritifs, and café traditions in France, with 160 recipes is out! My latest book features recipes for the iconic beverages of France, from café specialties hot chocolate, tisanes and infusions, and chilled chocolate frappés, to classic French apéritifs, recipes to make liqueurs, crèmes, wines, punches and cordials at home, as well as French-themed cocktails from…

Drinking French

I’m excited to announce that Drinking French: The iconic cocktails, apéritifs, and café traditions in France, with 160 recipes is out!

My latest book features recipes for the iconic beverages of France, from café specialties hot chocolate, tisanes and infusions, and chilled chocolate frappés, to classic French apéritifs, recipes to make liqueurs, crèmes, wines, punches and cordials at home, as well as French-themed cocktails from my favorite bars in Paris. To make sure you and your guests are properly fed, there’s a whole chapter of Snacks for apéro hour, such as a Terrine facile (an easy-to-make, meaty terrine), savory Cornmeal-Bacon Madeleines, bite-size Mushroom-Roquefort Tartlets, a recipe for Duck Rillettes as well as another for Chicken Rillettes (spread), one being quite rich, and the other for those who want to eat a little lighter. Or those who can’t get duck. (Writing the book, I thought of everything…and everyone.) And there’s a Kale Crespèu, a specialty of Provence which is perfect for summer with glasses of chilled rosé.

Drinking French starts out as a typical French morning does; at a café with a small shot of coffee or a more leisurely wake-up at home with a steaming bowl of Café au lait. Later in the day, people enjoy other café favorites, such as Citron pressé, Lemonade, Fresh Mint Tea, and if it’s the summer, to beat the heat, nothing beats a chilled Chocolate Frappé. For those needing a little more of a boost, there’s a Coffee Frappé, as well as one that uses one of the most popular liqueurs in France (which, interestingly, isn’t French), in case you want something cool and spirited. But there are dozens of recipes that don’t have any alcohol, making Drinking French enjoyable to all.

Continue Reading Drinking French is Out!...

Crepes Dentelle cookies (Gavottes)

These may be the best cookies in the world. Okay, they’re not really cookies, per se. At least not in the French sense. Les cookies refers to chocolate chip cookies and these ultra-thin, ultra-crisp, and ultra-buttery tasting crêpes dentelles are so different, yet so good, you’ll find yourself eating your way through several of them in no time. To prove that point, as a courtesy, the…

These may be the best cookies in the world. Okay, they’re not really cookies, per se. At least not in the French sense. Les cookies refers to chocolate chip cookies and these ultra-thin, ultra-crisp, and ultra-buttery tasting crêpes dentelles are so different, yet so good, you’ll find yourself eating your way through several of them in no time. To prove that point, as a courtesy, the company that makes them places two crêpe dentelles in each shimmering foil packet because they know that it’s impossible to eat just one.

The other great thing about these cookies (let’s just go with that, in English), is that you can pick up a box in any French supermarket, yet the cookies are grand and elegant enough so that restaurants in France have no problem serving store-bought cookies to customers. At least I’ve never heard any complaints. French grandparents and others are known to crumble cookies over a dish or bowl of ice cream to dress it up at home. (For the record, I like to think that I still fall into the “others” category – even though a young man offered me his seat on the métro the other day.)

Continue Reading Crepes Dentelle cookies (Gavottes)...

The Making of Drinking French

A few years ago, after My Paris Kitchen came out, I began thinking about what I’d write about next. Whenever you have a book come out, the most common question is, “What’s your next book?” Sometimes you already have an idea, but other times, it’s nice to sit back and enjoy what you’ve written. I was happy that people took to that book so much,…

A few years ago, after My Paris Kitchen came out, I began thinking about what I’d write about next. Whenever you have a book come out, the most common question is, “What’s your next book?” Sometimes you already have an idea, but other times, it’s nice to sit back and enjoy what you’ve written. I was happy that people took to that book so much, and after a respite, I started thinking about what to write about next.

Because I was asked about it so much, I decided that telling the story of my apartment renovation would make an interesting book, which turned out to be true, knowing that people would be surprised at what a comedy of errors it turned out to be.

But another subject I found myself becoming more and more interested in was the culture and traditions of French drinkings, and the drinks themselves. I submitted both proposals at once, nearly six years ago, in a two-book arrangement with my publisher, deciding to tackle the renovation story first while it was still fresh in my mind and take on French drinks when I was done. That ended up being a good thing…because I needed a drink after reliving L’Appart…and from what many of you have told me after reading it, so did you!

Continue Reading The Making of Drinking French...

Things to do in Paris at Christmas

Hello all, Emily here. There seems to be more and more Christmas activities that are planned in Paris each year, so David asked me to put together a selection of my family’s favorites.  Our tree is already up and wherever you are in the world – we’re wishing you a happy holiday season! Things to do in Paris at Christmas Without the celebration (and decorations)…

Hello all, Emily here. There seems to be more and more Christmas activities that are planned in Paris each year, so David asked me to put together a selection of my family’s favorites.  Our tree is already up and wherever you are in the world – we’re wishing you a happy holiday season!

Things to do in Paris at Christmas

Without the celebration (and decorations) of Halloween or Thanksgiving in Paris, it is easy to forget the rapid approach of Christmas in France. Decorations don’t tend to go up as in Paris, as they do elsewhere, but when they do arrive, it’s often overnight, and with style. By December 1st, you’ll never be far away from a vendor selling fresh, pine-scented Christmas trees. Wine shops, épicieries (specialty food stores), butchers, and pâtisseries are filled with champagne, gibiers (game), foie gras, macarons, chocolates, and marron glacés (candied chestnuts), as locals stock up for the feasts ahead.

Continue Reading Things to do in Paris at Christmas...

Salted Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate.

True story: I will never turn down a mug of peanut butter hot chocolate. Especially with peanut butter whipped cream! It’s only the best combination in the world, you know? Sure there are others that I frequently mention, like bread and butter, or cheese and olives, almond butter and strawberry jam. But I don’t think […]

The post Salted Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

True story: I will never turn down a mug of peanut butter hot chocolate.

This salted peanut butter hot chocolate is a hug in a mug! It's super decadent, indulgent and cozy. Everyone's favorite flavors in one drink!

Especially with peanut butter whipped cream!

It’s only the best combination in the world, you know?

Sure there are others that I frequently mention, like bread and butter, or cheese and olives, almond butter and strawberry jam.

But I don’t think many people will argue that peanut butter + chocolate is THEEEE flavor combo. 

hot chocolate ready to make

Last week I was devastated to learn that City Bakery in NYC closed. They have the most indulgent, rich hot chocolate – one that you have maybe once a year because it’s so decadent. It’s a hot chocolate that I think about all the time.

This isn’t exactly that, but it’s definitely hot CHOCOLATE. High-quality chocolate swirled into hot milk until melted and thick. OMG. I want a mug of it right now.

hot chocolate with marshmallows

I obviously didn’t know the difference between hot cocoa and hot chocolate when I was a kid. (Or, frankly, in 2009 when I made a recipe called salted hot chocolate and used cocoa powder! Whomp whomp. I hate myself.)

At our house, we were a hot cocoa family – my mom would buy the boxes with single serving packets and we loved them. 

But I distinctly remember sled riding with a friend at her grandma’s house, and her grandma making us hot chocolate on the stovetop. !!!!!

It.was.insane.

So chocolatey! So delicious! It was like dessert in a glass. 

peanut butter whipped cream

That’s what we have here. Chocolate melted into milk with creamy peanut butter and flaked sea salt. This recipe has both chocolate AND cocoa powder, so it’s doing double duty and it makes a mug extra flavorful. 

This salted peanut butter hot chocolate is a hug in a mug! It's super decadent, indulgent and cozy. Everyone's favorite flavors in one drink!

And it’s topped with a peanut butter whipped cream, which is unsweetened so it cuts the richness of the hot chocolate perfectly.

Oh and a shower of flaked sea salt rains down on top too!

This salted peanut butter hot chocolate is a hug in a mug! It's super decadent, indulgent and cozy. Everyone's favorite flavors in one drink!

This kind of reminds me of my favorite slow cooker coconut hot chocolate, which is so decadent that you can freeze it and make a pudding-like dessert out of the leftovers. It’s like bonus hot chocolate.

And everything I want to drink on a chilly night!

This salted peanut butter hot chocolate is a hug in a mug! It's super decadent, indulgent and cozy. Everyone's favorite flavors in one drink!

Salted Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate

Salted Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate

This salted peanut butter hot chocolate is a hug in a mug! It’s super decadent, indulgent and cozy. Everyone’s favorite flavors in one drink!

  • ½ cup water
  • 2 cups milk ((whole or coconut milk makes it the creamiest!))
  • 1 cup half and half or heavy cream or coconut milk/cream ((for dairy free))
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 8 ounces high-quality dark chocolate, (chopped)
  • ⅓ cup peanut butter
  • ¼ teaspoon flaked sea salt, (plus more for topping)
  • mini marshmallows, (for serving)

peanut butter whipped cream

  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  1. Place the water, milk and cream in a saucepan over low heat. Heat until the mixture is just warm and bubbles appear around the edges. Whisk in the sugar and cocoa until they dissolve. Stir in the chocolate and peanut butter with a wooden spoon, stirring often and cooking until both are fully melted. Stir in the sea salt.
  2. Once melted, divide the hot chocolate between mugs. Top with the whipped cream and mini marshmallows. Sprinkle on more flaked sea salt.

peanut butter whipped cream

  1. Place the cold cream in a bowl of your electric mixer. Add the peanut butter and beat the mixture on medium to high speed, until peaks form. Scoop the whipped cream into the hot chocolate!
  2. Note: I do not add any extra sugar to this whipped cream. The hot chocolate is already very sweet, so this cuts it nicely.

This salted peanut butter hot chocolate is a hug in a mug! It's super decadent, indulgent and cozy. Everyone's favorite flavors in one drink!

Might just curl up and nap on that whipped cream pile.

The post Salted Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.