Kneads and Cravings: Brighten winter days with easy and decadent hot chocolate bombs

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, the December holidays will be cranking into overdrive. This year of course is not quite the same as the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly thrown a wrench in our standard celebrations.

Given that the number of cases were increasing nationally prior to Thanksgiving, it’s probably a safe guess that the numbers will continue to climb during the holiday season if folks gather and try to celebrate with those outside their household. This year is also different as many find themselves out of work due to the pandemic or have had their businesses suffer throughout the pandemic.

While this holiday season might be harder for many folks, I’m here to offer you a simple bit of joy in the form of hot chocolate bombs. Many of you have seen the fun drink trend splashed across social media for the past month or so and having tried out the trend, I can say it really is fun.

While you can get hot chocolate bombs in the store, you can also make them at home as a fun cooking venture with kids or as a gift for those who have a sweet tooth. A hot chocolate bomb is a treat with hot chocolate powder and mini marshmallows encased in a round chocolate shell, when hot water or milk are poured over the bombs, the shells melt away, adding a little extra richness to your hot chocolate.

Making your own hot chocolate bomb is incredibly easy, all it requires is a round mold (silicone molds are easier to work with), chocolate, your preferred hot chocolate powder and any additional bits you like to flavor your hot chocolate with such as crushed peppermint, marshmallows, cinnamon or even chile powder.

Hot Chocolate Bombs

Makes 3-4 bombs (depending on mold size)

8 oz melting chocolate (you can use chocolate chips, bars of melting chocolate of your choosing)

2 tbsp hot chocolate powder

1/4 cup mini marshmallows

1 chocolate mold

Microwave the chocolate at 30 second intervals until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Using a spoon, take a little bit of the chocolate into each rounded mold and use the back of the spoon to coat the entire semi circle with chocolate to form a shell. Repeat with each semi circle in the mold. Let the mold sit for 20 minutes in the refrigerator to let the chocolate set. Then repeat the steps again, to provide a second layer of chocolate to the molds, to ensure the sides all fully coated. Once the second layer of chocolate has set, gently pop the shells out the molds. Fill one half of the bomb with your desired hot chocolate powder and extras and place to the side. Warm a plate in the microwave or oven and place the unfilled tops of the bomb on the plate for a moment, until the edges soften and begin to melt, before placing it on the filled half of the shell, use a finger or spoon to join the melted edges together to seal the bomb. Repeat with all of the molds until finished. Place the freshly sealed bombs in the fridge to set for another 20 minutes.

To give the bombs a little pizzazz, decorate them with a little leftover melted chocolate and colorful sprinkles. Once the bombs are set and decorated, they can be stored at room temperature.

To enjoy, place a bomb in your mug and pour hot milk or water over the top. Stir with a spoon and feel some of your stress melt away into the sweet warmth.

If you want to make your hot chocolate bombs into a gift, I’d recommend placing two-three bombs in a mug and wrapping the mug with a bit of cellophane and a ribbon.