Ice coating the driveway and piles of snow still towering over mailboxes and trashcans, I’d venture to guess that we’re destined for one of the coldest Valentine’s Days on record. With the odds stacked against us, it’s going to take some extra effort to heat things up around here, and I happen to know just the thing to do it… Chocolate, of course.
Pressed for time but seeking sweetness to share, inspiration struck as soon as I laid eyes on Hotchocspoons. Pure fudge on the end of a spoon, ready to be dunked into hot non-dairy milk for a rich and steamy cup of hot chocolate? Brilliant! And better yet, a gift that can be made at the very last minute. Many have since come up with their own renditions, but I had to put my own small spin on this one.
Chocolate-covered cherries, those quintessential Valentine’s Day bon bons, are now re imagined as a voluptuous glass of hot chocolate waiting to happen. Flavor possibilities are endless, but to give it a gently spicy warmth, I threw in a pinch of cinnamon, and gave it a greater depth with a dash of toasty hazelnut extract.
If you can use the microwave, you can make these babies, which means they’re also a great gift to make with the kids, too.
Cherry Hot Chocolate Spoons
9 – 12 Natural Maraschino Cherries
1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
6 Ounces (1 Cup) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/4 Teaspoon Hazelnut or Almond Extract
Pinch Ground Cinnamon
9 – 12 Reusable or Biodegradable Spoons
Drain the cherries and place them on a paper down to further dry. They don’t need to be perfectly bone-dry, but they will adhere to the chocolate better if they aren’t sopping wet.
Place the chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave-safe dish, and heat on full power for one minute. Let sit for another minute, and then stir thoroughly. If there are still lumps that aren’t melting, give it another 15 – 30 seconds in the microwave, stirring well after each 15 second interval, until smooth. Mix in the extract, cinnamon, and salt.
Equally divide the chocolate mixture between 9 – 12 indents in a silicon mold, each with a capacity of 1 – 2 tablespoons. I used hearts here to continue the theme, but whatever you’ve got will work, including mini muffin pans.
Place the mold on a level surface in your freezer, and let the chocolate begin to set up for about 10 minutes. Once it’s semi-firm, push the spoons into the indents so that they reach the bottoms, and then gently press one cherry into the top of each mound of chocolate. Return the molds to the freezer, and let the rest until they’re completely solid- At least 1 hour. Once they’re set, they can be wrapped in plastic and stored in a cool place.
To serve, simply heat 6 – 8 ounces of non-dairy milk just to the brink of boiling, transfer to a mug, and plunk in a spoon. Let the chocolate sit and melt for about a minute, and then stir well. Enjoy with someone you love!
Makes 9 – 12 Hot Chocolate Spoons
In case you’re still at wit’s end looking for a perfect Valentine’s Day treat, try on one of my other love-ly recipes for size…