A brisk (let’s just say it: cold) day in the outdoors is made all the better by a steaming mug of something-or-other waiting for you when your activities are done. Sipping a hot drink while sitting near a campfire can warm you from the inside out while the crackling flames warm you from the outside in.
But on a starlit night, you want to keep the cocoa- or coffee-making process simple. Even quality lighting to dispel the darkness pales in comparison to coming prepared—and by prepared, we mean with an accessory that will sweeten your liquid reward and bring to mind cozy holiday memories wrapped in aromas of peppermint.
I’m talking about chocolate-dipped spoons, which add a creamy, delicious, thick, rich, wonderful certain something to whatever you stir them into. They can easily be made ahead of time and stored in a tub or zip-locked bag, then used as often as wanted (or needed) when the time comes. The advanced preparation means that when it’s time to plunk one into your beverage of choice, it’s ready to go—and it’s already portioned to be the perfect amount.
When it comes to selecting the spoons, you can use standard metal ones, of course, which will need to be washed. Bamboo is a good alternative, as it can be washed and reused if desired. Plastic can work in a pinch, but it’s plastic. Whatever you use, remember that you’re going to be dipping it into hot liquid, so make sure the utensil can withstand a drink as hot as you like it.
What you need:
1 cup chocolate (chips, chopped bars, melting chocolate)
Sprinkles, mini marshmallows, crushed candy canes, etc.
Prepare a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Melt chocolate in a double broiler or in the microwave (for the microwave, always use defrost mode or less than 50 percent power). Microwave for one minute, stir, then microwave in 30-second increments, stirring each time until chocolate is melted and smooth.
Note that chocolate can burn easily, so watch it carefully!
Dip spoons in melted chocolate and scoop so chocolate is level on the spoon. Place on parchment paper.
Sprinkle decorations, candy, or marshmallows onto spoons while chocolate is still melted. Be sure to work quickly at this point, because if the chocolate gets too hard, the toppings won’t stick.
Allow to harden at room temperate for a couple of hours. Store in an airtight container.
When the time comes to break out these sweet treats, use the spoons to stir hot cocoa or coffee for an extra chocolatey burst.
It’s amazing that something so small and simple can make such a big difference, but it truly does.