Does being a hostess mean I have the mostess? Since starting my social group for expats, I seem to be hosting far more gatherings and events than I ever have, from parent and baby groups to ladies who chat over coffee and adult evenings where chat is had over a lot of beer. Having a sense of humour and being able to laugh at my own awkwardness helps a lot, I host parent and baby groups and yet have no children. The other parents naturally ask, ‘Do you have children?’, I awkwardly smile and say ‘No, I’m a crazy cat lady, just cats for me.’ I do get a lot of strange looks but they seem to be grateful the meet up has been arranged, so I get a pass, even if it is a slightly awkward one.
I recently hosted an expat event, it was equally horrifying and exciting. I decided that pizza and beer would be a great theme, its casual and yet combines two things adults love. I would make the pizza and the people would bring the beer (the irony here is that *I* dont actually drink beer). Then I secretly prayed that I wouldn’t have any gluten-free attendees. The pressure one person can put on themselves to host an event is incredible! I decided it wasn’t enough to open up my home (spending a day in advance cleaning it to be pretend like Im some sort of organised and tidy adult), to buy all the ingredients and make the pizzas from scratch, along with brownies and snacks, no no, I also needed to give a thank you gift to the attendees who came. Yes, Im sure its party planning rule 101 – one must give a gift of thanks for those who take the time to attend. Right! Great, now I need gifts, what gift do I give? Homemade gifts are the best gifts to give, it shows you’ve taken the time and initiative to make something, because clearly everything you’ve done above simply isn’t enough. 🙂 I thought, its practically winter, cold, rainy and what is something I can play on with that, and then like any good idea a light bulb went off, HOT CHOCOLATE!!! As I shouted ‘giddy up’ and fist pumped in the air, I started to make the list of things to buy to make these gifts.
Ive previously made hot chocolate on a spoon (normally I give it to close friends at Christmas with their gifts) and have learnt what I like and what preferences people seem to like. Hot chocolate on a stick is VERY popular, its all over Pinterest and other internet locations. However, Im not a fan of sticks, I think of sticks and have visions of dogs running across a field with a large dirty muddy dribble soaked stick in its mouth. Oh hell no! Im equally awkward when I go into coffee chains and they only have the little wooden stirrers and I think ‘surely be an adult means Im capable of using an actual spoon!?”, I know, environmentally friendly, rah rah rah blah blah blah, just give me a spoon! I also find the texture of a stirrer weird on my tongue but we wont get into that.
Makes: 15 shot sized glasses Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 20 mins Mixing and Filling time: 15 mins Total time: 50 mins
What you need to make these really great drinkable treats:
- 9 oz. milk chocolate (not chips) – I used 3 x100 gram bars
- 7 oz. semi-sweet chocolate (not chips) – I used 2 x 100 gram bars
- 1/2 c (59g) cocoa powder
- 1 c (115g) powdered sugar/icing sugar
- 1/8 teaspoons salt
- 2 (10g) teaspoons ground cinnamon (or go wild and use pumpkin pie spice!)
- 15 large marshmallows or 150 mini marshmallows
- 7 mini candy canes (optional) – I put a mini candy cane in every other hot chocolate made, some people dont like them, so lets not force them to eat it.
- Plastic spoons
- Plastic shot glasses (approx. 15) – you can use glass shot glasses ( you can use them to mould the mixture or you can give them away as part of the gift.
- Cellophane to wrap each gift
- Ribbon to wrap around each gift and to attach the label with
*Please note that I doubled the recipe for the pics below as I knew I wanted to make a lot and I couldn’t find shot glasses but I found double shot glasses instead, sure lets do that!
Now to make these awesome drinkable treats:
1. Chop chocolate into small pieces (or you can grate it if you really fancy it) and combine in a glass bowl. You can either microwave in 30 second bursts on 50% power, stirring between each burst, or you can use a double boiler (as I did) and allow it to melt over slowly over simmering water.
I was a bit of a idiot and thought super hot water = quicker melting time and actually seized the chocolate. Not going to lie, I didn’t even realise that you could ‘seize’ chocolate. I was able to rescue mine (hooray!) but play it safe and melt it slowly.
2. In a separate bowl, sift together cocoa, powdered sugar, cinnamon and salt. Set aside. You need individually grease each shot glass (THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT!!!), I used vegetable oil on a paper towel (kitchen roll) and lightly greased the inside of each shot glass. This allows easy removal of hot chocolate once its set.
3. Once the chocolate has completely melted, mix in the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Mixture will be very thick, similar to brownie batter.
4. I used two teaspoons and spooned the chocolate mixture into each cup or you can spoon the mixture into a piping bag (no coupler or tip is needed) and pipe it into the cups. I find the mixture too thick if Im honest and thought it easier just to spoon it into the shot glasses.
After you have filled all your shot glasses, shove a spoon in each one, ensure that it is straight, this will allow for easier wrapping. I then took a large marshmallow, cut it down the middle half way through (NOT all the way through) and then shove it over the spoon. When using mini marshmallows, I put 4 around the spoon and then just before I tie the bag up, I shove in about 6 more, as 4 mini marshmallows isnt enough!
Leave chocolates to dry a few hours. Once all shots are dry, you can remove carefully from the glasses, the heat from your hand should be enough to release them from the glass, (obviously plastic is thin and this takes longer with an actual glass shot) wrap hand around glass around 10-15 seconds. I released each glass but put them back in the glass, to make it easier to remove when the giftee receives them and uses them.
I created the attached template that I use for labels on every cup. I print it back and front and it works great!
After everyone was full of pizza and beer and heading on their way out the door into a cold wet Dutch autumn evening, they were delighted with little gems.
Ive decided to work out the prices for these so you can see how affordable these great edible gifts are, all prices are based on prices at Albert Heijn unless otherwise stated (where the cheapest option has been chosen):
- 3 x100 gram milk chocolate bars = €0.49 a bar = €1.47
- 2 x100 gram dark chocolate bars = €0.49 = €0.98
- 1/2 c (59g) cocoa powder = €0.45
- 1 c (115g) powdered sugar/icing sugar = €0.40
- 2 (10g) teaspoons ground cinnamon = €.14
- 15 large marshmallows or 150 mini marshmallows = €0.83
- plastic spoons = €0.53
- Plastic shot glasses = €1.29
- Above total is €6.09
- Total price per shot glass gift = €0.41
Remember to share with friends (and maybe take one for yourself to enjoy)! 🙂