Hot Chocolate on a Stick

[First published in November 2009]

I’ve received lovely notes from many of you inquiring after my absence here.  First, let me thank you all for caring enough to ask.  Second, let me explain why I’m reposting this.

My husband and I have visited his Aunt Patti in the Houston Heights area the last couple years just before Christmas. Patti welcomed us lavishly and generously, putting us and other family members in a bed and breakfast near her home, treating us to delicious meals, making us feel at home and loved and special beyond words.  Aunt Patti’s sweet tooth is legendary.

This year, my sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, father-in-law, mother-in-law and various uncles and aunts, nieces and nephews made homemade meals for her (due to her MS, she was no longer able to cook for herself), dozens and dozens of cookies, cakes, chocolate toffee, breads, and anything else that we thought would sound good to her.

We brought silly Christmas ornaments to play ‘White Elephant’ and to decorate a small tree for her bedroom so she would laugh when she looked at it. And believe me, those ornaments were laughable.

We talked, we laughed, we ate.  And we ate and ate and ate. And when it was time to go, we hugged. We talked about how we were already looking forward to seeing each other next Christmas.  Aunt Patti said how much she had loved the hot-chocolate-on-a-stick I had mailed to her the previous year.  I promised I would send a batch sometime shortly after the New Year.  I meant it.

On January 3rd, we received a phone call from my husband’s brother that Aunt Patti’s house had burned to the ground and that both she and her caregiver, Lisa, were missing and presumed dead.  I was sure he was wrong.  I hoped he was wrong. He had to be wrong.

He was not.

In the last three days,  both Aunt Patti’s and Lisa Sanders’ remains have been found. I can’t send another batch of Hot Chocolate on a Stick to Aunt Patti.  And while that’s the least of the concerns, when you miss someone, the little things seem bigger.  I had failed to deliver on a promise. So do me a favor, would you?  Please make a batch of these.  Eat them or -better yet- share them with someone else.  Patti would’ve loved it.

In Loving Memory of  Evelyn “Patti” Worthington and  with eternal thanks to her caregiver Mary Elizabeth “Lisa” Sanders.

Now that I have the attention of the entire state of Minnesota, please allow me to expound.

hotchocolateonastick 14

This is one of the most clever ideas I’ve seen out of the King Arthur Flour Baker’s Circle lately.  (And they’re no creative slouches over at King Arthur.)  In the most recent e-newsletter* from their test kitchen they included a recipe for Cocoa Blocks.

*If you’d like to receive their free e-newsletter, you can click this link and look for the sign-up box in the lower right hand corner of the page.

Oh sweet merciful heavens.  Cocoa blocks.  Very utilitarian name, no?  Nothing against my King Arthur folks, because I really do love them, but I think the name doesn’t do justice to these little beauties.  I’ve renamed them.  Henceforth, they shall be called Hot Chocolate On A Stick.

Hot Chocolate on a Stick is a creamy chocolate confection that is much like an ultra-rich fudge.  You can, as the new title indicates, put these blocks of chocolatey goodness on sticks for ease in swirling it in hot milk or nibbling.

hotchocolateonastick 13

Or, if you’re a rebel (or not from the Midwest), you can simply leave the squares alone and stir them into your hot drinks.  Or you can go another step, as I am wont to do, and skewer a marshmallow on top of the block of chocolate.

hotchocolateonastick 12

And since we’re playing with marshmallows already, why not make them homemade*?  That opens up the possibilities of all kinds of decadent flavor combinations; mocha chocolate with cocoa marshmallows, orange chocolate with vanilla marshmallows, plain chocolate with raspberry marshmallows, or pure chocolate and vanilla marshmallows.

~~~   ~~~

*Last year Val posted a homemade marshmallow recipe in our Homemade Christmas Gifts series.  (See that post here!)  Homemade marshmallows, if you’ve never had them, are a completely different animal than those little round foam-like jobbies you get in bags at the grocery store.  They’re ethereally light, sweet and endlessly customizable.  Have a hankering for an orange flavored marshmallow without the nasty food coloring?  It can be done.  Want a mocha marshmallow?  (Just try finding THAT at your local mega-mart.)  It’s only moments away.  You get my drift, right?

So if you combine luscious, velvety, rich fudge with light-as-air homemade marshmallows it should follow that what you’ve created is heavenly.  And it is.  Oh, it is!  Not to put too fine a point on it, but having these in my kitchen was the only thing standing between me and a potential sale of my children to the gypsies early career apprenticeship commitment for my children.  I hid in the bathroom with a  ‘Hot Chocolate on a Stick’ and nibbled my irritation away.

I could’ve taken a cup of hot milk to the bathroom with me, but I was in a hurry, people.  I needed the chocolate and I needed it fast.  The kids, on the other hand, found the stash while I was hiding (and small price to pay for the peace it brought me) and stirred theirs into hot cups of milk.  I hear tell that they enjoyed it immensely.  The chocolate rings around their mouths bore out their testimony.

Kid tested.  Mother approved.

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~~~   ~~~

May I recommend that you whip up a batch or two or three of these?  Keep one batch for yourself.  Wrap one batch in plastic and pretty ribbons for gift-giving.  And that last batch?  Well, give it away one at a time to your kids’ teachers, bus drivers, your preacher, the mail carrier, the elderly man or woman down the road who lost their spouse this year, the gal in the apartment two doors down who looks a little lonely, or anyone else who looks like they could use a good dose of seasonal cheer.

First, a marshmallow refresher!

Homemade Marshmallows

This is mainly Val’s recipe, but I’ve added a few of my own notes.

Follow this link for the original post and a printable version of this recipe.


  • .75-oz unflavored gelatin (3 envelopes of Knox gelatin)
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cups light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (or other flavor extract)
  • Confectioners’ sugar

Line 9 x 9-inch or 8 x 8-inch pan with plastic wrap and lightly oil it using your fingers or non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water. Soak for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a rapid boil.  As soon as it is boiling, set the timer and allow to boil hard for 1 minute.

Carefully pour the boiling syrup into soaked gelatin and turn on the mixer, using the whisk attachment, starting on low and moving up to high speed. Add the salt and beat for between 10 and 12 minutes, or until fluffy and mostly cooled to almost room temperature. After it reaches that stage, add in the extract and beat to incorporate.

Grease your hands and a rubber or silicone scraper with neutral oil and transfer marshmallow into the prepared pan. Use your greased hands to press the marshmallow into the pan evenly.  Take another piece of lightly oiled plastic wrap and press lightly on top of the marshmallow, creating a seal. Let mixture sit for a few hours, or overnight, until cooled and firmly set.


Sprinkle a cutting surface very generously with confectioner’s sugar.


Remove marshmallow from pan and lay on top of the sugar.


Dust the top generously with sugar as well.


Use a large, sharp knife to cut into squares.


Separate pieces and toss to coat all surfaces with the sugar.
Store in an airtight container.

Now for the Hot Chocolate on a Stick!

Hot Chocolate on a Stick

Scroll to the bottom for an easy-print version of this recipe!


  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk (1 1/4 cups)
  • 3 cups semisweet chocolate (3 cups chopped chocolate bars or chips)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened baking chocolate (4 ounces)
  • wooden sticks, lollipop sticks, candy canes or bamboo skewers
  • optional, crushed candy canes, marshmallows and/or cocoa powder

Line an 8 x 8-inch pan or a 9 x 9-inch pan with foil and set aside.


Combine the cream and sweetened condensed milk in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat.  Heat until it is steaming, but not boiling, stirring occasionally to keep from scorching.

Add all of the chocolate and remove from the heat.  Allow the chocolate to melt, undisturbed, for 10 minutes.


After 10 minutes, whisk firmly until it is thick and shiny.  You can add a few drops of flavoring extract or oil at this point, or add some powdered espresso or vanilla.  Whisk vigorously again to incorporate the flavoring (if used.)

Use a rubber or silicone spatula to spread the mixture out evenly in your prepared, foil-lined pan.


Allow to cool at room temperature 12 hours or overnight so that it firms slowly.

Take the fudge from the pan and remove the foil.  Place on a cutting board.

Using a knife heated with hot water and wiped dry, cut the fudge into 36 equal-sized cubes.  You can either stick a lollipop stick (or candy cane) into the center of each block or leave as is.  Additionally, you can press the cut sides of the fudge into crushed candy canes, roll them in cocoa powder or top with marshmallows.

Eat immediately or wrap tightly and store at room temperature.

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If you make more than one batch and use different flavorings for the marshmallows or chocolate, you can use different colored ribbons to indicate the flavors.  Silver for mocha chocolate and vanilla marshmallows, gold for plain chocolate and raspberry marshmallows, for instance…

hotchocolateonastick 19

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Hey… Someone’s snuck off with my raspberry marshmallow Hot Chocolate on a Stick…

Oh well, I’ll make more.

Remember, it’s Christmas time!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Hot Chocolate on a Stick
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This creamy chocolate fudge confection can be nibbled in its pure form, skewered on a stick alone or with homemade marshmallows and simply eaten or swirled into hot milk for a hot chocolate that is second to none.
Recipe type: dessert, candy
Serves: 36
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk (1¼ cups)
  • 3 cups semisweet chocolate (3 cups chopped chocolate bars or chips)
  • ¾ cup unsweetened baking chocolate (4 ounces)
  • wooden sticks, lollipop sticks, candy canes or bamboo skewers
  • optional, crushed candy canes, marshmallows and/or cocoa powder
  1. Line an 8 x 8-inch pan or a 9 x 9-inch pan with foil and set aside.
  2. Combine the cream and sweetened condensed milk in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Heat until it is steaming, but not boiling, stirring occasionally to keep from scorching.
  3. Add all of the chocolate and remove from the heat. Allow the chocolate to melt, undisturbed, for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, whisk firmly until it is thick and shiny. You can add a few drops of flavoring extract or oil at this point, or add some powdered espresso or vanilla. Whisk vigorously again to incorporate the flavoring (if used.)
  4. Use a rubber or silicone spatula to spread the mixture out evenly in your prepared, foil-lined pan. Allow to cool at room temperature 12 hours or overnight so that it firms slowly.
  5. Take the fudge from the pan and remove the foil. Place on a cutting board.
  6. Using a knife heated with hot water and wiped dry, cut the fudge into 36 equal-sized cubes. You can either stick a lollipop stick (or candy cane) into the center of each block or leave as is. Additionally, you can press the cut sides of the fudge into crushed candy canes, roll them in cocoa powder or top with marshmallows.
  7. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature.



    • Rebecca says

      Jo- It’s power food for moms.

      Ranee- Oh yes. By all means. I did.

      May- Thank you. It’s all that and easy to make, too.

  1. says

    Oh my! I have been wanting to make homemade marshmallows for a few yrs now. This is definately the yr. I planned on including homemade hot cocoa in some foodie baskets this yr. These will be a perfect addition!
    Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. says

    Not ambitious enough to make the mashmallow from scratch, but have no doubt that I will be making these confections over the weekend. How genius. In the meantime, I’m contemplating making that photo my screen-saver.

    • Rebecca says

      Liz- You’re more than welcome! Do try the marshmallows- it’s so simple!

      Fiona- Glad to cause your arrhythmia. Chocolate can cure that, I think…

      Amy- The marshmallows are really super easy but as long as you make the chocolate part I cannot complain. I’m glad you like the picture!

  3. says

    I wrote this comment as a review for these on Tasty Kitchen, but since there isn’t an email notification service (right?) I wasn’t sure when or if you’d see it :)…

    I loved this idea so much I’ve made two batches in the past couple of days :) — a mint version rolled in crushed candy canes, and the other rolled in cinnamon. They’re so cute! If you don’t mind I’m planning on posting this to my blog soon — as well as on another collaborative blog I contribute to: Props will definitely be headed in your direction. Thanks!!

  4. Michelle says

    Thanks for posting this recipe! We got snowed in the past two days and I made a few batches to go in a holiday cookie treat bag for some friends and family. I didn’t do as well as you with cutting them evenly; I made the chocolate in a 9×13 (double recipe) and some of them ended up being a bit gigantic! I’ll make sure to give the huge ones to the chocoholics! : )

    • Rebecca says

      Good question! Between the high sugar count and the chemical composition of chocolate, these puppies should theoretically have a great deal of staying power. However, they never last long enough around here for me to test anything beyond a week. You should be safe, though, wrapping them tightly and storing them at room temperature for up to 3 weeks!

  5. Caitlin says

    I made these after reading your post and they’re FANTASTIC! But what a pain to wrap all 36 of them 😛
    I had one question, you mentioned using 9×9 or 8×8 pans for both the cocoa blocks and marshmallows. I used 9x9s for both and they both turned out about twice the height of yours! (the marshmallows maybe 3x). Am I doing something wrong?

  6. Sheri says

    In the words of one of my favorite Food Network stars….YUMM-O!! Can’t wait to try these!!

    ~you can take the girl out of MN, but you can’t take MN out of the girl. :)

  7. BookieBookie says

    Wow! These look fantastic. I’m going to make them (with marshmallows) and send half a dozen to an elderly couple I love. I mentioned that I would make them homemade marshmallows, and homemade marshmallows and hot chocolate on a stick = even better! I will plan to wrap each individually, pack in a tin with tissue padding, and mail them. I hope they’ll survive okay through the mail system–any thoughts?

    Also, I’ll be interested to see your reply to Caitlin above–the photo for the fudge actually does look like a rectangular pan in the “finished” photo. But maybe it’s just the angle of the shot. I’ll check back before I make them and hope you’ve had a chance to clarify.

    David Lebowitz posted a link to your site on his Facebook feed; that’s how I found you. What a wonderful food site! You are now officially bookmarked!

    Thanks so much,


  8. says

    These look fantastic – I can’t wait to have a go!
    I am tempted to dash out this evening to try and find condensed milk, but rare subzero temperatures and heavy snow do mean that driving is out … how much do I want these? enough to walk, I think!

    • Rebecca says

      Caitlin- Hmmmm. That’s a head-scratcher. I used 9x9s. I wonder if it’s just the perspective of the photos that makes them look different? You’re not doing anything wrong as long as they tasted great :-)

      Barbara- Yes, yes, yes! to the raspberry. And the mint. And the rum! What about mint marshmallows on rum infused chocolate? Kind of a chocolatey mojito?

      Sheri- Thank ye. And I think the food-on-a-stick phenomenon is one valued by all of us midwesterners.

      BookieBookie- Shucks. Thank you! And funny you should mention mailing thoughts, I just mailed a box of a dozen to my husband’s aunt in Texas from out here in New York a couple weeks ago. I had them all individually wrapped and they were on chopsticks instead of lollipop sticks. I laid them out so the chocolate was on the outside of the box and padded between each of them with packing peanuts, air-filled bags and tissue paper. I shipped them because I didn’t want to take them on the plane when we went down to visit her. They arrived in mostly perfect condition when we were already at her house. I think were I to do it again I would really focus on immobilizing them as they were just a wee bit chuffed up when they arrived. It wasn’t enough to make them ugly, but my sense of perfectionism was a little offended. Let me know how your shipping goes because I’d love to send these out again! And thanks for the heads-up on finding me through David Lebovitz. Now I have yet another reason to love him! I’m glad you found me and look forward to talking to you again!

  9. middle sis says

    I love to make these with honey for my kids with allergies–I use 2 cups, and 2 envelopes gelatin, no h2o. I just cook the honey to soft ball before continuing with the rest of the recipe–it gives me nice tall mallows! And as per my ancient recipe, I would put them on brown paper on a cookie sheet–I like the greased wrap idea better–it looks sticky-free! What a concept!

    • Rebecca says

      I can attest to those honey marshmallows being gooooood. I have eaten my share of Middle Sis’s wares. If you have kids with corn allergies definitely give them a try.

  10. says

    Does the hot choclate on the stick melt slowly when I place it in a hot coffee or will it somehow keep it’s consistence? Thank you for the idea !

  11. e says

    I can’t wait to give this a try. Did you use regular plastic wrap for the wrapping or something else? I’d like to have a nice presentation for gift giving. Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe.

  12. janeinbama says

    WOW, WOW, WOW. I could not stop thinking about these when I read about it on Two Peas in a Bucket then found your website. I made them this past weekend. Everyone who tried them had a fit. My marshmallows were twice the height of my fudge though and next time I will chip up the baking chocolate – I only broke in half. I can’t wait to share these.

  13. Angela says

    How much espresso powder would you recommend putting in the chocolate? I’m thinking about using these for a Christmas present this year :)

  14. Sandra says

    I HAVE to try making the homemade marshmallows but need a substitute for the corn syrup! Honey is OK to use but adds too much flavor so something else would be good to know also. Quantity is the same for the honey I imagine? Please help! Thanks!

  15. Rina says

    Middle sis- thanks for the honey alternative! I will not use corn syrup!Thanks for the Hot Chocolate on a Stick receipy!

  16. Erin says

    I have a quick question… what is the fudge part sitting on? It looks like paper of some kind? Is it so it doesn’t stick the to plastic wrap?

    Thanks! And I can’t WAIT to make these :)

  17. Carrie says

    Wow is all I can say!! I have tried several FoodNetwork Star’s marshmallow recipes and they never set right. I had about given up thinking I just wasn’t born to make them. But then I came across this!!! They are amazing, and so simple to make. The other recipes were three times as difficult when they most certainly did not need to be. I added peppermint flavoring to mine and they are heavenly. I can’t wait to see how the chocolate turns out now!!! (If there are any marshmallows left……)

  18. Krista says

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea. Looks so yummy!
    I shared a link to your page for this at:
    Thanks for the fun idea!

  19. Kathleen Leach says

    HELP! I made your Honey Gingerbread Bites, then the magic
    scissors got to your recipe, cutting off how MUCH water.
    I guessed 1 cup and the cute little cakes didn’t rise,also
    didn’t want to leave the greased, floured pan. I used
    cake flour. So far, I’ve really messed it up and want to
    make gift cupcakes for Christmas for my students.
    1. How much water?
    2. Cake flour or only all-purpose flour?
    3. Anything else?
    Thanks so much. Love the Dilly Potato Bread also.

  20. Lizbeth says

    made these two days ago, and served them as dessert, last night. the kids loved them!!!

    i had to hide what i didn’t give the kids. i’ll be wrapping them as NYE favors for our guests.

    i’m telling EVERYONE about them… but i don’t want to share the recipe because *insert evil emote-icon* 😉

  21. says

    I made these and wanted to blog about it. I had a post up and then changed it to “private” till I got the ok to link your site. I am not planning on linking any pics, just a modified version of the recipe and your site.
    If you would like to see the post first, let me know.
    Thanks for the recipe! Loved it.

  22. Tracy says

    I am so very sorry for your loss. But how wonderful that you were able to spend the holidays with her, entertaining her, catering to her; how loved she must have felt.

  23. Kristen says

    I’m so sorry to hear of your Aunt and her caregiver. It’s never easy to lose someone much less in such a tragic & unexpected way. Please know you are your family are in all of your readers hearts and prayers. We wish you the best and be assured that while I type this Aunt Patti is surrounded by Hot Chocolates on sticks watching over you. All my best ~K

  24. says

    i am so very sorry for your loss – such a shock for you and your family i’m certain. Aunt Patti sounds like she was a wonderful, wonderful woman with a big, big spirit full of love for her family; and sharing this post with us keeps her spirit alive. love both the recipe and her photo above. my thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

  25. says

    Clever, indeed — and what a fitting tribute to a wonderful woman who it sounds like enriched your life (and those of everyone around her). Keeping you in mind during these hard times!!

  26. says

    I am so sorry for your loss! I found this recipe right before Christmas when I was looking for something clever and gourmet looking to take to my kids’ school for the teacher’s lounge party. (This recipe is what inspired me to subscribe to your blog via email.) This was so simple to make and was a huge HUGE hit. Don’t tell anyone but I think it may have greased the wheels for some better grades on the next report card! wink. wink.

  27. Nina says

    May God rest her soul in peace. Thanks to you all her last Christmas was fun and fabulous and memorable – she got to see her family and enjoy the goodies and the company – who wouldn’t want that before leaving this existence?!

    I will make these for my husband who has MS, for Valentine’s Day, which is also one day after his birthday… it’s a promise!

  28. says

    So before I attempt these, how are these swirled in hot milk? Is it a good hot chocolate then? I’m having a fall themed party and thought these would make great favors. I tried a different version of “hot chocolate on a stick” involving poured chocolate into molds, but they discolored after a week of storage. I wanted to make something ahead of time, like two weeks before. I hope these would work… !

    Thank you if you see this and can respond. I realize it’s been a while since the original post.

  29. Linda Hopkins says

    This was my first visit you your page and I wanted to thank you for sharing the wonderful story of Aunt Patti. It was sweet and tender and was a great reminder of how short life is and how much we need to charish the time we have with those we love. I’m going to make some of the Hot Chocolate on a stick (minus the marshmello as it’s snowing right now and well I’d like my first attempt to have every chance possibable to succeed) and call my mom and dad too. Thank you very much for sharing and have a Very Merry Christmas =)

  30. EE says

    Thankyou for sharing your family stories and most of all the fudge/ hot chicolate recipe. I gave it as gifts with marshmallows that I purchased(didn’t have the time to make both).
    Tried it for myself tonight, stirred into hot milk and my life will never be the same. SO DELIGHTFUL!


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