Who says hot chocolate is only for the winter months? Here's a fun way to enjoy it all year long.
This no-bake recipe features a cool and creamy cheesecake filling flavored with hot cocoa mix, encased in crunchy white chocolate, and topped with semisweet chocolate and tiny marshmallows. :)
The idea for the decoration was inspired by Bakerella's Cocoa Cake Pops.
For the cheesecake filling:
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened (cut into cubes to soften at room temp faster)
- 2 single serving packets of hot cocoa mix (I used Swiss Miss Marshmallow Lover's)
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup finely crushed chocolate graham crackers (about 4 full crackers) (crush using a rolling pin and Ziploc bag or a food processor)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- large mixing bowl + beaters
For the mug handles/coating/topping
- 1/4 cup + 3/4 cup white chocolate chips or white candy melts
- 1/4 cup semisweet or milk chocolate chips
- tiny marshmallows (I used the ones that came with the hot cocoa mix)
- piping bag or small Ziploc bag
- parchment or wax paper or nonstick surface
- toothpicks for dipping
Step 1: Make the Filling
Add the cream cheese, hot cocoa mix, sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla to a large mixing bowl. Beat until blended. The mixture should have the consistency of a cookie dough.
Divide the dough into 1-Tablespoon size portions and arrange in a single layer on a cookie sheet/platter. Chill this in the freezer for about 20 minutes or until the dough is firm enough to shape.
Step 2: Making the Mug Handles
While the filling chills in the freezer prepare a baking sheet or other flat surface with nonstick spray or nonstick lining (such as parchment or wax paper).
Melt 1/4 cup of the white chocolate chips. This can be done carefully in the microwave or a double boiler as chocolate has a very low burning point. To heat in the microwave, do so in short bursts of about 10 seconds, stirring after each.
Fill a pastry bag (or a small Ziploc bag) with the melted chocolate. Draw C shapes for the mug handles, considering the size of the filling portions- about the size of a marshmallow. If you are using parchment or wax paper, since it is more transparent, you can also draw out the shapes ahead of time on a piece of paper, and place this underneath to use as a template.
Once you have enough mug handles (about 15-20), chill the pan in the refrigerator or freezer to allow the shapes to set.
This should only take a few minutes. When they have hardened, they are ready for use.
Step 3: Shaping the Mugs
Roll the dough portions into marshmallow shapes (round with flat tops and bottoms). Make a small indent into the tops to act as containers for the chocolate that will go on top. If the dough starts to get sticky as you do this, place it in the freezer for a few minutes to stiffen again.
Store in freezer as you melt the chocolate for the coating.
Step 4: Using a Double Boiler to Melt the Chocolate
When melting larger portions of chocolate chips, I find it easier to use a make-shift double boiler. If you have a double boiler, you can use this instead.
To set this up, fill the bottom of a pot with water just until it is about an inch high. Find a heat-proof bowl that fits inside of the pot so that the bottom does not touch the water. Add the chocolate to this bowl.
Heat the pot of water to a simmer (with the bowl of chocolate on top) and turn the temperature down to low. Stir frequently and heat until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
Step 5: Finishing the Mugs
Insert a toothpick into the top of the mug and use this to pick up each and swirl it into the melted chocolate. Cover the mug completely, then set it onto a rack. While the chocolate is still wet, stick a handle onto the side of the mug. Repeat until all of the mugs are covered.
Melt the semisweet chocolate chips (either in the microwave or double boiler). Using a spoon or a piping bag, fill the tops of the mugs. Decorate with a few of the tiny marshmallows while the chocolate is still wet.
Store these in the refrigerator.
Step 6: Serve and Enjoy!
You did it! Enjoy a lovely cup of not-so-hot chocolate.