A Happy + A Merry

December 24, 2010

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The holiday season is almost behind us.  The stores will dial back the Christmas music and resume the horrible elevator music that I tend to tune out.  The Internet and T.V. ads will inundate us with sales, bargains, specials and giveaways, and all of us will pack up our holiday decorations and try and resume to our normal day to day.

As I reflect back on 2010 I realize that I have much to be grateful for.  I have three amazing boys who inspire me, make me laugh and challenge me – daily.  I have a husband who, after 32 years, still stands by my side. Our extended family is healthy, our circle of friends are extraordinary, and my new community that I have met through blogging is indescribable.

As I walk away from 2010 and journey into 2011, I raise this yummy glass of hot cocoa (laced with baileys) and toast all of you whom I love and adore and wish you only good things in the coming year!

Hot Cocoa on a Stick
adapted from here
yield: 3 dozen cubes

ingredients:
4 oz. heavy cream
14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
18 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate
a few drops of flavoring (optional – i used baileys, yet peppermint would be delish)
homemade marshmallows

instructions:
• line an 8×8″ pan with parchment or aluminum non-stick foil
• heat cream and condensed milk over low heat until steaming.  remove from pan and add chopped chocolate.  after 2 minutes, stir.  let sit for 10 minutes.
• return to the heat and whisk vigorously until the mixture is thick and shiny. if using flavoring or oil, add now.
• pour the chocolate into the pan and shake gently to level.  dust with cocoa.  set aside overnight to settle.
• with a hot knife, cut into 1 1/4″ cubes.  put a marshmallow on top and insert a stick into the center.
• if giving as a gift, wrap the bottom in parchment and then store in individual bags. store the left overs, separately in air tight containers.
• the ganache can store indefinitely.

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amanda December 24, 2010 at 7:57 am

Have loved getting to know you over 2010… cant wait to see all the wonderful things you will do in 2011!

Blessings-
Amanda

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2 Brooke December 24, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Susan,
2010 gave me so many great things–friends like you. I am so grateful for our blogger posse and all the joy and love it has created since its inception. Hugs to you and your beautiful family! (32 years?! That’s incredible! holy crap!)

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3 Susan December 24, 2010 at 9:31 pm

holy crap – you got that right! i love you back. I can’t really even begin to express how grateful i am for our posse. Mexico will seal our bond – I am counting the days! much love to you, brooke! xx

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4 marla {family fresh cooking} December 24, 2010 at 12:31 pm

Susan, that is the perfect way to toast! Happy holidays to you and your family. I am so happy to know you & be your friend :) Here is to a wonderful 2010 & a blissful look towards 2011! XXOO

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5 The Italian Dish December 24, 2010 at 1:29 pm

Love, love this idea! I think I’ll put this on my list for next week when I have out of town guests. Merry Christmas, Susan!

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6 Julie Bank December 24, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Such a beautiful family! Thank you for giving me something to look forward to many times each week when urban baker pops up on my email! Love to you and the family!

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7 Dragon Fruit December 24, 2010 at 9:44 pm

oh my gosh I made homemade marshmallows yesterday – far too many to want to keep in my house for myself – so last minute I was thinking of giving a little baggie of them with hot cocoa out to friends and family. Of course Williams & Sonoma sold out of hot cocoa mix, this is the PERFECT idea!!! I can only hope there is a supermarket open in the morning!!

Thanks this was such good timing :)
xoxo

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8 the urban baker December 26, 2010 at 7:53 am

I’m so glad, let me know how it turns out. It is so fun and festive!

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9 Maris (In Good Taste) December 25, 2010 at 8:36 pm

These look great! So cute only I would probably eat 8 of them!

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10 Kelly December 26, 2010 at 10:37 am

This was delicious! Reminded me of having hot chocolate in Paris–amazingly decadent! Thank you for another great year of friendship–and goodies! Love you guys!

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11 blackbookkitchendiaries December 26, 2010 at 1:32 pm

this looks so cute and festive!! thanks for sharing this:)

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12 Esi December 26, 2010 at 2:26 pm

Love this idea Susan. It’s a great holiday time treat and/or gift. So glad I got to meet you this year. Hope to have many more fun times in 2011!!

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13 the urban baker December 27, 2010 at 3:36 pm

ditto, Esi! I think you are terrific, funny, honest, and inspiring! We need to plan our girls lunch! happy new year and keep dreaming!

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14 Deeba December 26, 2010 at 7:02 pm

Just gorgeous…and so much fun! Happy Holidays Susan!

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15 LimeCake December 26, 2010 at 10:46 pm

I see condensed milk and know this is right up my alley! Happy holidays!

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16 Alison Moore Smith December 27, 2010 at 2:56 am

Congrats on 32 years! We just celebrated 25. We’re not quite as expert as you, but we’re up in the upper, elderly echelons.

Darling recipe!

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17 Baking Serendipity December 27, 2010 at 5:13 pm

These are gorgeous! I love the idea of hot chocolate on a stick :) Your recipe for 2011 is also super creative. Hope you are still enjoying the holiday season!

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18 Rica December 29, 2010 at 1:07 pm

This looks so delicious! I’m thinking to try this hot chocolate on a stick.

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19 Alina December 29, 2010 at 3:06 pm

I’ve always wanted to make hot cocoa cubes and here’s finally a recipe for them :) Thank you! They could make such a pretty little gift. And hey, I’ve never thought marshmallows could be made at home!! I have to try that some time in future. Happy New Year 2011 and thumbs up for your Perfect Recipe!

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20 Caitlin December 29, 2010 at 5:17 pm

So cute… I’ve seen ganache on a stick, and I’ve seen marshmallows on a stick, but it haven’t seen then together on a stick until now. And it’s brilliant! What a great idea.

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21 Patricia Scarpin January 12, 2011 at 8:29 am

I’m sure I have told you that already, but you have the most adorable helpers – I wish I could “borrow” them sometime! ;)

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22 Jody December 15, 2011 at 6:44 am

What are the directions as far as making the hot cocoa? Want to give as gifts and put directions with it. Thanks, Jody

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23 Susan December 15, 2011 at 10:40 am

Hi Jody, What I usually do, is I put one cube in a large mug. Then I warm up the milk and when it is the desired temperature, pour the hot milk into the mug. The hot milk will dissolve the cocoa block (I stir it a bit). Hopefully, this info help! Happy Holidays! Susan

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