By: Dani Kessel
I love Christmas, and I love coffee!
Though I’m perfectly delighted to enjoy a nice cup of black coffee, it’s fun to enjoy the holiday-themed drinks that coffee shops release this time of year. But, how would you or I be able to recreate them at home? If we didn’t want to pay the high prices for a cup of coffee, is there another way to get the same results? Those are the questions I asked myself. Then, I had an idea. What about those hot chocolate stir-ins? Every year, I see hot chocolate stir-in spoons for sale at stores and markets. They are essentially a wooden spoon with a block of chocolate on the end, coated and dipped in different ingredients. These are intended to be stirred into hot milk until the blocks melt off and create hot chocolate. Some brands have “specialty” flavors available.
So, here is the question for my experiment: Can you use hot chocolate stir-ins with coffee to create holiday coffees?
I took a semi-scientific method and pretentious attitude for this completely minuscule experiment. (Because, why not?)
I used these constants:
- 12 ounces of Folgers Classic coffee
- Coffee was kept at the same temperature
- 1 tablespoon of 2% milk
- 12 ounces of water to drink between different stir-ins
- All stir-ins were from the same brand
- The flavor of the hot chocolate stir-in
- Speed of stirring
Measures of evaluation:
- Active stirring time
- Passive time for melting
- Blending of ingredients
Note: Obviously, this is almost entirely subjective, at the mercy of human error, and not really that scientific. I just had fun doing it.
Here are the results!
Milk chocolate & salted caramel
It took about 5 minutes of active stirring to melt the stir-in. The caramel taste sank to the bottom, so the first half tasted mostly like a typical mocha. The bottom half tasted strongly of caramel and milk chocolate. (It is possible the imbalance of flavors was due to me not stirring enough.) The only big disappointment was that it really lacked any saltiness. If you were really looking for that flavor, you’d have to add in some sea salt after the stir-in melted.
White chocolate coated milk chocolate with peppermint
WOW! This hot chocolate stir-in packed a punch! This one also took about 5 minutes to melt; I didn’t have to actively stir until after it melted though. The flavors were a smooth blend. Peppermint didn’t overpower the rest, but it was still the star of the show. There wasn’t anything disappointing with the stir-in. This is the perfect choice for anyone who wants a peppermint mocha without the high price of a coffee shop.
Double chocolate with marshmallows
I’m somewhat disappointed by this stir-in. The chocolate absolutely dominated the flavor of the coffee and marshmallows. There is only the slightest hint of coffee flavor in the aftertaste. The marshmallows could’ve not been there, and I wouldn’t have even noticed. They provided nothing outside of a visual bonus; they didn’t boost the drink’s value. I think this drink would only appeal to people who are just starting to drink coffee or aren’t a fan of the coffee flavor. If you wanted to use this to make a normal mocha, you’d need more coffee, or you could split the stir-in between two mugs of coffee. Also, you’d have to add any marshmallows yourself.
While it may not be the perfect substitute for a coffee shop, you could easily use hot chocolate stir-ins with coffee from your coffee pot to make a tasty mocha latte without breaking your bank. They melt really well and blend decently. There are a variety of specialty hot chocolate stir-ins that can add flavoring. I’d love to find one with butterscotch or cinnamon since those are my personal favorites. I’ll keep checking the stores.
I hope you enjoyed this little Blogmas experiment.
What are your favorite seasonal coffee drinks? Tell us in the comments!
Have you tried hot chocolate stir-ins with coffee? Share your experience below! Don’t forget to follow Girl on the Go for more great Blogmas content all December long.