Stir up the delicious flavors of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup in a mug of hot cocoa. Hot cocoa bombs are spheres of chocolate that hold instant hot cocoa inside. Simply drop one into a large mug and add hot water or milk to enjoy.
At long last, I’ve joined the hot cocoa bomb craze! I’ve been wanting to make my own version ever since they became popular last year, but I couldn’t settle on a theme or a flavor. I wanted something that was different and fun, and this year inspiration finally struck.
I had considered several options for imparting peanut butter flavor, such as peanut butter powder, but the best option was right in my pantry – peanut butter chips. They melt easily and impart the right amount of flavor without thickening the hot cocoa.
A mold is required to make the chocolate spheres which hold all the good stuff inside. I found for less than $10, which worked perfectly and makes 12 spheres in one go. Use a pastry brush to coat the molds with melted semisweet chips, then freeze. From their frozen state, they unmold smoothly from the silicone mold.
The edges of the chocolate half spheres can be neatened by pressing the edges to a nonstick pan set over medium-low heat. Hold it in place for less than 1 second, because melting happens fast! Fill half of the spheres with the cocoa mix, more peanut butter chips, and – yes – a mini Reese’s peanut butter cup. It makes the cocoa so decadent!
You’ll close the bomb in the same way the edges were smoothed – by placing a half sphere on a hot nonstick pan just long enough to melt the edges. Immediately top a filled half-sphere with it to close and complete the bomb. I added a peanut butter drizzle on their exteriors which could be optional but I love how it looks (and tastes!).
After making a batch of these, I definitely understand the fascination and trend. They are fairly easy to make, so fun to assemble, interactive, and you can really get creative with flavors. They also look beautiful tied up in a cellophane bag with pretty ribbon, which makes a sweet gift for any occasion.
Instructions for molding 6 bombs
You’ll have lots of leftover instant hot cocoa mix after molding six bombs. It can be sealed air-tight and stored for up to 6 months. Or, you can repeat the hot cocoa bomb shell recipe until all of the instant hot cocoa is used.
Instant Peanut Butter Cup Hot Cocoa Mix
Yields about 5 1/2 cups of dry mix
10 oz. (1 bag) Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips
1 cup (114g) confectioners’ sugar
1 cup (85g) unsweetened cocoa
1 cup (120g) nonfat dry milk powder
1 1/2 cups (135g) malted milk powder
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
Shell and bomb ingredients (for 6 cocoa bombs)
2 cups (12 oz. or 1 bag) semi-sweet chocolate chips
Instant peanut butter cup hot cocoa mix (from recipe above)
1/2 cup (3 oz.) peanut butter chips
6 mini-Reese’s peanut butter cups, unwrapped
Peanut butter drizzle
1/4 cup Reese’s peanut butter chips
1 teaspoon olive oil (or vegetable oil)
Make the instant hot cocoa mix
Place peanut butter chips in a food processor and pulse until chips are finely chopped. Sift the sugar, cocoa, milk powders, cornstarch and salt ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together until thoroughly combined. Add this mixture to the food processor with the chopped chips and pulse until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined, and peanut butter chip fragments are coated.
Transfer to a large air-tight container or hermetic jar to store. Stored air-tight at room temperature, this mix will keep for 6 months.
Mold the hot cocoa bombs
Melt the semi-sweet chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second intervals, stirring together with a silicone spatula until all chips are thoroughly melted. Dollop out a large tablespoon portion of melted chocolate into the cavities of a silicone sphere candy mold. Spread the chocolate evenly in a layer around the inside of each cavity, all the way to the top, with a pastry brush. When cavities are all filled, place the mold on a small baking sheet to keep them rigid, and place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
To unmold, remove a mold from freezer and carefully pop out six sphere halves immediately before filling. In a nonstick skillet on medium-low heat, place half sphere flat side down on skillet surface for about 1 second, and remove immediately to clean up edges.
Lay each sphere half open side-up on a tray or baking sheet. Scoop 3 tablespoons of cocoa filling into three of the halves. Add 1 tablespoon of peanut butter chips and 1 mini peanut butter cup to each of the three filled halves.
Remove the other six sphere halves from the freezer. With the filled half-spheres close by, place each newly unmolded half sphere on a heated nonstick skillet (as before) to melt edge; immediately top a filled sphere to close and complete the bomb. Run your finger around the edges of the sphere where the two halves meet to remove any excess melted chocolate, and to neaten the join. Repeat with remaining half spheres. Let stand until set, about 10 minutes.
For the drizzle
Place the hot cocoa bombs on a baking sheet. Combine the peanut butter chips and oil in a small microwave-safe bowl. Heat in 30 second intervals until the mixture can be stirred smooth. It should be a little runny and pourable. Transfer the mixture to a zip-top bag with a tiny hole in the corner snipped. Drizzle over hot cocoa bombs. Let stand until set, about 15 minutes.
Place a hot cocoa bomb in a large mug. Pour about 11 oz. of hot water or hot milk over the bomb in the mug and stir well to dissolve.