Looking through my archives, I see that I’ve made a couple of different versions of peanut butter and chocolate ice pops. Surprisingly, I hadn’t ever made one where I simply tried to mix peanut butter straight into a chocolate pop, so I decided to try it.
The ingredients: milk, half & half, Ovaltine (or the chocolate milk mix of your choice), peanut butter. I used the basic chocolate pop recipe (equal parts milk and 1/2 and 1/2, 3 spoonfuls of Ovaltine for 6 ounces of base). In a separate bowl, I warmed about a tablespoon of peanut butter in the microwave to make it runny. I poured the peanut butter into the chocolate mixture and stirred vigorously for a few moments — I wanted the peanut butter to be dispersed through the chocolate, but I still wanted chunks of it.
Pouring the pops made a big mess — the peanut butter wanted to stay at the bottom of the measuring cup and sometimes came out in a clump too big to fit into the Zoku. I just poked the clumps down the best I could with a chopstick and tried to fish out smaller bits of peanut butter to drop into the molds myself. The whole time, I questioned whether it was worth the effort.
It totally was. The chunks of peanut butter hardened but remained creamy and rich. It was so nice to find them studded throughout the pop. I’m glad I didn’t decide to sweeten the peanut butter; the chocolate base is plenty sweet enough to carry the pop.
I’ll update with photos as soon as I can get them off my camera.
Ok, I had share this link because it looks so yummy. I need to do a grocery run before making my own, but since I didn’t think up the recipe I figured I should link to the original source anyway.
If you’ve been to Disney, you may have had a Dole Whip; soft-serve pineapple ice cream. While I’m not as devoted to it as many, it is a nice treat and an ice pop made with creamy pineapple just sounds delicious. I’m a little worried that the mixture by the recipe in the link would be too chunky and/or too soft to freeze nicely in the Zoku, but the photos clearly show Zoku pops, so probably I”m wrong. I will update after I have a chance to try this recipe myself.
I know I’ve been gone for a while, but I though y’all would like a quick update on where I am with my Zoku. To my surprise, I find myself still using it at least once a week, mostly for after school snacks for my kids. We do a lot of smoothie-type pops (fruit pureed with milk and a touch of sugar), but I often just default to freezing lemonade. In fact, all three kids are currently devouring pops made with Simply Lemonade’s new Blueberry lemonade. They’re delicious and also a gorgeous shade of pink.
Turns out when your toddler starts walking and stops sleeping, you fall out of the habit of blogging pretty quickly. But of course, the holidays are rich with ice pop ideas. Here are some I’ve either made or contemplated.:
1. Pumpkin pie — mix equal parts pureed pumpkin (I used fresh, canned is fine), plain yogurt and powdered sugar, plus a generous dash of pumpkin pie spice. This is actually my favorite fall dip recipe, but I think it’d make a terrific pop. It’s first on my list to try.
2. Eggnog! Self-explanatory.
3. Apple Pie — Apple juice with pie spice. Or, in the alternative, apple cider with a splash of whipped vodka. I’ve been drinking these for the last month, in a glass rimmed with pie spice. Fantastic. If you’re new here, just remember that the proportion of alcohol in a Zoku pop needs to be quite low, or else you will have freezing trouble.
4. Candy Cane — this one I haven’t figured out a recipe for yet, but I’m noodling it out. I’ll post when I have a good one.
Sorry for the lack of photos and taste-tests (not to mention the four-month absence). I can’t promise I’ll be back every day, but it would be fun to finish the year strong.
Hey Y’all, I’m back! Sorry for the extended break — it’s almost frightening how easy it was to break a habit over six months in the making and to keep putting off new posts.
But I’m back now, with a fun treat:
I’ve actually had this ice pop planned for a very long time. I’ve never had Mexican hot chocolate before, but I’ve heard it’s great. So I picked up this Abuelita mix back in July. It comes as disks of chocolate that you melt together with milk. I did that this morning (1/4 disk per cup of milk), and then chilled some to use for my ice pops.
These pops were delicious. Since I used regular milk (rather than half & half), their texture was icier than I usually like, but the flavor was great. Although the ingredients list on the package cites only “natural flavors” and no specific spices, there’s definitely some cinnamon in there. The flavor is warm without being overpowering. They’re a nice change of pace from my usual chocolate ice pop recipe.
It’s funny, summer is prime ice pop season. But it’s also ice cream, watermelon, blueberry, peach and s’mores season. And also swimming, firefly-catching, firework-watching and staying-up-late season. That means that even when I have time for ice pops these days, I’m often too full of summer’s other treats to want one. I’m pretty sure that’s irony, at least by the Alanis Morrisette definition.
That’s why posting has been so sparse this week. I’m going to give myself the rest of July off to take one last road trip and to enjoy the laziness of summer. I’ll be back in August with new ice pop ideas. In the meantime, I hope the 180 or so pop ideas already here will keep you cool.
I wanted to try making a really pretty rainbow ice pop, even though it meant using artificial coloring. So today I did, and I learned a few things:
1. One drop of red food coloring makes lemonade pink, not red.
2. There are two tablespoons in an ounce, not three.
3. My tablespoon measure is wildly inaccurate.
As a result of all of these lessons, I came up with an ice pop that was really pretty, but not exactly a successful rainbow:
I think I need to try this one again. I don’t know why, but I am obsessed with making a pretty rainbow pop. I don’t think I can rest until I work it out.
Today’s pop is one I’ve been plotting since about 10 minutes after I got my Zoku. Gazpacho is one of my favorite summer treats, and I thought it’d be really great to have it extra-icy. So when I finally made my first batch of gazpacho for the season, I knew I had to make the pop.
I don’t have an ingredients shot, but gazpacho contains cucumbers, onions, garlic, green pepper, parsley, red wine vinegar, tomato juice, olive oil and salt. We use the recipe in the Joy of Cooking, with some minor tweaks.
I like my gazpacho pretty smooth, so I didn’t process it any further for these ice pops. That was probably a mistake, since pouring it into the Zoku was a little tough. It all worked out, though, and no problems with sticking:
The first half of this ice pop was delightful. Cold, intense, interesting. About halfway through, though, the garlic started catching up with me and the pop went from delicious to somewhat tedious. I didn’t finish it. Much as I love gazpacho, I guess it’s better off eaten from a spoon instead of a stick.
Since I made those red, white & blue ice pops last week, I’ve been thinking about making a full-on rainbow ice pop. Trouble is, I don’t really like using artificial colors to make ice pops. I (and my kids) get enough of those in our daily allowance of Cheetos and there doesn’t seem to be much point to my adding more. So I decided that for my first try at a rainbow ice pop, I needed to at least try to make the majority of the colors come from actual juice. That means a lot of different juices:
Cherry juice for red, orange juice for obvious reasons, pineapple juice for yellow, green smoothie for green, lemonade and food coloring for blue, V-8 Fusion for purple. I decided y’all didn’t really need to see indigo.
You’ll note that there’s no blue juice there. For one thing, I ran out of the blueberry smoothie I had last week. For another, no fruit or fruit juice I”ve ever used actually comes close to the color blue I associate with the rainbow. So I abandoned my principles a little and used some blue food coloring. And while I was at it, I colored the V-8 juice for the purple, too. The actual juice, while purple-ish, had too much of a red tint for what I wanted.
The pop turned out pretty, though not as vibrant or clean as I’d wanted:
I wish the green had been a less muddy color, specifically. But still, not bad for a pop made mostly out of unsweetened fruit juices. One of these days, I’ll try it the artificial way just for comparison’s sake.
Sorry, y’all. I’m having a lack of inspiration/motivation. I actually have four or five pop ideas in mind; I just lack either the ingredients or drive to make them. I’ll try to be back in the swing tomorrow.
In the meantime, tell me about yourselves. Do you have a Zoku? What’s your favorite ice pop? What flavors/tricks/experiments would you like to see me try here?