Published on December 18th, 2015 | by Chantale Pard
Holiday Deco-Choco Pocky
Each December, my Teen Anime Club likes to have a special holiday party to celebrate the end of the term. We like to have hot chocolate, candy canes, a Yankee gift swap, and to watch a Christmas themed anime episode if the time permits.
This year, I decided to spice up our holiday party by adding a quick, extra activity. I ran a “Deco-Choco Marshmallow” program this summer for my 8+ crew where we decorated marshmallows with melted chocolate and sprinkles. I thought about re-runnning this event for my Anime Club teens, but decided to switch out the marshmallows for Pocky, to keep in closer theme with our Japanese pop culture activities. In the interest of spacing out my spending, I decided to wait a couple of months before I bought the supplies again, and that’s how I landed on a holiday theme. Think of all the adorable Christmas sprinkles that would be available! So kawaii!
Here’s what you’ll need if you’d like to run something similar:
- Small Ziploc Bags
- A Microwave
- Melting Chocolate: Red/White/Green (I buy Mercken’s from the Bulk Barn here in Canada because it’s cheapest, but Wilton’s will also work).
- Wax paper
- ALL THE SPRINKLES!!
Since my branch doesn’t have a programming microwave, we borrow the one from our staff room, right before the program starts. At the last library I worked at, the staff microwave wasn’t really able to travel from room to room, but I had an amazing co-worker who would lug her own into work with her for me, whenever I needed to do some microwave cooking for teen programs.
For program set up, I had a piece of wax paper at each seat, one ready for each teen. I then pre-portioned 2 melting wafers per Ziploc bag – each teen would get three bags, one of each for red, white, and green. I estimated about 20 teens showing up to my program, but I ran out of Ziploc bags before I could fully portion one color for every teen. Luckily, some teens were more into the eating than the actual decorating, so they didn’t care if they only got two different colors instead of all three. I also set out my sprinkles into different bowls up at the front by the microwave.
Two melting wafers might not seem like a lot, but it’s important to keep in mind how thin a single stick of Pocky is. With 18 attendees, I had enough Pocky to give each of my teens a small individual pack from the 9 pack Pocky trays (they could choose chocolate or strawberry flavor). This gave them five Pocky sticks each, and the 4-6 total melting wafers was more than enough to decorate the 5 sticks.
Don’t Forget: Make sure teens have their Pocky laid out on their wax paper before the come grab a chocolate piping bag. They should also grab their desired Sprinkles and have those ready to go as well. As soon as they get their melted chocolate, they need to be ready to pipe it onto the Pocky sticks, and stick Sprinkles on as soon as the chocolate is out of the bag. The chocolate dries quite quickly, so it’s important to pipe, sprinkle, pipe, sprinkle, etc. I also haven’t had much success re-melting the Mercken’s chocolate wafers; they would often get all crumbly and dry, so it’s best to use it up on the first melt!
To melt the chocolate, I would put about 4-6 unsealed Ziploc bags (with 2 wafers each) into the microwave on high for 30 seconds. It’s important to test your own microwave out first, since they so often vary in cooking temperature. This time/amount combo seems to work for us, though. I like to make sure the chocolate wafers are pushed into a bottom corner of the bag, so that they’re easier to knead over there with your fingers, once melted. You then need to twist the Ziploc bag right above the melted chocolate, and hold on tight while you snip the tiniest little hole at the tip of the bag, making it into a nice mini chocolate piper. As time goes on, keep in mind that you will need to shorten the amount of time you’re microwaving your chocolate bags. The glass plate inside our microwave stayed hot after all the melting stints, so the more bags we melted; the less time was needed to do so.
Some teens made delicate, creative designs that they took home in my leftover cake pop bags that I had from the summer marshmallow program (leftover Ziplocs would have worked, as well), while others simply dumped everything on top and shoved it in their mouth. It definitely seemed like a hit for everyone, either way! Luckily, my regulars all know not to consume or destroy any creations before I take picture, so here are some of their amazing, yummy deco-choco Pocky!