Food + Drink

From the Chronicle Kitchen: Perfect Pops

Chronicle wishes you a happy 4th of July, with two recipes to offer heat relief to many in the USA dealing with treacherous heat for the nation’s 236th birthday.

Have you ever made icy pops from scratch? What’s your favorite flavor ice pop? Leave a comment and you’ll be eligible to win a copy of the book Perfect Pops (offer only valid in the US and Canada).

Happy holiday to all in the USA, plus a very happy middle of the week to readers in the rest of the world.

Perfect Pops Black Berry Iced Tea popcicle

Black Berry Iced Tea Pops

Makes 6 to 8 pops

This pop tastes like fruit and iced tea, all at once. If you like, add 3 or 4 fresh mint leaves to the tea when brewing it.

1 cup blackberries (about 6 ounces)
2 cups strong black tea such as Darjeeling or Earl Grey, cooled
5 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

In a blender, purée the blackberries until smooth. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl, pressing the pulp with a flexible spatula to extract as much juice as possible. Discard the solids. Whisk in the tea, sugar, and lemon juice until well combined.

Pour the mixture into ice pop molds and insert sticks. Freeze until firm, at least 6 hours or up to overnight.

To unmold the pops, run hot water over the outsides of the molds for a few seconds, then gently pull the sticks.

Perfect Pops Mexican Chocolate

Mexican Chocolate Pops

Makes 6 to 8 pops

This luscious dark chocolate pop has a hint of texture and spice similar to Mexican ground chocolate.

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, very finely chopped
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups half-and-half

1. Place the chocolate, sugar, cinnamon, and cayenne in a heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the half-and-half to a simmer. Pour over the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is well combined.

2. Pour the mixture into ice pop molds and insert sticks. Freeze until firm, at least 6 hours or up to 1 week.

3. To unmold the pops, run hot water over the outsides of the molds for a few seconds, then gently pull the sticks.

Purchase: Perfect Pops.

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