It's always more fun to DIY. Every week, we'll spare you a trip to the grocery store and show you how to make small batches of great foods at home.
Today: Jessica Murnane of One Part Plant shows us how to make the perfect host gift for any occasion with spicy chocolate-covered tortilla chips.
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I’m not exactly known as “Ms. Manners” within my circle of friends—the f-bomb somehow floats into most of my conversations and I am the queen of Irish exits at weddings. But there is a tradition that I'm die-hard about: Bringing a host gift to a party. Whether an old gal pal is letting me crash in her extra bedroom or a new friend is having me over for a dinner party, I'll arrive at the door bearing a host gift.
My go-to gift used to be store-bought chocolate-covered tortilla chips (from Vosges Haut-Chocolat, if we're getting specific). They were the most perfect gift ever: organic tortilla chips (before organic was a thing) drenched in chocolate, then dusted in ancho and chipotle spices—pretty much the dream combination of salty and sweet. They were the coolest, which made me look cool for bringing them.
Notice how I used the past tense when describing them? That's because Vosges stopped making them almost overnight. I felt lost without them. What was my new go-to host gift going to be? And, more importantly, would I ever be able to have this dreamy treat again? F-bomb.
Overtime, I learned to cope with new go-to host gifts and tried to forget about my dreamy chips—until last week when I got into my kitchen and figured out a way to recreate them. I discovered that the snack only requires a few ingredients and takes hardly any time to make. If you want to dull down the spicy factor a little, replace the chile with cinnamon, or skip the spice altogether and sprinkle them with shredded coconut. No matter what you do, just don’t forget to bring me a batch the next time I let you crash on my couch.
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder 1 cup roughly chopped chocolate (I used a combination of dairy-free chips and a dark chocolate bar) 20 tortilla chips, the thicker the better (I used Frontera Small Batch TaqueriaChips)
In a small bowl, combine the ancho and chipotle chile powders, then set them aside. Line a cookie sheet or large plate with a piece of parchment paper.
In a small saucepan, bring 1 inch of water to a simmer. Find a bowl that's small enough to curve into the saucepan but large enough so that it doesn't touch the water when resting on the rim. Place the chopped chocolate into the bowl, then rest the bowl on the rim of the saucepan (as shown in the photo below). Stirring constantly, allow the chocolate to melt, then remove the saucepan from the heat as soon as the chocolate's all melted.
Working with a few chips at a time, submerge the chips into the chocolate sauce. Use a fork or small slotted spoon to transfer each chip to the parchment-lined sheets, letting the excess melted chocolate drip through the tines or slats. As you get to the bottom of the chocolate in the bowl, use a spoon to pour chocolate over the last remaining chips, if needed.
Place the sheet or plate of chocolate-covered chips into the refrigerator to allow the chocolate to set and harden. Once they've cooled, sprinkle the chile powder mixture evenly over the top of the chips, then gobble them up! If you're not planning on eating these chips immediately, keep in mind that they can get a little melty, so store them in the refrigerator until you're ready to gift them. They will last for up to 1 week, but are best within a few days of making them.