I’m not exactly known as “Ms. Manners” in my circle of friends—the f-bomb somehow floats into pretty much every conversation I have (multiple times), and I am the QUEEN of the Irish Exit at weddings. I’m definitely not the most traditional lady.
But there is one tradition that I’m die-hard about. One that just seems unacceptable not to do. And that’s bringing a host/hostess gift. Whether it’s an old pal letting me crash in her extra bedroom when I’m traveling or a new friend having me over for a dinner party, I’m bringing something for the host and it’s got to be good.
My go-to was Vosges Haut-Chocolat’s Red Fire Chocolate-Covered Tortilla Chips. They were the most perfect gift ever: organic tortilla chips (before organic was a thing) housed in a well-designed little tube, drenched in chocolate, and dusted in ancho and chipotle spices—pretty much the dream combination of salty and sweet. They were THE coolest which made me look the coolest bringing them.
Notice I used the past tense when describing them. Because Vosges stopped making them. Poof. Gone. I felt lost without them. What was my new go-to hostess gift going to be? And more importantly, would I ever be able to have this dreamy treat again? F-bomb.
Over time, I ended up finding a new go-to hostess gift (which I’d rather not reveal in case you ever invite me to a party), and last week I got in my kitchen and figured out a way to have my favorite treat again.
This snack requires only a few ingredients and doesn't take much time to make. If you want to dull down the spicy factor a little, throw in some cinnamon or skip the spices all together and sprinkle on some coconut shreds. No matter what you do, I think you’re going to dig these guys. And don’t forget to bring me a batch the next time I let you crash on my couch. —Jessica Murnane
about 20 chocolate-covered chips
ancho chile powder
chipotle chile powder
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 Taqueria chips)
In a small bowl, combine the ancho and chipotle chile powders. Set 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 sheet, 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 on chocolate for 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.