Chocolate popcycles with a twist

Larry Crowe/Associated Press Chocolate cherry fudge  pops.

Larry Crowe/Associated Press Chocolate cherry fudge pops.

These chilly summer treats are easy to make and offer a great excuse for picking up a set of inexpensive ice pop molds. For lighter versions, fat-free half-and-half can be substituted in either recipe. Don't be afraid to improvise. Replaced the cherry jam with raspberry. Or use peanut butter instead of marshmallow.




CHOCOLATE CHERRY FUDGE POPS


Start to finish: 3 hours (10 minutes active)


Servings: About 8 pops


11Ú2 cups half-and-half

1 cup chocolate chips


1Ú2 cup cherry jam


1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Pinch salt


In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine the half-and-half and chocolate chips. Heat, stirring constantly, until the chips are melted. Transfer the mixture to a blender, being sure to scrape the chocolate from the bottom of the pan.


Add the jam, vanilla and salt, then purée for 30 seconds, or until smooth. Divide the mixture between about 8 frozen pop molds (number will vary by size), then insert sticks according to product directions. Freeze for at least several hours.



CHOCOLATE MARSHMALLOW POPS


Start to finish: 3 hours (10 minutes active)


Servings: About 8 pops


1Ú2 cup heavy cream


1 cup half-and-half

1 cup chocolate chips


1 cup mini marshmallows


1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Pinch salt


In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine the cream, half-and-half, chocolate chips and marshmallows. Heat, stirring constantly, until the chips and marshmallows are melted.


Transfer the mixture to a blender, being sure to scrape the chocolate from the bottom of the pan. Add the vanilla and salt, then purée for 30 seconds, or until smooth. Divide the mixture between about 8 frozen pop molds (number will vary by size), then insert sticks according to product directions. Freeze for at least several hours.


- J.M. Hirsch, AP Food Editor

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