One of my goals for this summer, along with jumping on the canning bandwagon, was to start making homemade popsicles and other assorted frozen treats. I love homemade ice cream, but sometimes there is nothing better on a sweltering, 90-degree summer day than an ice-cold popsicle. Any time I get to enjoy a popsicle as an adult, it reminds me of summer days spent playing with my sister and our cousins at my grandma’s house. The neighborhood ice cream truck was a fixture there, and when we heard those bells, we were like Pavlov’s dogs. We ran for money and then ran to the truck. The decision about which frozen treat to feast on was newly agonizing each time the truck showed up. The red, white, and blue rocket? The creamsicle? The ice cream sandwich? A fudgsicle? The Drumstick? It’s a good thing the ice cream truck showed up frequently – it gave us ample opportunity to sample a variety of treats. I still get excited when I hear the jingle of an ice cream truck during the summer, but this year I’m looking forward to creating my own homemade versions – delicious, and I’ll know every single ingredient that’s in them!
When my Chief Culinary Consultant and I got down to Florida a couple of weeks ago, we quickly found out that his dad had been enjoying fudge pops. There was a constant stream of the health-food variety in the freezer. I had packed up a stack of cookbooks that I’d been meaning to read, figuring that I could go through them leisurely while we were relaxing. I got to On a Stick! (which is awesome – I think I bookmarked at least 60% of the book!) and discovered a recipe for homemade fudge pops. Score! Perfect timing. I set out to get the popsicle molds I had been meaning to buy for the summer and whipped these bad boys up.
They couldn’t have been easier to make and tasted incredible. While I’ve found most store-bought versions to taste like little more than chocolate-flavored ice milk, these are the polar opposite. They are rich, decadent, and bursting with chocolate flavor. You actually feel like you’re eating frozen fudge. That is the purpose of a fudge pop, right?! The recipe calls for semisweet chocolate, but you could definitely use milk or dark, based on your personal tastes.
Since the diet fudge pops in the freezer boasted that they were only 100 calories, I was curious about the homemade ones and calculated how many calories they contained. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they came in at 157 calories. Yes, that’s a bit more, but it’s not outrageous and totally worth it to me to eat something without any fake ingredients. Whole, natural ingredients always trump chemicals for me. These are definitely going to be a summer staple in my freezer!
Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave on 50% power in 30-second increments, stirring after each, until melted and smooth.
Combine the melted chocolate, sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add the vanilla and butter, and stir until well combined.
Let the mixture cool slightly (it should still be warm but not hot to the touch), and then pour into 8 popsicle molds. Freeze for 30 minutes, and then insert sticks. Freeze completely before serving.