By Douglas Campbell
The winter holidays are past, but for Youngstown State University students stuck at home, the hot cocoa continues to flow.
At 7 p.m Feb. 24 and 25, Student Activities will lead an at-home tutorial for hot cocoa bombs by Bergen Giordani, the president of One Hot Cookie, and Morgen Chretien, the vice president. Hot cocoa bombs are hollowed-out chocolate balls filled with hot cocoa mix and marshmallows –– trended last year on the social media platform TikTok.
“It was probably November or December of … 2020, this winter. We heard about it, people started calling and saying, ‘Do you have these hot cocoa bombs?’ We were like ‘No … no,’ we got so many calls that I was like, ‘We have to do this,’” Giordani said.
The store began to sell hot cocoa bombs soon after and it was a big success for the store.
“We started making them and it was crazy –– we had to put a limit. We’ve never had to do this … you could only buy five at a time when you came into the store because we couldn’t produce them fast enough,” Giordani said.
In their store, they sell pre-assembled hot cocoa bombs in traditional and salted caramel flavors. In January, they began to roll out home kits that came in two varieties: Candyland flavor which consists of gummi bears, M&Ms and sprinkles and a regular flavor with marshmallows and sprinkles.
The mother-daughter duo of One Hot Cookie began to post tutorials online on their YouTube channel and on Facebook. From both platforms, the tutorials in total amassed over 3,000 views.
Carolyn Jesko, assistant director of programming, found the hot cocoa bomb trend over the winter break and sought to make it a student activity.
“We are partnering with One Hot Cookie on this program, and they have been a great partner in the past, working with us on events, and it’s great to support local businesses. I saw that they were offering the hot cocoa bombs for the community and I reached out to them,” Jesko said.
Student Activities has 75 hot cocoa bomb kits from One Hot Cookie available for students. Students must reserve their spot on one of the two nights before they will get the kit.
“You would reserve your video time slot and that reserves your hot cocoa bomb kit, so it comes with all of the supplies you need to make the hot cocoa bombs. You just need a microwave — which all residential students in the resident’s halls have in their room, and a microwavable plate,” Jesko said.
Giordani said the most common mistake made by first-time makers of hot cocoa bombs is not dispensing a double layer of chocolate in the spherical mold.
“The key is to double-line the layers in the sphere. So, in the live class, we will talk you through all the steps and the tips and tricks we’ve learned. But that double layer helps you take it out of the mold without breaking,” Chretien said.
For students who applied for the tutorial online, the hot cocoa bomb kits are available to pick up at the Student Activities office in Kilcawley Center.