When winter whispers its chilly tales, nothing warms the heart quite like a mug of hot cocoa. Trader Joe’s has introduced a whimsical twist to this classic comfort with their “Hot Cocoa Polar Bear” – a charming concoction that promises to delight both the young and the young at heart.
Upon unboxing the product, you’re greeted with a delightful sight – a whimsically shaped polar bear made of what appears to be white and milk chocolate, designed to dissolve into the perfect cup of hot cocoa. It’s an adorable addition to the Trader Joe’s seasonal lineup and seems almost too cute to consume.
To begin the magical transformation from solid bear to velvety beverage, you’ll need a pot of hot milk. I prefer whole milk for its richness, which complements the cocoa well, but any milk will do. Trader Joe’s recommends 1 cup of hot milk but you can probably put it in non-dairy “milk” like oat milk if you want.
Here’s the simple step-by-step process:
- Heat the Milk: Pour one cup of milk into a saucepan (or microwave) and heat it over medium heat. Watch closely – you want it hot but not boiling. Once small bubbles appear around the edges, and steam rises from the surface, it’s ready.
- Prepare Your Mug: While the milk is heating, take your Polar Bear out of its packaging and place it gently into your favorite mug. The anticipation builds as the bear sits, waiting for its milky bath.
- The Pour: With the milk at the ideal temperature, pour it slowly over the Polar Bear. It begins to melt immediately, with the white chocolate dissolving first, followed by the darker tones of the milk chocolate.
- Stirring the Magic: As the Polar Bear succumbs to the warmth of the milk, use a spoon to stir gently. With each turn, the milk transforms into a creamy, chocolaty elixir. The room fills with a sweet, inviting aroma, reminiscent of a confectioner’s shop.
- Final Touch: Once fully dissolved, the tiny marshmallows pop out of the body of the polar bear, floating to the surface!
- The First Sip: As you bring the mug to your lips, the steam carries the rich scent of cocoa. The first sip is a revelation – smooth, and creamy, with a depth of chocolate flavor that is neither too sweet nor too bitter. It’s a balanced, comforting beverage that warms you from the inside out.
The “Hot Cocoa Polar Bear” is not just a drink; it’s an experience. The quality of chocolate is less evident – but it’s rich without being overwhelming, and the sweetness is a bit over the top. Each sip feels like a hug, and the playful aspect of watching the bear melt away adds a touch of joy to the process.
This is the perfect treat for a cold child just coming off the sledding hill for the day with wet feet and pink cheeks. It’s half toy and half beverage.
In terms of improvements, the product could benefit from a dash more complexity. The chocolate flavor is not very intense. It is also stupidly sweet. 38 grams of sugar per bear and when you put it in a cup of milk, you have almost 600 calories.
The Final Verdict
Trader Joe’s has a winner here, especially for those with a penchant for seasonal novelties that deliver both in taste department and entertainment value. Plus the kids will love it! It’s a product that makes you slow down and savor the moment – a rare quality in our fast-paced lives. Whether it’s for a cozy night in or as a novel gift, the “Hot Cocoa Polar Bear” is sure to please. I am going to give it 8 out of 10 Bells just for entertainment value!
Chocolate (Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Whole Milk Powder, Sweet Whey Powder, Soy Lecithin [Emulsifier]), Milk Chocolate (Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Whole Milk Powder, Unsweetened Chocolate, Skim Milk Powder, Soy Lecithin [Emulsifier], Natural Vanilla Flavor), Marshmallows (Glucose-Fructose Syrup [Wheat, Corn], Sugar, Water, Pork Gelatin, Cornstarch, Natural Vanilla Flavor), Fruit And Vegetable Juice For Color.
Contains Milk, Soy, Wheat. May Contain Peanut, Almond, and Hazelnut.
Dist. & Sold Exclusively By: Trader Joe’s, Monrovia, CA 91016
Product of Romania
STORE IN A COOL, DRY PLACE
Serving size 1 piece (75g) Amount per serving Calories 410 cY0 Daily Value* Total Fat 24g 31% Saturated Fat 15g 75% Trans Fat Og Cholesterol 5mg 2% Sodium 50mg 2% Total Carbohydrate 44g 16% Dietary Fiber Og 0% Total Sugars 43g Includes 38g Added Sugars 76% Protein 3g Vitamin D Omcg 0% Calcium 180mg 15% Iron 0.7mg 4% Potassium 240mg 6% * The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet, 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.