Meet Roxie Star, a self-taught baker who makes adorable treats like this Winnie the Pooh | Hot Cocoa Bomb meal

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SEATTLE — Every Friday night, Roxie Star finishes work and goes to her downstairs kitchen to play. Set against a sleek white and gray tiled kitchen backdrop, Star creates YouTube videos filled with a rainbow of colors and (cute) kawaii-style treats — Fruity Pebbles Hot Cocoa Bombs, koala-shaped cupcakes, and cakes lining the outside artistically glazed and bursting with colored balls on the inside.

Since the pandemic began, hot cocoa bombs have captured her creative energy — hollow chocolate balls filled with cocoa mix and mini marshmallows. Place the bomb in a mug of steaming milk and the chocolate will melt as the marshmallows bobble upwards. For Star, these sweet chocolate treats were a way to connect with her nieces and nephews. “My nieces and nephews really love them. It’s a great way to connect with and find excitement in these little people,” Star said.

Star’s version of Hot Cocoa Bombs is squeezy. Almost too cute to melt, they come in the shapes of baby blue seals, chubby Pusheen cats and heart-shaped geodesics with Hello Kitty bows.

By day, Star works at Microsoft: she owns messaging and storytelling for the Windows education division — it’s a job, she says, “round the clock.”

“I write the briefings, I do the alignments, and a lot of the time it doesn’t feel that creative. Through 2017, I was always striving to bring more to the table,” Star said.

Star spends her weekends working on projects, both for work and for her baking hobby; writes scripts, edits her videos and bakes. Time flies and the adorable cookies and cakes she creates help her feel refreshed and able to bring more to the table as the work week rolls around again.

“I love color and expression and have always been very interested in design. It has nothing to do with my day-to-day work, but it’s an extension of myself,” she says.

Baking is a different kind of work. Star patiently gives tutorials to her 2,600 YouTube subscribers and 19,000 Instagram followers, spreading melted chocolate in silicone molds or frosting a rainbow cake with practiced ease, but she’s only been baking since 2017.

“I really couldn’t cook. I couldn’t bake. I didn’t really see the excitement in that,” Star said over the phone recently. It wasn’t until she baked a cake from scratch that she saw the satisfaction of seeing a project through from start to finish.

When she started looking for something to throw herself into outside of work, she would spend hours watching videos online, spending hours in the library reading patisserie books and posting her findings on Instagram.

“I found support in the community (over there). I remember getting five likes for the first time and that was just as exciting as getting 5,000 likes. It feels like people are supporting my path as a self-taught baker,” says Star.

While cakes are her favorite, she’s having a lot of fun with hot cocoa bombs, a project she calls “easy and accessible.”

She found hemisphere shapes at a dollar store but says you can find them online or at craft stores too. After the candy melt is poured into the molds, the bombs can be filled with a scoop of your favorite cocoa mix and everything from marshmallows and edible glitter to sprinkles and mini chocolate chips.

“I was so excited to find different marshmallows,” Star said. “It’s just a pleasure.”

The project is scalable – once the ingredients are gathered, it’s easy to make one, two, or even a dozen bombs.

“It’s not too time consuming and the result is just fun — especially when you’re surprising someone,” Star said. Try it yourself with Star’s own hot cocoa bomb recipe below.

WINNIE THE POOH HOT COCOA BOMBS

“Hot Chocolate Bombs are balls of chocolate filled with everything from cocoa mixes, marshmallows, candy, cookies, sprinkles, edible glitter and more. These are cocoa bombs designed to look like one of my favorite characters – Winnie the Pooh. They open when introduced to a hot drink like milk and coffee, which can be a pleasant surprise.”

TOOL

Silicone hemispherical mold

plastic spoon or pastry brush

Microwave safe bowl

piping bag or ziplock bag

INGREDIENTS

6-12 ounces red candy melts

6-12 ounces of yellow candy melts

Melt 3 ounces of black candy

Hot cocoa mix

Marshmallows

Edible glitter (optional)

sprinkles (optional)

STEPS

1. Place candy melts in heat-resistant, microwave-safe bowls. Microwave on 50 percent power at 30-second intervals, stirring between each interval. Depending on the microwave, this takes about 1½ to 2 minutes.

2. Fill 3 silicone molds with about 1 tablespoon of red candies each. Fill the other 3 with yellow for Winnie the Pooh’s face. Use the back of a plastic spoon to spread or melt the chocolate until completely coated.

3. Refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes. Use the leftover yellow candies to pipe small circles onto a piece of parchment for the ears and set aside.

4. Spread a second layer of chocolate or melted candy between each well. It is best to make the rims thicker. Refrigerate 10 to 30 minutes or until firm to the touch.

5. Release the hemispheres by pulling the edges of the mold to release the chocolate. Then press your finger in the middle of the hemisphere and carefully push it out.

6. Clean the bottom half of the hot cocoa bomb by placing a plate in the microwave for 2 to 4 minutes, then hold it near the hot cocoa bomb half to gently melt and shape.

7. Melt black candy and place in a piping bag. Then whistle Pooh’s face at the yellow hemispherical hot cocoa bombs.

8. Fill the red hemisphere with hot chocolate mixture, marshmallows, sprinkles, and edible sprinkles. Now carefully melt the yellow hemisphere (the one with a face) with the heated plate and place it on top of the filled hot cocoa bomb half to close.

9. Now melt the ears with the heated plate and attach to the yellow ball. Let everything solidify.

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