Earlier this fall, TikTok and Instagram were abuzz with the discovery of hot cocoa bombs: hollow spheres of chocolate filled with cocoa mix, marshmallows and other goodies that melt into a delectable drink when hot milk is poured over them. While there are plenty of recipes online if you'd like to try making your own, locals don't have to look too far.
Sweet Frostings has added a boxed set of four hot cocoa bombs ($28) to its holiday treat inventory. Other seasonal treats (all can be ordered online for pickup or delivery at sweetfrostingsbakeshop.com) recently introduced include candy and cookie boxes, as well as seasonal flavors of its signature cupcakes.
The Village Bakery in Coeur d'Alene, currently operating as a home bakery under Idaho's cottage food laws but planning to open a storefront next year, is also selling hot cocoa bombs through its Facebook page.
In Spokane Valley Mall, hot cocoa lovers can find these trendy treats at Big Bear Chocolates, including a huckleberry hot chocolate flavor.
Finally, the locally owned Fluffy's Candy in North Spokane is selling house-made, dozen-count boxes ($60) of hot cocoa bombs, which must be preordered. The decadent treats are filled with a scratch-made cocoa mix and Fluffy's own vanilla marshmallows. Flavors include peppermint, milk chocolate, dark chocolate and dark chocolate sea salt caramel. Preorders are still available for pickup on Dec. 14 and Dec. 21; more at fluffyscandy.com.
RIVERFRONT PARK PAVILION HOSTS WINTER MARKET
While the region's fall harvest has already come and gone, there are still plenty of local goods to be found at area farmers markets, several of which have transitioned to wintertime operations for the first time this year. That includes the new winter farmers market at Riverfront Park each Wednesday, from 3-7 pm, in December and January. About 20 local vendors are expected to participate in the outdoor market beneath the park's iconic, recently renovated Pavilion.
Most of those vendors are veterans of the Fairwood Farmers Market, offering prepared food and drink items (Liberty Cider, Mamma Torrez Salsa, the Scone Ranger, Big Barn Brewing and others), in addition to locally made non-food items like art and beauty products (Functional Pottery, Marketplace Botanicals).
"We are thrilled to offer a way to connect local small businesses with customers in a safe and festive environment at the Pavilion," says Spokane Parks Director Garrett Jones in a release about the market. "We're all focused on doing what we can to support our downtown and neighborhood shops, and this farmers market is one piece of that effort citywide."
MORE RESTAURANTS OFFER HEATED, OUTDOOR DINING
When Washington state's four-week indoor dining ban was enacted in mid-November, dozens of local restaurants scrambled to move tables back outdoors, where guests from the same household can still gather to enjoy a meal.
Of course, one major detail hindering the success of such an arrangement is falling winter temperatures, meaning these new outdoor dining rooms also need to shelter guests while keeping them warm. We published a list of venues quick to adapt when the statewide restrictions were initially announced, but since then many others have joined the ranks. The dine-in ban is set to last until Dec. 14, if not extended by Gov. Jay Inslee.
Here's a roundup of heated, outdoor dining options:
The Flying Goat
Bigfoot Pub and Eatery
5 North Brewing Co.
Jackson St. Bar and Grill
Happy Trails to Brews
Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar (Wandermere)
Lost Boys Garage
South Perry Pizza
Perry Street Brewing
Remedy Kitchen and Tavern
Spokane Valley / Liberty Lake
True Legends Grill
Millwood Brewing Co.
Stormin' Norman's Shipfaced Saloon
The Rock Bar and Lounge
Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar (Spokane Valley Mall)
Globe Bar and Kitchen
Borracho Taco and Tequileria
Brick West Brewing
Pacific Ave Pizza
Bark, A Rescue Pub
Saranac Public House
Nectar Wine and Beer
Iron Goat Brewing Co.
Wild Bill's Longbar
Merry Cellars ♦