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Hot chocolate bombs are exploding on TikTok; here's where to find them in Austin

If you've spent any amount of time scrolling on Instagram or TikTok this fall, you've probably seen a video for how to make (or enjoy) hot cocoa balls.

These little hollowed out chocolate balls are filled with cocoa and sometimes marshmallows or crushed up Oreos or any number of sprinkles, and they seem to have originated on TikTok sometime in October. 

Following in the footsteps of dalgona coffee, pancake cereal, cloud bread and other dishes that have gone viral this year, the hot cocoa bomb hits that sweet spot between old-school comfort food and a food that can entertain us while we're stuck at home because of the coronavirus.

Perfect for fall and winter weather, this neat treat turns any mug of hot milk into a steaming mug of hot chocolate, complete with marshmallows, in a matter of seconds.

In internet videos, users drop hot chocolate bombs into cups of hot milk and watch as the candy spheres melt, releasing the cocoa mix and marshmallows. Thus, a very ordinary cup of milk is turned into a very quick cup of hot cocoa.

Basically, it's a bath bomb you can eat.

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Recipes vary slightly but aren't complicated. According to user @honeybobear's video, start by melting chocolate in the microwave, and then spread the melted chocolate into a baking mold. Once the molds are filled, refrigerate until the chocolate is solid. Then, fill the bottom half of your chocolate molds with hot cocoa powder and top off with marshmallows. 

Lastly, melt the edges of the top half of your molds and attach them to the bottom half molds. Refrigerate again to seal your hot cocoa bombs.

People have also put their own spins on the trend, with some making them heart-shaped and others making them into spooky shapes for Halloween.

But if this feels as if it's too much work, never fear. Both Costco and Target have been selling hot cocoa bombs, but shoppers report that they are increasingly hard to find. You can buy them online via Amazon and Etsy.

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In Austin, Crema Bakery and Cafe owner Jessica Forkner Tomberlin says she sold out of four dozen hot cocoa bombs in an hour earlier this month, so she's doubling down on production to keep up with demand. (They are also selling gingerbread house kits made with in-house gingerbread.)

Cottage law bakeshop Half Baked ATX is selling them online. Find another local source for hot cocoa balls? Email me at abroyles@statesman.com and I'll add them to the list.