Korean Pepero or Japanese Pocky sticks are chocolate-covered thin cookie sticks that can be easily made at home, especially if you use store-bought breadsticks. The only part you have to worry about is dipping breadsticks in melted chocolate and rolling in... whatever you want. The end results are giant (relatively speaking), elaborate Pepero sticks that disappear in no time.
This is rather a how-to guide with a few tips and ideas rather than an exact recipe. Depending on the breadsticks used and types of sprinkles, varied amounts of ingredients will be required. However, as you can see from the picture above, only a couple of ingredients are all you need for this simple version of homemade Pepero.
I dipped some in semi-sweet chocolate and rolled them in chocolate sprinkles. I also rolled white chocolate-covered breadsticks in crushed almond slices and coconut flakes. It is trickier to work with white chocolate because it is thicker and hardens faster when it's melted, so I had to spread white chocolate on breadsticks with a pastry spatula (rather than dipping). It also means you may have to reheat white chocolate a couple of times in the middle of the project. While it is more cumbersome to use white chocolate, it certainly takes on different colors better. Stir in a tiny spoonful green tea powder for a green color base to roll in any sprinkles or leave it as is.
Different sprinkles on the chocolate-covered breadsticks make these homemade Pepero look and taste fancy, but they also hide the untempered look of chocolate which can appear dull. It's a great feeling when I find shortcuts to cover up my laziness but end up with giant Pepero sticks donned with all kinds of sprinkles.
For those of you who are not familiar, November 11th is known as Pepero Day in Korea. Do you see a similarity in the shape of Pepero and 11/11? Exchanging a variety of Pepero on this highly commercialized non-holiday has become very popular. Maybe I should've waited until November for this post, but why wait when there is another highly commercialized chocolate non-holiday right around the corner? We can enjoy homemade Pepero all year round starting now.
Yield - 40 sticks
20 plain, thin breadsticks (half of a packet)
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chocolate sprinkles
1 cup white chocolate sprinkles
Other sprinkles of your choice such as fine coconut flakes and chopped almond slices
1. Cut breadsticks in half, preferably with a serrated knife. I cut them in half so that they are about 6-inch in length.
2. Fill a small saucepan with water 1/3 way up. Heat water over low heat and when water comes to steaming hot, place a metal bowl filled with chocolate chips on top of the saucepan. Let chocolate melt a little, then stir often with a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula to incorporate. Make sure no water touches the metal bowl or chocolate.
3. Once chocolate is melted, bring the setup with melted chocolate in the bowl over the saucepan to your workstation. This will keep the melted chocolate warmer longer. Dip the cut-end of a breadstick in chocolate, gently shake off excess chocolate and roll in sprinkles of your choice. Rest on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the breadsticks. If chocolate hardens, heat it on the stove again just until chocolate starts to melt. Stir to incorporate with a rubber spatula and go back to 'dipping and rolling.'
4. Once the chocolate is set, store in an airtight container.
! TIPS !
! Feel free to substitute semi-sweet chocolate with white chocolate and use a pastry spatula to spread melted chocolate on breadsticks.
! Mix in a small amount of green tea powder (start from 1/4 teaspoon of powder for 1 cup of white chocolate). It infuses a hint of green tea flavor, but it's mostly for the color.
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