15 Surprisingly Delicious Ways to Use Chocolate Chips

iStock.com/bhofack2
iStock.com/bhofack2

We all know about the chocolate chip cookie—it’s been a bake sale standard since the 1940s. But there’s more you can do with chocolate chips than dump them in a bowl of plain batter and let them bake for 10 minutes or until crispy. On National Chocolate Chip Day (May 15th), show your appreciation for the tasty morsels in one of these creative ways.

1. Add chocolate chips to your chili.

No one said chocolate chips have to be relegated to dessert. There are chili recipes that call for semisweet chips mixed with beef, spices, vegetables, and Mexican beer.

2. Spread it on your face.

Some face masks call for liquefied dark chocolate—easy enough to make by melting down chocolate chips in the microwave—and are sometimes mixed with olive oil and/or egg yolk. Others involve blending the chocolate with different fruits like apples, bananas, and watermelon. Once the mask is ready, apply it for 15-20 minutes before washing it off with lukewarm water.

3. Sprinkle them over apples.

For a sweet alternative to nachos, you can cover apple slices with peanut butter, almond butter, Nutella, caramel, or your other favorite sweet spread, then sprinkle them with almonds, chocolate chips, and/or coconut. It’s an easy, delicious dessert.

4. Spell out words on cakes.

If frosting isn’t your thing but you still want to write “Congratulations!” on a cake, use mini chocolate chips to form the letters. Placing each one may be a bit time consuming, but the results will be appreciated.

5. Use it as body paint.

Don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it. Melt down chocolate chips then draw mustaches and beards on yourself and your friends. You’ll have the best selfies on the Internet. (Some recipes suggest adding a bit of alcohol.)

6. Make a natural hair treatment.

To make your hair extra silky, mix melted dark chocolate chips with water and apply it to your hair before showering. Rinse it off before you lather in the shampoo. For a fancier, fruitier version, mix melted dark chocolate chips, honey, and mashed banana. After letting it sit in your towel-wrapped hair for an hour, rinse it off and then wash your hair as you would normally.

7. Create a chocolate slide.

With enough melted chocolate chips, you can cover a giant tarp and make a super messy version of a water slide. It’ll need frequent refreshing, but on a hot enough day, you won’t have to worry about it cooling and getting crusty.

8. Include them in trail mix.

Any snack mix could benefit from the addition of a bit of chocolate chip sweetness. Add them to granola, dried fruit, and nuts and bag it to make an ideal on-the-go energy boost.

9. Kick your pudding pops up a notch.

Scoop a mix of cheesecake pudding, crushed wafer cookies, graham crackers, and chocolate chips into small paper bathroom cups. Then, stick a popsicle stick through the bottom and freeze until solid. Rip off the paper and enjoy!

10. Try chocolate kale cookies.

Kale and chocolate may not seem like an appetizing combination, but if the kale is hidden beneath the taste of cocoa powder, chocolate chips, sugar, vanilla, butter, and applesauce in thick cookie dough, even the kids won’t notice.

11. Blend into a smoothie.

Make a mouthwatering tropical smoothie with coconut milk, semisweet chocolate chips, yogurt, bananas, vanilla, and ice. All you have to do is throw them into the blender and let it spin until the texture’s to your liking.

12. Make matcha and white chocolate chip cookies.

Matcha (a powder derived from green tea leaves) meets its match in these white chocolate chip cookies. The batter is made from other easy to find ingredients like brown sugar, white sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, baking soda, flour, unsalted butter, and salt, and has a total prep time of about 25 minutes.

13. Fondue everything!

To be extra fancy, melt down chocolate chips and pour the liquid into a chocolate fountain. Once that’s good and flowing, dip strawberries, bananas, pretzels, graham crackers, pineapple, and marshmallows into the chocolate. Just make sure you have napkins at the ready—it gets very drippy.

14. Use them as eyes on a snowman.

Tiny snowmen (or women) need tiny eyes. When pieces of coal or buttons just won’t cut it, use chocolate chips to decorate your chilly creature. Be prepared to replace them frequently—chocolate doesn’t last long in the wild. (For a tastier version, make your snowmen out of cupcakes or cookies!)

15. Bake bacon and chocolate chip cookies.

If you’re looking to get more protein from your cookies, consider adding some candied bacon. Make the batter from flour, baking soda, butter, white and brown sugar, vanilla extract, egg, and semisweet chocolate chips. Add in the candied bacon and bake for around 15 minutes.

The Disputed Origins of Publix’s Chicken Tender Subs

Josh Hallett, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0
Josh Hallett, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

After Popeyes released its new chicken sandwich last week, a heated battle broke out on Twitter over which fast food chain offers the best one. Favorites included Chick-fil-A, Wendy’s, and KFC, but the Publix chicken tender sub was mostly absent from the dialogue. Maybe it’s because Publix is a supermarket rather than a fast food restaurant, or maybe the southern chain is too specific to Florida and its neighboring states to warrant a national ranking.

Either way, the chicken tender sub is a cult culinary classic among Publix customers—there’s even an independently run website devoted to announcing when the subs are on sale (they aren’t right now), and affiliated Facebook and Twitter accounts with tens of thousands of followers. So whom do sub devotees have to thank for inventing the Publix food mashup from heaven? A Facebook user named Dave Charls says, “Me!,” but Publix begs to differ.

The Tampa Bay Times reported that in May of this year, a man named Dave Charls posted a message on the “Are Publix Chicken Tender Subs On Sale?” Facebook page recounting his origin story for the menu item, which allegedly took place in 1997 or 1998. At Charls explains it, he and his co-worker Kevin convinced their friend Philip, a deli worker at the Fleming Island Publix location, to assemble a sub with chicken tenders and ring it up as one item—something that deli workers had refused to do for Dave and Kevin in the past. According to Dave, Philip then convinced his manager to make it a special, publicized it via chalkboard sign, and the idea spread like hot sauce.

“You’re welcome,” Charls said. “It was actually Kevin’s idea and Philip brought it to life.”

Publix, however, told the Tampa Bay Times that its recorded documentation for a chicken tender sub recipe and procedure goes all the way back to 1992 or 1993. Based on that information, Publix spokesperson Brian West confirmed that Charls's heroic account of the origin is more fairytale than fact (though West, unfortunately, doesn’t have an equally thrilling origin story—or any story at all—with which to replace it).

Charls didn’t respond to a request from the Tampa Bay Times for comment, so we may never know how much of his claim is actually true. It’s possible, of course, that Publix’s 1992 (or 1993) chicken tender sub recipe hadn’t gained momentum by the time Kevin’s moment of culinary genius struck in 1997 (or 1998), and the lack of date specificity suggests that neither party knows exactly how it went down. What is incontrovertible, however, is the deliciousness of Publix's beloved sub sandwich.

"I'm just happy to live in the same timeline as this beautiful sandwich," says die-hard Pub Sub fan (and Mental Floss video producer/editor) Justin Dodd. “Copyright claims aside, it's truly a wonderful thing."

This London Pub Might Be the Most Ethical Bar in the World

Ridofranz/Getty Images
Ridofranz/Getty Images

Pub owner Randy Rampersad is doing his part for sustainability. In June, he opened the Green Vic—a play on the fictional Queen Vic pub in the soap opera EastEnders—in the East London neighborhood of Shoreditch. The Telegraph reports it’s aiming to be the world’s most ethical pub: Rampersad eschews plastic and paper straws and opts for gluten-free wheat “straws.” He sources the bar's 100 percent recycled toilet paper from green-minded company Who Gives a Crap, and the communal wooden tables are upcycled.

“I wanted to make the world a better place and run my own business, but I was waiting for that eureka moment,” Rampersad told The Telegraph. He discovered no one had done anything like this before.

There’s no meat on the menu—the food is totally vegan, healthy-ish pub grub. You can add CBD oil to the “chkn" bites appetizer, and the burgers are made from ingredients like soy, seaweed, and sweet potato. The beers are produced by ethical brewers, too: Toast Ale uses unsold loaves and crusts of bread; Good Things Brewing crafts its beer from 100 percent renewable energy; South Africa’s Afro Vegan Cider donates money to an organization that funds equal pay for female farmers; and Brewgooder donates to water projects.

In fact, everything the Green Vic does has charity in mind. “We don't care about the money, I’m planet first and profit after,” Rampersad told The Telegraph. Up to 80 percent of its profits will go to charitable causes, including local food banks. As for the staff, one in four are from marginalized groups. The Green Vic plans to operate as a three-month pop-up pub while scouting for longer term investment.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER