Make Mini Logs for Christmas Out of a Box of Hoho
The traditional Christmas log, or bûche de Noël, is a chocolate roll. It’s delicious, but Swiss roll isn’t easy to make , and if you’ve ever watched a holiday baking competition, you’ve probably seen one beat some pretty talented bakers. Instead of wrestling with cake, you can use the humble HoHo in an adorable miniature version of the classic Christmas log. The chocolate brownies are already filled, rolled and covered. You’re just joining in on the fun part: decorating. They are also nice to hold in the hand, unlike the bûche de Noël which can be quite bulky. This is a fast, festive and fun project for the little ones.
Depending on what they’re called in your part of the country, you’ll need a box of HoHo’s, Yodels, Swiss Rolls (by Miss Little Debbie) or any other boxed chocolate cake you have access to. Take a jar of something that looks like edible putty, like peanut butter, canned frosting, cream cheese, or melted chocolate, to help keep everything together. I used Nutella which worked like a dream. Everything else is decoration, but to be honest, the details will make it superbly juicy. I wanted little red berries in there, although chopped logs rarely have berries, but Christmas tree logs do. Use any red candies you like; Red Hot or M&Ms will do, but I tore off small pieces of Australian licorice and rolled them into three small balls. I then flattened them slightly so that they would stick together in a group and then attached them to my mini log. Prepare a few sprigs of fresh herbs if you want to add some greens that you probably won’t eat. I used rosemary, but thyme or small sage leaves would be great. Powdered sugar for sprinkling completes your ingredient list and adds a snowy look.
Using a small serrated knife, saw off one ½-inch end of the ho-ho at an angle of approximately 45 degrees. This will show the swirl of the glaze, and at an angle it will look better than a straight cut (I was tempted to write that the angle makes it “realistic”, but that’s ridiculous). Apply some edible putty to the closed end of the cut piece and glue it on top or on the side of the Ho-Ho log with the glaze swirl facing out.
After I assembled my log, I added some more Nutella to the log and pressed licorice berries onto it. I then stuck a sprig of rosemary behind the berries and sprinkled with powdered sugar to complete the look. This can be one of the cutest things you can do with a box of HoHos, and they are so small that both kids and adults will be forced to have at least one. Enjoy the process and then enjoy the sugar rush.