The past 2 weeks have gone by in a flash. As an avid fan of watching the Olympics, I’m actually a bit sad whenever it’s time for the closing ceremonies to come around. The remedy? Cute themed food, like these Olympic Pocky and DIY Patriotic Flag Tea Tags! If the good times have to end, at least it’s with awe-inspiring memories tucked away and on a cheery note!From a glance, you might be thinking that these are plain vanilla flavored Pocky, but they’re not. These are actually yogurt flavored, tangy and tart, with just enough sour flavor to balance out the sweet. Yogurt powder, an ingredient often used for smoothies, creates a taste much like the coating on yogurt raisins.
I like to think of these nonpareils as the “winners mix.” These are an equal mix of gold, red, blue, green, and black sprinkles, generously scattered atop the Homemade Pocky as they are drying.
To continue the Olympic theme, use some flag toothpicks (the kind usually used for decorating small bites) to create tea tags. With a simple cut and some tape, you can easily create a festive look to cheer on your country (or countries) of choice.
Since we’re saying goodbye to the Rio Olympics, I thought it would be good time to break out my stash of Brazilian Yerba Mate. This is strong stuff, a good substitute for coffee, and normally drunk out of a gourd with a bombilla. Since I have neither of these clever tea wares, I’m opting for the tea bag route.
With only 2 days left, these are a sweet and simple way to celebrate the end of the 2016 games. Show off your patriotism and brush up on the world flags that you might not know–the 2020 games in Tokyo are right around the corner!Olympic Yogurt Pocky
Makes about 20 stick cookies.
12 oz package of vanilla candy melts or 11 oz bag white chocolate chips
3 Tbsp yogurt powder
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 package of grissini, cut into 5″ pieces with serrated knife to make 20 sticks
1/2 tsp each of gold, red, green, blue, & black nonpareils
large baking sheet fitted with parchment paper
small baking sheet or plate fitted with parchment paper
tall, narrow drinking glass, at least 6″ tall
Step-by-step photos of the dipping process are in my Homemade Chocolate Pocky post!
1. Fill bottom of double boiler with water, making sure the water doesn’t make contact with the base of the top bowl of the double boiler. Bring water to a gentle simmer (bring water to boil, then reduce to very low heat). Place white chocolate or candy melts in top bowl of double boiler. Using rubber spatula, gently melt the chocolate. Mix in the yogurt powder and oil. If you are using white chocolate (not candy coating) you may need to mix in another 1-2 tsp of oil to get a nice dipping consistency. Remove the bowl of chocolate from heat, and wipe steam off the outside of the bowl with a tea towel.
2. Carefully pour the melted chocolate into the drinking glass to a height of 4″.
3. Dip the cut grissini into the melted chocolate leaving the top 1″ undipped. As you get further along in dipping, you may need to tilt the glass to distribute the chocolate upwards so that you are able to cover all 4″ of each grissini with the chocolate. Gently shake off any excess chocolate, then place the dipped cookie on the small baking sheet or plate fitted with parchment. Let the Pocky stick sit here for about a minute to allow any excess chocolate to pool onto the parchment/paper plate.
4. Transfer the stick to the large parchment lined baking sheet to fully dry. Repeat the dipping process with the remaining grissini. If you use white chocolate, the Pocky take about 1 hour to fully dry/harden. If you use candy melts, they will take about 20 minutes to dry. In a pinch, you can place the dipped cookies in the fridge to speed up the drying process. Homemade Pocky are best eaten within a day or two, as the bread sticks tend to soften with time.
DIY Patriotic Tea Tags
1. Cut the “clean end” off from a flag toothpick. It’s easiest to do this with a box cutter over a cutting board.
2. If you’re up for it, try filling empty tea filters with your favorite tea. Here, I’ve simply ripped a tag off from a pre-made tea bag, and then replaced it with a flag tag with a small piece of tape. Make sure that the flag will lay in a cup with the right side facing out and not upside down. Snip any excess string off…done!