Two local bakeries are extra busy this year with what has become a big trend for Christmas 2020.

The Christmas season has been busy for The Little Baking Company. This is their first year in business and baker Rhonda Koop says "it's a little nuts, this is the first being open and we really didn't know what to expect and it's busier beyond what we could have's pretty crazy."

But it's what is keeping them busy that was a surprise.  Their top requests include decorated white/sugar cookies, specialty Christmas flavoured cupcakes and hot chocolate bombs.  Koop says "I am knee-deep in hot chocolate bombs".  What are hot chocolate bombs?  Koop describes them as "a ball-shaped shell of chocolate filled with hot cocoa powder and some marshmallows. And then you put that into your mug and your pour hot milk over top, the chocolate melts, and the filling 'explodes' out of the shell".

According to Valerie Friesen of Double Take Cakes, they are having a similar experience with an increase in requests for hot chocolate bombs.  In addition to that, dainty trays and pies are the things keeping them busy this Christmas season.  

Making hot chocolate bombs is quite a process to make Friesen says "it is melted chocolate tempered in a process that is very tedious and time-consuming and takes a bit of skill.  The melted chocolate is then put in our silicone molds and fill it with hot cocoa powder, mini marshmallows and then we add the flavours". 

Hot chocolate bombs take about an hour to make so Friesen says they make about 30 at a time, and due to their popularity, they had put a limit of 4 bombs per customer in order to handle the requests coming in.

Koop is unsure why they are so popular "we hadn't really heard much about them before this year, it seems to be a novelty that has exploded on social media and we happened to be able to grab a hold of that at the right time."  And they most certainly did. "We opened up ordering and within 4 hours had 800 ordered and so we had to put a pause on the orders so can catch up. It's been beyond what we expected!"  Koop's tasks at the bakery currently consist of making hot chocolate bombs in order to try and keep up, "I can get between 80 and 100 bombs made in a day.  One day I made 128 and that was my max."  She has learned some of the quirks of making them and finds herself getting quicker at the process.

Due to the popularity of these decadent treats, Friesen said they had difficulty finding molds to build the treats. "We tried everywhere, locally and online both with 3-4 week wait options."  Luckily they discovered a business in Winnipeg that had some in stock and were able to pick them up within a week and the bomb-making began.  

Koop says "the bombs make for a good novelty gift, something that is small for a stocking stuffer and an easy way to top something up."  Whether it's the popular milk chocolate flavour or the specialty ones of Twix, cookies and creme and peppermint at Double Takes or white chocolate, white chocolate peppermint, and salted caramel at The Little Baking Company, it seems to be popular this Christmas.