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story.lead_photo.caption Malted Milk Chocolate Frozen Pop (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

As summer's heat rages on, I'm still finding sweet ways to beat the heat. I was recently reminded of a childhood favorite — pudding pops. If you were even halfway paying attention in the 1980s, you remember this icy snack on a stick.

Jell-O Pudding Pops reigned supreme on the frozen treats aisle for nearly a decade. The pops were discontinued in the 1990s, revived in the early 2000s and then discontinued again.

Pudding pops, it turns out, to my adult taste are remarkably similar to Fudgsicles, except they're smoother, much smoother. (Fudgsicles, by the way, are still made by Popsicle.)

Comparing recipes for scratch versions of both, the ingredients are the same. So, if pudding pops are inextricably associated with a certain comedian/alleged sex offender I'm not going to name, think of the following as fudge pops.

No matter what you call them, they're rich, chocolatey and refreshingly delicious on a hot day.

I prefer making these in 3-ounce paper cups, but if you prefer a larger pop and have ice pop molds, feel free to use them.

MALTED MILK CHOCOLATE FROZEN POPS

Makes: 12 (3-ounce) pops

3 tablespoons Dutch-process or blended unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

Generous pinch salt

1 cups malted milk powder (regular or chocolate flavor)

2 cups whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

5 ounces semisweet, bittersweet or milk chocolate, finely chopped

1 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the cocoa powder, granulated sugar, cornstarch, salt and malted milk powder. Add the milk and heavy cream and whisk until smooth.

Place saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring almost constantly, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the chopped chocolate and vanilla extract, stirring until the chocolate is completely melted.

Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl or spouted 4-cup measure. Pour mixture into ice pop molds or small paper cups, leaving a little space for expansion. Freeze for about 1 hour, insert the sticks, and return pops to the freezer until solid, about 4 hours.

Pudding recipe adapted from "The Vintage Baker" by Jessie Sheehan (Chronicle Books, 2018)

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