Dark chocolate covered rice pudding pops!

It's HOT here in Los Angeles. 
What better way to beat the heat, than ice pops? But forget just plain juice for your frozen delight, go for the exotic with these delicious Rice Pudding pops that you can then 
dip in dark chocolate!!  
These babies smell of cinnamon and are cool comfort on a stick.

I've made them with whole milk, and recently with almond milk, making them vegan as well as Gluten free. They were good both ways!

You'll need:
3 cups whole milk/almond milk/or your favorite...
1 vanilla bean
 *Halve the bean lengthwise and scrape out all of the vanilla paste into the pot.
1 cup short or medium grain rice. 
*I used arborio last time (aka risotto), so they were extra dense and hearty
2 cinnamon sticks
1  14oz. can of sweetened condensed milk mixed with 2 cups water
3 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1. Bring your milk, 1 1/4 cups of water, scraped vanilla beans, and the vanilla paste, to a simmer in a 4 qt. pot over medium-low heat. Stir in the rice and cinnamon sticks and cook, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender, about 20–30 minutes. Remove the cinnamon sticks and stir in the condensed milk/water mixture, vanilla extract, and salt. Simmer until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid, 10–15 minutes more. Remove your pan from the heat, stir in the ground cinnamon, and let cool slightly. 

2. Transfer mixture to twelve 3-oz. ice-pop molds or even Dixie cups. Transfer the molds to the freezer and freeze until slushy, about 1 hour. Insert a Popsicle stick into each mold and freeze until pops are solid, about 3 hours more. To release ice pops from molds, run the bottom of the molds briefly under warm water.
3. Melt a good quality dark chocolate with about 1/2 teaspoon of either coconut or vegetable oil. You can melt it in a coffee cup in the microwave if you're careful not to burn it! Or you can use the double broiler method on the stove. Stir to make smooth and shiny.
Now simply dip your ice pops in, covering a little, or the whole thing, then tap the excess chocolate. Eat immediately, or store  in a container in the freezer.

Go make some today!
xo melanie