Brrr... there's a chill in the air and the holidays are right around the corner. No matter if you're just cuddled up in a blanket watching Christmas movies or coming in from holiday shopping, make up a mug of this fast and super rich hot chocolate! Check out the variation at the end... a shot of something extra to warm you up fast!
PEPPERMINT HOT CHOCOLATE
Makes 2 large mugs
2 1/2 cups milk (use whole or skim, whatever you like)
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
3 tablespoons sugar
6 squares (3 ounces) 60 % Cacao dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 soft peppermint candies or 2 soft peppermint sticks, crushed fine + 2 peppermint sticks for garnish
1/2 cup heavy cream or whipping cream
Put the candies in a plastic bag and crush them using a rolling pin or mallet. Set aside. Put the milk in a saucepan. Slowly bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Put the cocoa in one of the mugs. Add a bit of the hot milk and stir until it becomes smooth, adding more milk to thin it out. Add it back to the saucepan. Next, add the chopped chocolate and stir until it is completely melted. Let the chocolate heat through, stirring constantly. Add the crushed candies and stir until they are melted. Pour into mugs and drizzle a little heavy cream on the top. Garnish with a peppermint stick, whipped cream, a dusting of cocoa, marshmallows, or even more crushed candies... whatever you like and your diet can afford!
Variation: Add a shot of brandy, vanilla vodka, chocolate or white chocolate liqueur, coffee liqueur, or peppermint schnapps to your mug for some extra warmth!
FOR A CROWD: I make the hot chocolate in a pot and then transfer to a slow cooker for serving. Makes temperature control and serving so easy!