It’s the holiday season. Snow is falling. The air is crisp and cold. The smell of cinnamon and fresh pine needles fills my house.
This is one of my favorite times of year. It’s also one of the best times of year for cozy cups of hot cocoa.
My latest hot cocoa recipe is inspired by my novel, Hot Cocoa Hearts.
It combines the taste of refreshing peppermint with rich chocolate. Try this recipe at home on a chilly evening to bring you warmth and good cheer. It’s easy, fun, and delicious!
To make this cocoa, you’ll need:
2 cups whole milk
1 16oz container light cream
1 cup of semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chip morsels
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 drops peppermint extract (add more to taste)
1 bag candy cane crunch bits
1 box peppermint sticks
1 tbsp honey
1 handful of marshmallows
Whipped cream or Reddi Whip for topping
First, you need to make your hot cocoa. In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups whole milk with one 16oz container of light cream. Stir the milk and cream mixture over medium heat.
Be careful not to let the mixture scald. Heat it to just below boiling point, stirring constantly.
Once the milk and cream are heated, it’s time to add the chocolate chip morsels!
I like my cocoa thick, rich, and very chocolate-y. The more morsels, the better!
Stir the chocolate morsels, cream, and milk until the chocolate is completely melted.
Next, add in the vanilla and peppermint extract. Just a few drops of peppermint does the trick. If you love mint, you can always add more for stronger flavor.
Now it’s time for the molinillo! A molinillo is a wooden stirring stick that has been used for centuries in Mexico to froth hot cocoa.
Hold the molinillo between your palms. Then, rub the molinillo back and forth. The bottom spins in the chocolate sauce, frothing the milk.
If you don’t have a molinillo at home, don’t worry! A whisk will work fine, too.
Adding Finishing Touches to Your Cocoa
Now that your hot cocoa is warm and frothy, it’s time to decorate your mugs!
Spread as dollop of honey onto a small plate. Dip the rim of each mug into the honey. Then, dip the rim into a bowl a candy cane bits. The candy cane bits stick to the honey. You’ll have a minty mug ready for cocoa!
Next, pour your cocoa into the mugs. You should have enough cocoa to fill two mugs.
Add the whipped cream and peppermint sticks to the top of the cocoa.
For the finishing touch, top the whipped cream with marshmallows.
Voila! You’re done. You and your hot cocoa were mint for each other! Now put on your slippers, grab a good book, and sip this cozy sweet treat in front of a crackling fire.