It’s December which means we can officially start preparing for Christmas without looking too crazy. One of my favorite Christmas traditions is making myself a cup of peppermint hot cocoa after a really cold winter day. The first version of this recipe came about when I was in high school: I would add chocolate syrup to some milk, heat it up in the microwave, add a whole peppermint candy cane, let it dissolve and remove it once it was pepperminty enough for my taste. This was my go to recipe until my boyfriend and I traveled to Amsterdam last fall. We were highly recommended by fellow hostel guests to have breakfast in a local restaurant called Bagels & Beans (www.bagelbeans.nl) and order their “Warm Chocomelt”. They pretty much serve you a mug of hot milk with a handful of chocolate chips on the side. This DIY hot cocoa couldn’t be simpler: you just add the chocolate chips to the milk and mix it up with your spoon. It tasted amazing and I’ve been making my hot cocoa this way every since.
Ingredients for the peppermint sugar (yields 125 mL):
- 10 peppermint candy canes
Ingredients for the peppermint hot cocoa (serves 1):
- 1 mug of milk (about 1 1/2 cups to 2 cups)
- 2 Tbsp of chocolate chips
- 1 Tbsp of peppermint sugar
Directions: In a food processor, grind the peppermint candy canes into little bits and set aside. If you don’t have a food processor (like moi), put the candy canes in a Ziploc bag & crush them with a rolling pin. Really let them have it. Fill your mug with milk (about 1 1/2 cups to 2 cups) and heat it in the microwave until almost boiling (about 1-2 minutes on high). Add chocolate chips and peppermint sugar. Mix well and enjoy!
N.B. Keep the leftover peppermint sugar in an airtight container in the cupboard and take it out the next time you serve up some hot cocoas!
Music: We had our first snowfall of the season in Montreal last week while the temperatures dipped below -10ºC. It was really freakin’ cold and it’s going to get colder as we settle into winter. When I find myself swearing profusely while hoping that the tip of nose doesn’t fall off, Malajube‘s song “Montreal -40°C” reminds me that I’m not alone.