The Christmas holiday is upon us!
This year, my mind has been elsewhere, and I’ve found that instead of finding myself bursting with excitement surrounding December 25th, it has snuck up on me with incredible stealth. So, when I realized that we were less than two weeks from the big day, I knew what I needed to get me into the ho, ho, ho holiday spirit.
Peppermint hot cocoa.
Nothing says Christmas like hot cocoa, especially with a hint of peppermint. The way it warms you from the inside out. The way the chocolate and whipped cream melt together in a perfect symphony. The way the peppermint permeates every sip and dances along you tongue. That, folks, is Christmas. Christmas in your mouth.
I find myself only drinking hot cocoa in December. It’s something I associate so strongly with Christmas that drinking it months before or even a few days after the holiday seems almost sacrilegious. Christmas mornings in my childhood always involved hot cocoa – a December 25th morning without this beverage was unheard of.
My peppermint hot cocoa recipe is a simple one and easy to replicate. But don’t be fooled. The enveloped powder in the box that you can buy at the grocery ain’t got nothin’ on this. Fresh whipped cream adds the perfect, rich and fluffy touch to this hot beverage.
This recipe is very dear to me and has as much memory attached as it does chocolatey goodness. From me to you, happy holidays and wishing you all the best in 2014!
Peppermint Hot Cocoa
Makes two 8 oz. servings with whipped cream
- 2 cups of 2% milk
- 2 tablespoons Dutch processed cocoa
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
- Combine milk, cocoa, and sugar in a saucepan on medium high heat. Whisk mixture until well blended.
- Add peppermint extract and reduce heat to medium.
- Remove from heat when mixture reaches desired temperature.
- While the hot cocoa is heating, begin your whipped cream. Add the two ingredients to your the bowl of your standing mixer.
- Mix on medium speed using the paddle attachment until soft peaks form. Approximately five to six minutes.
- Pour the hot cocoa into mugs and top amply with whipped cream. Sprinkle with colored sugar for a festive touch. Serve immediately.