I have been away from the Secret Recipe Club for a while and I am thrilled to be back to discovering new and fun blogs and recipes! This month I was assigned The Avid Appetite written by the delightful Rachel. On her blog, Rachel shares stories about her darling family, pop entertainment she loves, delicious foods, and world travel. Truly something for everyone!
Rachel is a business professional by day, wife and mommy by night, and somehow manages to write her blog as well. Extremely impressive! Her daughter Penelope is absolutely adorable and the perfect model for food shots. Little hands make everything more fun!
Here in California, autumn has finally arrived – hallelujah! I pulled out my sweaters and gloves, bundling up against our version of cold. Nothing like the days I spent in Chicago recently for #BlogHerFood15, but still fun for us. This morning it dipped into the 30s, plenty cool enough for me, LOL.
With cooler and wet days ahead, I wanted to find a recipe that would be the perfect accompaniment for frosty weather. And I found it! A delightful way to warm up after you’ve been tossing snowballs in a fight or skiing down the slopes, working up an appetite and in need of thawing out. There is nothing better than a steaming cup of hot cocoa!
Back in the days when I skied, my favorite part was actually once we came off the mountain and cuddled up next to a roaring fire sipping cups of hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps. Swapping stories of our day, laughing with friends, and preparing a meal for the gang are some of the treasured memories of my single days.
Then a couple of bad knees happened and my skiing days are long past, but the cocoa moments linger in my mind. So much so that the second I saw the recipe on Rachel’s website, I knew I had to make it and share with all of you!
It really is simple to make, but so often we slip into the canned cocoa trap, buying it or the packets because we are always in a hurry. But you can whip this up in the time it takes to heat the milk! And of course there is absolutely nothing better on this Earth than homemade whipped cream – it will stop you in your tracks and you will not believe how delicious it is! But beware … when you drop those beautiful dollops of cream in the cocoa, they will immediately roll over exposing the cocoa-coated side, like they did for me tonight, LOL. Oh well, it may not be the prettiest presentation but it sure tastes good!
So the next time you want to warm up on a chilly day, pull out this recipe and make a treat for yourself and your family or friends. And if you want an adult version, you can swap out the peppermint extract with peppermint schnapps and pretend you are a snow bunny! 🙂
Thanks for a great walk down memory lane Rachel and a terrific recipe!
Happy Chocolate Monday everyone!
Make sure the cocoa is unsweetened and does not have any flavoring in it that may contain gluten.
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup milk (or alternative dairy-free milk)
- 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract or vanilla pastevanilla paste
- A few drops of peppermint extract
- Whipped Cream
- 1 cup cold heavy cream (use coconut cream for dairy-free)
- 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
- 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste
- In your favorite large mug, stir together the sugar, cocoa powder and salt.
- In a heatproof glass measuring cup, heat the milk in the microwave (about 1 to 2 minutes) or until steaming. Pour the hot milk into the mug with the sugar/cocoa mixture and whisk together. Add the vanilla and peppermint.
- Because it is so easy to over do the peppermint extract, I always buy an eye dropper top that screws onto the bottle. That way I can get exactly the amount I want, a drop or two, or more if needed.
- For the whipped cream, place the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer. Mix at medium high speed until peaks form and it’s smooth and whipped cream-like. Don’t over mix!
- Place a large dollop of cream in the hot chocolate and serve hot.
- Yield: 1 or 2 servings with extra whipping cream for another dessert.
- Adult Variation: Increase the cocoa powder to 2-1/2 tablespoons, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of peppermint schnapps in place of the peppermint extract, and bump up the sugar a tad if needed.
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