When the days are cold, blustery, and rainy, there is nothing better than a mug of steaming hot Peppermint Hot Cocoa to warm us up. I would make up a large batch and have it warming on the stove for everyone to enjoy throughout the day and evening.
I am thrilled to be discovering new and fun blogs and recipes as part of the Secret Recipe Club! 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!
Here in Oregon, autumn is most definitely here with winter just around the corner! I pulled out my sweaters and gloves, bundling up against the cold. This morning it dipped into the 30s and stayed in the 40s during the day, plenty cool enough for me, LOL.
With with our cold and wet days in full swing, 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 peppermint 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. Laughing with friends, swapping stories of our day, 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 peppermint hot cocoa from scratch, 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 the recipe for Peppermint Hot Cocoa 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 on the slopes!
Thanks for a great walk down memory lane Rachel and a terrific recipe! Happy Chocolate Monday everyone!
Key Ingredients for Peppermint Hot Cocoa:
- Sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder
- Milk, vanilla, peppermint extract
- Heavy cream, powdered sugar
What is the best source for flavorings and extracts?
My personal favorite is Lorann Oils. They sell professional-quality products for candy making and baking projects. You won’t believe how many flavors they have – everything you can imagine or dream of!
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, just a drop or two, or more as desired. Peppermint is quite strong so be sure you start out with just a little, taste, and then add more if you want.
How to make Peppermint Hot Cocoa:
- Stir together the sugar, cocoa, and salt
- Heat the milk until steaming then pour into the cocoa mixture, whisking until smooth; stir in the vanilla and peppermint
- Whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla in a stand mixer on high until peaks form; place a dollop of cream in the cocoa and serve
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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 paste
- A few drops of peppermint extract
- 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 glass measuring cup, heat the milk in the microwave (about 1 minute) or until steaming. Pour the hot milk into the mug of sugary, cocoa goodness and mix it all up. Add the vanilla and peppermint.
- 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.
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.
Adapted from Rachel of The Avid Appetite
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 611Total Fat: 46gSaturated Fat: 29gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 144mgSodium: 388mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 1gSugar: 30gProtein: 9g
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This post was first shared in Nov 2015. The article was updated in 2020.