When temperatures plummet and snow falls, hot chocolate is a necessity.
When my kids were small, they would excitedly fly outdoors to the backyard winter wonderland to build the ultimate snowman. After they were satisfied, they had created the best one on the block, they came in the back door shedding hats, gloves, coat and boots. While their wet clothes dried by the fire, they sipped hot cocoa loaded up with whipped cream and marshmallows, their cold hands happy to be holding warm mugs.
My sweet three aren’t small any longer, as a matter of fact I am an official empty nester now, but I found last Christmas they still love to gather round on a chilly winters’ night and sip hot cocoa out of really big mugs.
The greatest tragedies were written by the Greeks and Shakespeare…neither knew chocolate
― Sandra Boynton
The first chocolate beverage is believed to have been created by the Aztecs around 2,000 years ago, and a cocoa beverage was an essential part of Aztec culture by 1400 AD. The beverage became popular in Europe after being introduced from Mexico in the New World and has undergone multiple changes since then. Until the 19th century, hot chocolate was even used medicinally to treat ailments such as liver and stomach diseases. Today, hot chocolate is consumed throughout the world and comes in multiple variations, including the spiced chocolate para mesa of Latin America, the very thick cioccolata densa served in Italy and chocolate a la taza served in Spain, and the thinner hot cocoa consumed in the United States. ~~Thank you Wikipedia
PEPPERMINT BLISS HOT CHOCOLATE
- 1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream, divided
- 1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 cups whole milk
- 4 ounces bittersweet (preferably 60% cocoa) chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon Nielson-Massey Pure Peppermint Extract
Beat 1/2 cup cream and 1 teaspoon sugar in bowl until soft peaks form. Cover and chill.
Whisk 1/2 cup cream, 2 tablespoons sugar, and milk in medium saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to boil. Remove from heat, add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Whisk in extract. Ladle into mugs and top with cream