December 10, 2007

Hot Toddie from Lisa: Minted Mocha Hot Chocolate for Grown-Ups

Lisa says: This is a delish spiked hot chocolate. Doesn't get any easier. You can make hot choc from scratch, or just heat milk and add Hersheys syrup, or buy the envelopes [see Margaret's recipe below]. A candy cane stirrer looks festive, too.

1 oz.
peppermint schnapps
Hot chocolate
Whipped cream

Mixing instructions:
Add the schnapps to the hot chocolate and stir. Top with whipped cream.
Option: Sprinkle with chocolate

Lisa's story: This comforting hot chocolate was served to me by my freelance writer friend, Carol. It was a chilly (for FL), very windy evening last December. It was already dark out when I got to her house, and the kettle was whistling invitingly. Expecting a hot cup of tea, I was pleasantly surprised when she set down this fragrant mug in front of me. It smelled like a peppermint patty, a favorite candy of mine. She winked and lifted her cup, "Cheers, dear!"

We took a long drawn out sip and in unison, sighed, "AAAhhhhhhhh."

That warm break from routine was special, unexpected, and made our quick hello a festive little visit. I have made it since, and it always leaves me feeling like it's holiday time!

Margaret's Note: Here's my favorite way to make hot chocolate (adapted from Ina Garten), which I think would work fabulously with Lisa's Minted:

2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 cups half-and-half
4 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate
4 ounces chopped milk chocolate
1 tablespoon sugar

Heat the milk and half-and-half in a saucepan on medium heat to just below the simmering point. Remove the pan from the heat and add both chocolates. When the chocolates are melted, add the sugar and vanilla extract and whisk vigorously. Reheat gently and serve immediately.

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