Our weather is finally starting to cool off, and I am in HEAVEN. I’ve missed the crisp mornings and evenings so much since moving from Michigan, and so since the temps have gone lower, I am so happy. It also means that I start baking like crazy (why is it that the weather does that to me??), and thinking about some of our winter favorites. One of those that top the list is Homemade Hot Chocolate. I grew up with hot chocolate being homemade–I don’t think I even knew what a packet of it was (what, you just add water??) until I was in high school or later. I do use the packets sometimes now for convenience, but nothing beats the homemade version.
For us it’s part of our holiday celebrations–every time they come in after playing in the snow, when we make Christmas cookies, after a Christmas outing, at parties, on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, and any other excuse we get!
This recipe doesn’t take long at all to make, and everyone you serve it to will think you are a superstar. For reals. I love adding the peppermint cream on top–it’s the perfect complement for the rich & cream chocolate. If you don’t like peppermint, you can always use plain whipped cream with a little sprinkle of cinnamon & sugar (add it to the hot chocolate, and on top of the whipped cream both), with marshmallows, or plain. It’s delicious any way you serve it!
- 1½ c. milk chocolate chips
- 1 can evaporated milk
- 3-4 c. whole milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 pint heavy cream
- ¼ c. powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. peppermint extract
- 2 candy canes, crushed
- In a saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate chips with the can of evaporated milk. Once they're melted, stir in the four cups of milk and heat through. Remove from heat and add the vanilla. Serve with Peppermint Cream!
- Peppermint Cream: In a mixing bowl, beat the heavy cream until it's just beginning to form soft peaks. Add the powdered sugar (you can do more or less to taste), and beat until incorporated. Add the peppermint extract and crushed candy canes, then beat again until the right consistency. I like to spoon the cream into a sandwich bag, push it down into one corner, snip the corner off of the bag, then pipe it onto the top of the hot chocolate. Sprinkle a few more bits of candy cane on top, and enjoy!