Sticking to my schedule, I got to work on my Christmas cards last Thursday night. I swung by the grocery store after picking up Virginia from school that night and picked up a few things to try homemade hot chocolate. Have you guys ever tried homemade? Guys, it's sooo good. It's very rich, very different from the powered kind and surprisingly it was super easy to make. Homemade hot chocolate is much more like a full dessert rather than just a cup of hot cocoa. I tweaked the recipe a bit, making it even less rich, but it was still delicious. I highly recommend giving it a try if you want an homemade chocolaty treat with a little kick....
Mexican Hot Chocolate
a variation of Ina Garten's (who else?) recipe
2 cups of 1% milk
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
small pinch cayenne pepper
Bring milk and sugar to a simmer in a saucepan. Remove from the heat and mix in chocolate, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and vanilla. Allow to steep for a few minutes, then place back on the heat on low to warm to a simmer. Pour in mugs, top with cinnamon sticks and marshmallows, and extra cayenne if you really like heat!
We liked ours with a little heat, but if you don't like much spice start off with just a tiny bit of cayenne and add from there. We really loved it, but I'll warn you, this is VERY rich. J.D. couldn't finish his (I happily could :) so I think you could even cut down on the amount of chocolate used.
I think this may be a new fun little tradition. Also, side note, for the first time I had Minted address my Christmas cards. You may know they were offering this for free this year. Holy cow guys, that was a game changer for me. I'm never going back. Seriously, it made the evening so much more pleasant - hot chocolate (and wine), plus just jotting fun notes to my friends on their cards instead of writing a million addresses. So much better!! I don't know why I waited this long to let them handle that part. :)