spiced hot chocolate

During the summer of 2001, I accumulated a lot of bad eating habits. I could go in to my pickles with soda addiction or my Haagen Dazs coffee ice cream fixation, but for the sake of this post, I’m focusing on my hot-chocolate-before-bed-every-single-night tradition. I would stir two large tablespoons of Nesquick powder (or was it still Quik at the time?) into my milk and pop in the microwave. I would take my mug into my room and sit on my bed while watching Frasier reruns. Oh, it was heaven at the time.

I still have a big thing for hot chocolate. Only now, I try to enjoy it once in a while and not as my daily sleeping pill. And while I will always have a place in my heart for instant chocolate powder, I like using real chocolate too. And a little spice to counter the sweet. This was one of those times.

Spiced Hot Chocolate
serves 2

about 1 oz. bittersweet chocolate (2 oz, if you like it sweeter)
about 1-2 oz. dark chocolate
2 mug-fulls of milk (I used 2%, but you can use use whole for more creaminess)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 – 1 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Marshmallows or a cinnamon stick, for garnish

Add all ingredients (except garnish) in a small pot and keep at low to medium heat. Do not boil.
Whisk until chocolate is completely melted.
Serve and garnish with marshmallows or a cinnamon stick.

One of the things I look forward to in a hot beverage is wrapping my hands around the mug for instant warmth. It’s a pretty satisfying feeling, especially when your hands are ice-cold.

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