Monday, November 14, 2011

DIY Peppermint Hot Chocolate

What is your favorite flavor combination in the world? I have a hard time saying anything is my absolute favorite since I have several favorites of ... *everything*. However, chocolate + peppermint is way, way up high on the list. I absolutely love it. I cannot get enough of it. York peppermint patties, mint chocolate chip ice cream ... I love it all. Peppermint just speaks to me.
Recently I posted a blog from McDonald's about two elderly ladies having a hilarious conversation. I went there to kill some time between engagements and while in line I saw that they now have a Peppermint Mocha and a Peppermint Hot Chocolate. Yum! As appealing as they looked, though, I couldn't get on board with the price. The smallest cocoa was $1.99 and the smallest mocha was $2.49. No thanks. I could feed John and I a great dinner for $2.49! I have a real issue with spending money on drinks, hence my DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte. Creating these two drinks is so insanely easy that I couldn't justify buying them and decided to make blogs instead. If you missed the Peppermint Mocha, click here. 
Homemade hot chocolate is fun to make and tastes so much better than the swiss packets. As the weather cools down, you can expect a blog from me next week with a basic hot chocolate recipe and then several variations of it (caramel, aztek, cinnamon... you get the idea). There aren't too many ingredients needed today, only....

1.5 cups of milk (any kind you'd like. Whole dairy or soy will give you the creamiest texture)
3 tbs semi-sweet chocolate chips OR 1.5 tbs dark cocoa powder
5 crushed starlight mints (reserve some for topping)
4-5 large marshmallows
Whipped cream and chocolate sauce (optional- toppings)

First, crush your starlight mints. I got a small pack of about 20 mints from the local gas station for fifty cents, which is way better than buying a large pack. My mom would use a hammer to crush them, but I used a rolling pin. A hammer works better. Unwrap your mints and place them in a ziplock bag. Place the bag on a cutting board and crush! You can leave them wrapped if you'd like, just make sure you unwrap them over a bowl since they'll be messy.
The more finely you crush them, the easier the recipe will be. Place your mints in a cup and add your chocolate chips. Set aside. As you can see, mine are chocolate chunks. They were chocolate chips once upon a time, and then I left them in a sunny car. Oops. It worked still, though, I crushed them up and then measured my chunks of chocolate.
Next, place your milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Tear up your marshmallows into little pieces and drop in. You can use mini-marshmallows if you'd rather not tear up big ones. Stir in the mallows until they melt and reduce the heat to medium (simmer). Continue stirring the milk mixture with a whisk. Add in your chocolate and peppermint. Stir until melted. You'll have to keep stirring here, you want those peppermint pieces to melt and not to stick to the bottom of your pan. If they stick to your whisk, that's fine. Just keep stirring and eventually they'll melt in.
Once everything has melted and is well combined, pour it into your cup! Top with whipped cream add the remaining crushed peppermint. You can sprinkle on some cocoa powder or chocolate sauce for extra credit. mmm. I love it. It's a known fact that John doesn't like warm drinks (he reallyyyy doesn't) and hates peppermint + chocolate (sad, sad boy) but he still admitted that it was pretty good! I considered that a huge feat. I actually offered it to him having forgotten both of those massive dislikes, but that's ok. He drank it anyway. Isn't he sweet?
I have some big changes (more!) to announce about 'la vie' this week. I may write another blog about it today or I may save it for later this week. Right now, I need to go sew some more black pieces for the November Refashion series. I should probably clean the house, too, in preparation for Christmas decor. Our tree goes up this week!!! I'm very excited. We're going to try placing it in a new spot this year, I think it will work better. Oh, by the way- I'm not sure if I mentioned it or not, but this recipe only serves one. You can double or triple to your hearts content, though. Well, I'm off! Have a beautiful day and as always, thanks for reading! 

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