It’s December! The countdown to the holidays has officially started. You’ve (hopefully) put up your Christmas Trees by now and are looking for ways to gather your friends and family for some quality time. With carols blasting, your uncle attempting to sing, and the presents scattered under the tree, it seems like the perfect time to sit around the fireplace with a warm, holiday drink. Whether it’s hot chocolate, eggnog, or a fancy latte — we’ve gathered some of the best recipes for you to try.
Candy canes aren’t just meant to be ornaments and stocking stuffers. Add a hint into your favourite hot chocolate recipe for a nice minty taste:
1. CANDY CANE WHITE COCONUT HOT COCOA
- 3 Cups of Silk Coconut Milk
- 1¼ cups Ghirardelli Classic White Chocolate Chips
- ½ cup Andes Peppermint Crunch chips or ¼- 1/2 tsp peppermint extract.
- 1 vanilla bean, split and scrapped or 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Add coconut milk, Giraradelli Classic White Chocolate Chips and vanilla bean to a heavy saucepan.
- Heat until chocolate melts, whisking to keep the chocolate from sticking or burning on the bottom of the pan.
- Whisk until the chocolate has melted and the cocoa is hot.
- Add Andes Chips or peppermint extract ( start with ¼ tsp and taste, then adjust).
- Add vanilla extract if you didn’t use a vanilla bean.
- Pour into a mug, top with whipped cream. Garnish with a candy cane and a sprinkle of Andes Peppermint Crunch Chips or red and white sprinkles.
Too old to build a gingerbread house? (We disagree!) Bring the same taste and tradition into drink form with this decadent latte:
2. GINGERBREAD LATTE
- 4 shots espresso (or ¾ cup strong-brew coffee)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 1½ cups milk (for foaming)
- In a glass measuring cup, combine the coffee, spices, sugar and molasses. Use a whisk to dissolve the spices in the coffee very well. Divide between two mugs.
- Steam or froth the milk in a milk frother (or just warm it on the stove).
- Divide the milk between the two mugs, and serve immediately.
You can never have too many truffles! Never. Especially if it’s in your hot chocolate:
3. TRUFFLE HOT CHOCOLATE
- 2 cups 2% milk
- 6 ounces 70% cacao dark baking chocolate, chopped
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Dash salt
DULCE DE LECHE WHIPPED CREAM
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- In a large saucepan, heat milk over medium heat until bubbles form around sides of pan (do not boil). Remove from the heat; whisk in the chocolate, brown sugar, espresso powder, vanilla and salt until smooth. Return to the heat; cook and stir until heated through. Pour into mugs; top with desired flavor of whipped cream.
- To prepare dulce de leche whipped cream: In a heavy skillet, melt sugar until golden. Gradually stir in cream; cook and stir until sugar is dissolved. Transfer to a small bowl; cover and refrigerate for 4 hours. Beat until stiff peaks form.
Skip the traditional eggnog this year and spice it up with some cayenne pepper:
4. SPICED CHOCOLATE EGGNOG
- 2 quarts whole milk, plus more if needed
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and pod reserved
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 12 egg yolks
- 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
- 3 ounces milk chocolate, melted
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/4 cups brandy (optional)
- Whole nutmeg, for garnish
- Cayenne pepper, for sprinkling
Heat two quarts milk, the sugar, salt, vanilla seeds and pod, and cinnamon sticks in a large pot over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves and mixture is heated through. Remove from heat. Let stand for 30 minutes.
Prepare an ice-water bath. Whisk yolks in a medium bowl until pale, about two minutes. Whisk one cup of milk mixture into yolks in a slow, steady stream. Whisk yolk mixture into remaining milk mixture. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture registers 180 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 6 minutes. (Do not boil.)
Remove pot from heat, add melted bittersweet and milk chocolates, and stir until incorporated. Discard vanilla pod and cinnamon sticks. Pour mixture into a large bowl set in ice-water bath, and let cool, stirring often.
Whisk cream until soft peaks form. Pour cooled eggnog into a large serving bowl, and add brandy if using. (Add more milk to eggnog if necessary to reach desired consistency.) Top with whipped cream. Grate nutmeg over top, and sprinkle sparingly with cayenne. Serve immediately with churros on the side if desired.
Opt out of the cream and cocoa at least once a week (if you must) and curl up with a cup of cider:
5. WARM MULLED CIDER
- 1 navel orange
- 1/2 gallon apple cider (not juice)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 5 whole allspice berries
- 6 whole cloves
- pinch ground nutmeg
- 11 1/2-inch piece ginger, thinly sliced
- 8 cinnamon sticks
- Using a vegetable peeler, peel the zest from the orange to create long strips.
- In a medium pot, bring the cider, honey, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and orange zest to a simmer. Do not boil. Heat, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
- Ladle into cups and serve warm with the cinnamon sticks.
Mmmm…. we don’t know about you, but we can’t wait to try these! Let us know how you like them in the comments below or on Twitter and Facebook @Womenspost!