We had below-freezing temperatures the other night. It was actually pretty because everything looked white and shiny. When it is cold outside, a warm drink is the perfect thing to get cozy and share with others. Since I had a new flavor extract to try out - Nielsen-Massey Pure Peppermint Extract, I decided to make hot cocoa for us, using this recipe:
Gourmet Peppermint Hot Cocoa
⅓ cup unsweetened quality cocoa powder (Dutch processed)
1½ cups powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
4 cups whole milk
2 cups half-and-half
1 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
½ teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Pure Peppermint Extract
¼ teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Pure Chocolate Extract
In a medium saucepan, combine cocoa powder, sugar and salt. Place over medium-low heat and gradually whisk in milk and half-and-half until combined. Stirring occasionally, heat to desired temperature, being careful not to let the mixture boil. Stir in pure vanilla, peppermint and chocolate extracts.
Before serving, top with a Vanilla Bean Marshmallow. For an extra blast of peppermint, drop a peppermint candy in the bottom of each mug before serving.
I did not use the pure chocolate extract because I did not have it and I cut the recipe in half, but it tasted great without it. Of course, I had to drink it all myself because MH didn't want any because it had peppermint flavor. I had to make him some without it.
Nielsen-Massey Pure Peppermint Extract is one of the many extracts that is available. It is gluten-free, all-natural, kosher, and allergen-free. They are all made with high-quality ingredients at a reasonable price, in various sizes. Use the store locator to find the place nearest you that carries Nielsen-Massey extracts.
Several ideas that add warmth to the holiday season:
- Give a DIY hot cocoa kit to a friend or loved one. Write your recipe on festive cardstock, stack cocoa powder, sugar and salt in a jar and pack in a basket with Nielsen-Massey Vanilla, Chocolate and Peppermint Extracts.
- Instead of using traditional toppings like marshmallows, try crumbled cookies, raspberries or a cherry on top of a steaming cup of hot cocoa. Stir in a cinnamon stick for an irresistible blend of sugar and spice.
- Invite friends and family over for a casual hot chocolate bar party. Set out mismatched mugs of various sizes, along with several types of hot cocoa, toppings and whipped cream. Use peppermint sticks for stirrers and have guests vote for their favorite concoction.
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One person will WIN a bottle of Nielsen-Massey Pure Peppermint Extract (ARV $10.99)
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