Homemade Salty-Sweet Hot Chocolate

5

Thanks to this nor’easter today has been an adult snow day. Hubby is working from home so while he’s been spending his time upstairs churning out projects, I’ve stayed busy in the kitchen. I awoke to the serene wonderland outside, put on my plush slippers and sautéed a pan of chipotle breakfast potatoes with cheddar coated sunny side-up eggs. I whipped up a batch of warm, melty chocolate chip cookies for snack. I roasted sweet potatoes with sprigs of rosemary and olive oil while blending a curry scented pumpkin seed pesto for lunch quesadillas.

While I look forward to sharing all these cozy recipes with you, there is one that I just can’t wait on: Rich, creamy, decadent homemade hot chocolate. While it’s certainly a winter treat, I felt the first snowfall was occasion enough not to wait until December.  As I admired the blanket of white powder that had formed over our property, I poured a comforting mug of this heavenly drink.  One sip from my cinnamon-sugar rimmed ceramic cup and knew I made the right choice. It’s a bit bitter from the dark cacao chocolate, has a hint of savoriness from the juxtaposition of coarse sea salt and a touch of spice from ground cinnamon.

To add an element of sweetness, I topped the liquid chocolate with cool whipped cream and mini marshmallows. Growing up, my Grandma Linda and Grandpa Larry always told us we should put marshmallows in our hot chocolate so the elephants don’t fall in. I’m not quite sure what made them come up with that saying, but I really wouldn’t have it any other way.

Ingredients:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         (Per serving)

1 cup heavy whipping cream

(1.65 oz.) 72% cacao dark chocolate (I used Trader Joe’s)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Lemon juice for rimming

Equal parts cinnamon and sugar for rimming

Marshmallows (optional, but highly recommended to keep the elephants away)

Whipped cream (optional)

Cocoa powder (optional)

Instructions:

Bring heavy cream to a boil.

Add chocolate and lower heat, stirring constantly.

Sprinkle in cinnamon and sea salt.

To rim your mug, set up one plate with a squeeze of lemon juice and another with equal parts cinnamon and sugar.

Turn mug upside down and dunk in lemon juice.

Press damp rim into cinnamon sugar, turning to coat as evenly as possible.

Pour hot chocolate into mug.

Top with marshmallows, whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa powder.

Drink and enjoy an elephant-free hot chocolate!

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