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Peppermint White Hot Chocolate

Posted Dec 06 2012 3:01am

 During the winter, I love drinking a warm mug of hot chocolate, especially before bed.

And preferably white chocolate hot chocolate, infused with peppermint. And of course, plenty of marshmallows.

Don’t get me wrong, I love coffee; the flavor, the aroma, and the way it makes me feel warm and cozy as I sip it. However, as much as I’m addicted to the caffeine in coffee, I’m hooked on the ritual of savoring a warm beverage.

Even though I’m fairly immune to caffeine’s effects, even I can’t drink coffee and go bed. White hot chocolate comes in handy when I want to feel warm and toasty but don’t want to be up all night. I usually sleep like a baby after a mug of this kind of warm milk.

I like hot chocolate made with both cocoa powder or with white chocolate, depending on my mood. For sleeping purposes, white is preferred to dark since it doesn’t have caffeine. Truthfully though, the caffeine in regular chocolate never keeps me up. I can eat a Quintuple Chocolate Fudgy Brownie Cookie and go right to bed and sleep peacefully.

 Whether it’s coffee or hot chocolate, I like it really hot, on the sweet side, very creamy , and I like to have a little coffee with my cup of creamer.

I enjoy the seasonally availabe Coffee-Mate Peppermint Mocha creamer, occasionally found year-round at select Target stores in my area. It’s sweet and minty without being overpowering.

The flavor of the peppermint white hot chocolate is reminiscent of the peppermint creamer, but it’s made from all-natural ingredients, no funky syrups required. The recipe can easily be halved, doubled, or tripled and comes together in five minutes from start to finish.

Add four cups of milk to a large microwave-safe bowl. I use 2% milk because it’s a nice balance between richness and creaminess without gluttony. I could happily and easily drink a mug melted white chocolate and heavy cream, but I like to be able to zip my jeans.

Adding a splash of half-and-half to each mug before serving is also a good trick to add a touch of luxury without being ridiculous. Feel free to use almond, soy, goat, or any milk you desire. I don’t know if coconut milk goes with peppermint, but feel free.

Add one heaping cup white chocolate chips, about six to eight ounces, to the milk. A chopped white chocolate baking or candy bar may be used instead of white chocolate chips. Don’t use white almond bark or white chocolate candy melts. They are made for candy-making and the packaging explicitly indicates they’re not to be mixed with milk or water or they will seize; and you’d have a gloppy mess.

Heat the mixture on high power for about ninety seconds, up to about two minutes. Cooking times will vary by microwave but the mixture should be very warm, but don’t let it boil. White chocolate is notorious for scorching so keep a watchful eye. You could do this over the stovetop and low heat, but at midnight when I crave this, the microwave is infinitely easier and faster.

Stir or whisk the mixture until it’s smooth and the white chocolate chips have melted. Then add the peppermint extract. Adding anywhere from one-quarter to three-quarters of one teaspoon is probably where most people will enjoy the beverage, but the extract should be added slowly and to taste.

I mention these items every time I call for peppermint extract in a recipe : It’s infinitely stronger and more potent than vanilla extract and a little goes a very long way. One-quarter teaspoon of peppermint extract is extremely noticeable whereas I’d hardly bat an eye at the same quantity of vanilla extract. You can’t un-do or mask it once added, so start slowly, taste drink, and add more if necessary.

There are different types of mint extracts including peppermint, spearmint, wintermint, and mint. I use generic store-brand peppermint extract . There’s also peppermint oil and because I don’t use it, I don’t know how much would be needed.

After stirring in the peppermint extract, I like to transfer the mixture to my Vita-Mix for a quick buzz to make sure any white chocolate bits are fully blended, and to fluff it up and add froth. It’s an optional step and sometimes I don’t do it if I don’t want to dirty my blender, but a thirty second whirl is nice. I love froth. Plus, marshmallows sit nicely on top of a frothy shelf rather than sinking.

Garnishing with marshmallows is also optional, but recommended because everything tastes better with marshmallows. They soften and absorb some of the sweet minty liquid and are prized little floating globes.

I could drink mug after mug of this creamy white elixir. I’m a huge white chocolate fan but it’s nice to break up that sweetness and the peppermint is soothing and palate-cleansing. It counterbalances the sweetness from the white chocolate without feeling like I just drank Listerine.

I’ve tried peppermint creamers and peppermint specialty drinks from coffee shops and sometimes the peppermint is far too overwhelming to even enjoy the drink. I prefer peppermint-infused rather than peppermint-takeover.

The best part is that it takes less than five minutes to make.

And I can be slurping in no time.

Peppermint White Hot Chocolate

Prep Time: 3 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: about 5 cups

White hot chocolate is a nice twist on traditional hot chocolate. It's sweet and creamy and this version includes peppermint, which balances the sweetness. The peppermint adds a refreshing element, without being over-powering. The flavor of the hot chocolate reminds me of a favorite peppermint specialty coffee creamer, minus the artificial ingredients. It's comforting, soothing, easy, and ready in under than 5 minutes. Recipe can easily be halved, doubled, or tripled.

Ingredients:

4 cups 2% milk (whole, soy, almond, goat, half-and-half, cream, heavy cream or any combination of milks desired may be used)

1 heaping cup white chocolate chips (6 to 8 ounces) or white chocolate bar, chopped

1/4 to 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract (see note below)

mini marshmallows for garnishing, optional

Directions:

In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the milk (I use 2% but use the type of milk or cream in preferred combinations) and the white chocolate and heat on high power for about ninety seconds, up to about two minutes. Cooking times will vary by microwaves but the mixture should be very warm, but don’t allow it to boil. White chocolate is notorious for scorching so keep a watchful eye. You could do this over the stovetop and low heat, but I prefer the microwave for ease.

Stir or whisk the mixture until it’s smooth and the white chocolate chips have melted. Add 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract and stir to incorporate. Taste the mixture and determine if more is desired. I use about 1/2 teaspoon in this recipe, but this will vary based on brand of extract and personal taste presences. Notes - Peppermint extract is infinitely stronger and more potent than vanilla extract and a little goes a very long way, it cannot be un-done or masked once added, so start slowly, taste the beverage, and add more if desired, to taste.

After stirring in the peppermint extract, optionally transfer the mixture to a blender and whirl for about 30 seconds, helping to ensure all white chocolate bits are fully blended, and to create froth. Pour into mugs an optionally garnish with mini-marshmallows. Serve immediately.

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Related Recipes:

Old-Fashioned Butter Mints (no-bake, gluten-free)

Homemade Thin Mints – (no-bake, vegan, gluten-free)

Creme de Menthe Bars (No-Bake, Vegan, GF)

Do you like hot chocolate – white or regular?

Peppermint fan? White chocolate fan?

I do love coffee and nothing will ever take it’s place but rotating in hot chocolate is a nice change-up.

Mint, especially this time of year, is perfect; whereas white chocolate is a year-round love. Here are 50 white chocolate recipes because I just can’t get enough of it.

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