Monday, December 19, 2011

Espresso Hot Cocoa

One of the favorite things I look forward to once the temperatures start dropping is hot cocoa. There's something just inherently Christmas-y about it. The rich chocolate smell and the bobbing white fluffy marshmallows can instantly put me in the holiday spirit and brings back childhood memories of my mom making my sister and I hot cocoa from packets of Swiss Miss.

Last weekend, my parents and I spent our Saturday helping my sister and Brent decorate their new home for their first Christmas.

And boy did we go all out! Digging through boxes of ornaments, oohing and ahhing over them as they are revealed, untangling lights, rehanging the lights twice, hanging each ornament perfectly, and stringing bell door hangers is exhausting though.  So, all of that hard work called for a mid-hot cocoa break!
Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree!
Brent kindly offered to make us his home-made hot cocoa to revive our flagging spirits.  While there were no marshmallows, it was definitely a home run that was made all the better with a shot of espresso and finished off with a little chocolate log of pure hedonism. For an even more over the top twist, I would add a shot of bourbon or Grand Marnier. Now THAT is what I call holiday cheer!

Thank you Brent for sharing this classic recipe with me and all my readers! Happy holidays to everyone!!

Makes 5 9-oz servings

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup Hershey's or Ghiradelli cocoa powder
Dash salt
1/3 cup hot water
4 cups skim milk
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
4 shots espresso
Dash of cinnamon
Marshmallows or chocolate log to garnish (optional)

1. Whisk together cocoa, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan. Stir in water. Heat over medium until boiling. Add milk, continue whisking together and remove all lumps. Do not let boil or the milk will burn.

2. Remove from heat and add vanilla, espresso and cinnamon. Using a handheld foamer, create a slight froth.

3. Pour into 5 mugs and top with garnish of your choice. Turn on your favorite holiday movie and enjoy!!
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even the dog.


  1. Yum!!! I haven't had a hot chocolate forever. Will have to have some while ice skating this weekend!