Peppermint Hot Chocolate

So there is only one thing I like to get at Starbucks, but I like it A LOT.  I had my first Starbucks peppermint hot chocolate during high school and I was in love.  I got one every week; not only does it taste great, but also it is the perfect temperature — every time.  Well it occurred to me towards the end of high school that it really wasn’t that healthy to give into my weekly Starbucks indulgence.  They use more cream and sugar than I want to think about.  My weekly treat lessened to a few times a year.DSC_0959Well Starbucks really does make a great peppermint hot chocolate I have decided that they don’t own the whole market and in an effort to save money and make it healthier I set out to make my own.  Now I can sit on the couch in cozy clothes wrapped in a blanket sipping my own peppermint treat.  Oh man that is what I want to be doing, right now. DSC_0915So yesterday I started my hot chocolate making adventures and I learned a few things that I thought would be helpful to share for when you make it yourself.  Lesson number one.  Peppermint extract comes out really fast.  Don’t measure it over the food you’re making.  Measure it somewhere where it won’t matter if it spills over your measuring spoon.  Putting too much peppermint makes it taste like toothpaste hot chocolate… not exactly what we want. DSC_0961I actually used 2 T of cocoa powder, but it required so much agave to balance out the bitterness of the cocoa, which made it a little too rich for my taste.  I dropped the cocoa down to 1.5 T.  Start there and if you want more add it in a little at a time:-) The more cocoa you add the more agave it will take so you will also need to adjust your sweetener ratio.  Another ingredient that will vary a lot is the cinnamon.  I actually used a whole teaspoon in mine, but my husband though it was way too much.  If you want it to be more strictly peppermint flavored only add a little bit of cinnamon, but if you are like me and think cinnamon makes everything better then add some more in:-) DSC_0976I made mine in my mug… because it was much more picturesque that way, but it would be so much easier throwing everything into your blender and then heating it once everything is mixed together.  That way you can avoid the oh-so-bitter-cocoa-powder-chunks.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

1 ½ – 2 C almond milk

3 t vanilla

1/8 t peppermint extract

1 T almond butter

1 ½ T unsweetened cocoa powder

¼ t nutmeg

¼ – ¾ t cinnamon

2 T agave, extra to taste

  1. Pour one and a half cups of milk into blender.  Add vanilla, peppermint, almond butter, cocoa, nutmeg, cinnamon and agave to the milk and pulse until all the powder has mixed in with the liquids.
  2. Pour into mug and microwave for approximately two minutes.  (This will depend on how strong your microwave is.) -OR- Pour contents of blender into a pot and simmer on medium-low to medium until the cocoa is the between warm and hot.

* Start with only a cup and a half of the milk and then add more in if it needs it.  Also add the 2 T of agave to start with and then fine-tune the exact amount as you like it.  Remember if you change the amount of cocoa you use it will affect the agave amount as well.DSC_1000DSC_1009

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