A warm cup of creamy Peppermint Hot Chocolate can turn any winter day into a special occasion. This delightful beverage, with its rich taste and refreshing minty twist, is a staple of the holiday season. This article will guide you through the steps to make your own homemade cup of Mint Hot Chocolate, revealing the secret to achieving the perfect balance of chocolate-y sweetness and invigorating peppermint.
A Winter Classic: Peppermint Hot Chocolate
Why do we love Peppermint in a cup of Hot Chocolate? It’s the combination of soothing warmth, rich chocolate, and a minty kick that makes this drink a winter classic. A sip of this comforting beverage can instantly transport you to a cozy fireside, wrapped up in a plush blanket while watching the snowfall. My favorite!!!
The beauty of homemade Hot Chocolate with Peppermint lies in its simplicity. You’ll only need a few ingredients, most of which you probably already have in your kitchen.
- Milk: The base of our hot chocolate, milk, brings creaminess to the drink. You can use any milk, but whole milk or 2% milk are recommended for the richest taste. For those looking for a non-dairy option, almond milk or coconut milk are great alternatives.
- Cocoa Powder: This is what gives our drink its signature chocolate flavor. Regular cocoa powder will work fine, but make sure to use unsweetened. You may also use dutch process cocoa powder for a richer chocolate flavor.
- Sugar: To sweeten the drink, we’ll use granulated sugar. If you prefer your hot chocolate less sweet, feel free to adjust the quantity or use a liquid monk fruit sweetener to cut back on the sugar.
- Salt: Don’t be scared away by this ingredient, you just need a teensy tiny amount, which helps to balance the flavor.
- Peppermint Extract: Depending on how strong you want your peppermint flavor to be, you can also add peppermint extract to your Peppermint Hot Chocolate. To start with flavoring, you should add 1/8 tsp of peppermint extract per cup of hot chocolate. You can add more depending on your preferred peppermint strength.
- Peppermint Candy (Optional): This is where the magic happens. A candy cane, crushed into small pieces, is our secret ingredient. It’s easy to find during the holiday season and gives the hot chocolate a natural peppermint flavor without any artificial additives.
- Vanilla Extract (Optional): While this is not a must-have, a hint of vanilla can add a touch of warmth and depth to your hot chocolate.
The Perfect Chocolate-Mint Balance
The trick to the perfect minty cup of hot chocolate is getting the right balance between the rich chocolate and the bright peppermint. Too much peppermint might make your hot chocolate taste more like toothpaste than a comforting drink. Conversely, too little might leave you wondering if there’s any mint in there at all.
Typically, for a single serving, 1/8 a teaspoon of peppermint extract should suffice. However, you might want to start with even less if you’re not a huge fan of peppermint. Remember, it’s much easier to add more peppermint than to remove it once it’s in there.
How to Make Peppermint Hot Chocolate
Making a cup of this yummy goodness is as easy as it gets. No special equipment or barista skills needed, just a saucepan and a whisk.
- Combine Ingredients: In a saucepan, combine the sugar, cocoa powder, and a tablespoon of water. Heat it over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.
- Add Milk: Stir in the milk and a pinch of salt and continue to heat the mixture. Make sure it doesn’t boil; a light simmer is enough.
- Add Peppermint and Optional Vanilla Extract: Stir in the peppermint extract and vanilla extract if desired.
- Serve: Once the mixture is warm, pour into your mug and top with your desired garnishes such as whipped cream, shaved Ande’s mint, mini marshmallows, and/or crushed peppermint candies.
This basic recipe is just a starting point. Here are a few variations to mix things up:
- Richer Hot Chocolate: For a more indulgent drink, replace some of the milk with heavy cream or half-and-half.
- Extra Chocolatey Hot Chocolate: Add some chopped chocolate or high-quality chocolate chips for a deeper chocolate flavor.
- Peppermint Mocha: Replace some of the milk with strongly brewed coffee to turn your hot chocolate into a delicious Peppermint Mocha.
- Lighter Options: If you prefer your hot chocolate a bit lighter, you can reduce the amount of cocoa powder or use 1% or skim milk.
- 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 2 ½ tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 c. milk
- teeny tiny pinch of salt
- ⅛ tsp. peppermint extract
- ¼ tsp. vanilla extract optional
- whipped cream, shaved Ande's mint, and/or crushed peppermint candy for garnish
- In a saucepan, combine the sugar, cocoa powder, and a tablespoon of water. Heat it over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.
- Stir in the milk and a pinch of salt and continue to heat the mixture. Make sure it doesn't boil; a light simmer is enough.
- Stir in the peppermint extract and vanilla extract if desired.
- Once the mixture is warm, pour the hot chocolate into your mug and top it with your desired garnishes such as whipped cream, shaved Ande's mint, mini marshmallows, and/or crushed peppermint candies.
Enjoying Your Minty Hot Chocolate
There’s no wrong way to enjoy Peppermint Hot Chocolate. You can keep it simple, savoring the rich, minty flavor on its own, or you can dress it up with toppings like whipped cream, shaved chocolate, marshmallows, or a sprinkling of crushed candy canes.
For a festive touch, add a whole candy cane as a stirrer. As it melts into the hot chocolate, it’ll infuse it with even more peppermint flavor.
Whether you’re snuggled up on the couch with a good book, decorating the Christmas tree with your family, or just coming in from the cold, a mug of homemade Peppermint Hot Chocolate is the perfect companion. So go ahead, embrace the chill in the air, and warm up with this delightful winter treat.