One of my favorite things about cold weather months is cozying up with a hot cup of something. Although I normally reach for a coffee or chai latte, there is something magical about a mug of hot chocolate this time of year. It has been so much fun to share a cup in the evenings with my little one snuggled up in our P.J.s by the light of our Christmas tree. It brings a smile to my face just thinking of how much joy he gets from a cup of hot chocolate, and he NEVER forgets to ask for some “cream”. Whatever you have planned for this Holiday season, I hope you are able to spend some time in the next few weeks just relaxing and enjoying a cup of something warm with someone you love. There is nothing better!
Cayenne in Hot Chocolate?
I’m not sure I’ve ever had a cup of hot chocolate that I didn’t enjoy, but once I tried Mexican hot chocolate, I never looked back! That little bit of spiciness from the cinnamon, and heat from the cayenne adds an extra layer of warm and cozy that is completely irresistible. If you have never tried cayenne in hot chocolate, please don’t be intimidated! It is such a small amount of cayenne. You know it is there, because you can feel the warmth, but it is very mild and the hot chocolate doesn’t taste spicy. My two year old tolerates it just fine. You can also skip the cayenne, and keep the cinnamon, or leave them both out if you wish. You will still have an excellent cup of hot chocolate, but for me the spices really make the drink!
Perfect Gift For the Holidays
The cocoa blend makes for a wonderful present! I like to gift little hot chocolate making “kits” this time of year that have all the ingredients and directions for making the drink. Mason jars are perfect for the cocoa blend, and you can throw in a cute Christmas mug for a super sweet gift that anyone will love. You can also make up a batch of the spice blend from my Perfect Chai Lattes to gift alongside a box of chai tea. Homemade gifts are just the best, and these are both easy, inexpensive, and sure to be enjoyed.
In Asheville, the Grove Park Inn hosts a national gingerbread house competition every year that is a real treat. The displays are incredibly elaborate and beautiful (see 2019 winners here), and it is something I look forward to each year. Fortunately the competition will continue virtually this year despite the COVID pandemic, but I’ll probably be missing out on my annual Grove Park Inn salted caramel hot chocolate. ????
Other Recipes to Try
If you enjoy this recipe, You HAVE to try my Most Amazing Mexican Mocha Cheesecake. It is inspired by the same flavors and is absolutely Divine. I plan to bake several for gifting this holiday season. If you are looking for something a little less involved, give my Softest Sugar Cookies or Ginger Molasses Cookies a try. More cookie recipes coming soon! Happy Holidays everyone.Print
Cozy up with a mug of wonderfully rich hot chocolate, infused with cinnamon and cayenne for some extra warmth. This Mexican hot chocolate is sure to heat you right up this winter!
Cocoa Blend (makes enough for 4 batches, 24+ total servings)
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Hot Chocolate (6 servings)
- 2 cups 2% milk
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup of cocoa blend (see above)
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips/chunks
- whipped cream
- chocolate shavings
- a dash of extra cinnamon
- cinnamon stick
- a drizzle of chocolate syrup
Recipe for Individual serving
- 1 cup 2% or whole milk
- a dash of pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa blend
- 2 tablespoon semisweet chocolate chips
- In a small bowl, whisk together the unsweetened cocoa powder, sugar, cinnamon, salt and cayenne pepper. (Store extra cocoa blend in air tight container for hot chocolate any time!)
- In a medium sauce pan over medium low heat, bring the milk to a gentle simmer. (do not boil, it should just gently bubble at the edges).
- Whisk in the vanilla, cocoa blend and semisweet chocolate chips/chunks. Continue to whisk until the powder is well combined and the chocolate chips have completely melted.
- Serve hot with whatever toppings you prefer!
- You can store leftover hot chocolate in an air tight container in the refrigerator. Just be sure to avoid letting it come to a boil when reheating on the stove.
- Category: Drinks
- Method: Simmer
- Cuisine: Seasonal
Keywords: hot chocolate, cinnamon, spicy