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Mint Hot Chocolate

Whole milk makes a wonderfully rich drink, but low-fat milk produces a satisfying concoction as well. For a grown-up variation, add 1 to 2 Tbs. crème de menthe or crème de cacao to each mug. This elixir guarantees sweet dreams.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup chilled heavy cream
  • 4 Tbs. sugar
  • 3 Tbs. Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 4 cups milk
  • 4 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped, plus 1/2
      oz., shaved
  • 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract

Directions:

In a bowl, beat the cream and 1 Tbs. of the sugar until soft peaks form. Cover the whipped cream and refrigerate until ready to serve.

In a small, heavy saucepan, combine the remaining 3 Tbs. sugar and the cocoa. Gradually whisk in the milk. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer, whisking frequently. Add the chopped chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Stir in the peppermint extract.

Divide the hot chocolate among warmed mugs. Top each with a dollop of the whipped cream. Sprinkle with the shaved chocolate and serve immediately.
Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, After Dinner, by Kristine Kidd (Time-Life Books, 1998).