Peppermint Hot Chocolate Recipe (From Scratch)

There is nothing that shouts “Hello, Winter!” quite as loudly as peppermint-enhanced anything. However, the peppermint-chocolate combination, in all its many forms, has long been a perennial favorite for satisfying a wintertime sweet tooth. There is no doubt that while candies, cakes, and cookies that employ this famous duo are all scrumptious, there is absolutely NOTHING that tops a steaming hot cup of peppermint hot chocolate (well, except a tower of whipped cream or a mountain of marshmallows, of course!).

There are several ways to go about crafting the perfect cup of thick, creamy, mint-chocolaty perfection. The great thing is that you can make it whenever the mood strikes or create a batch in advance for all of your holiday merrymaking. It is just as simple to make a whole pot as it is to make one cup! Have a slow-cooker full on your countertop that your family can enjoy with cookies on a snow day. If you’re entertaining a crowd, consider presenting a hot chocolate bar with a variety of minty garnishes that will be sure to please all your guests! Offer up some crushed candy canes or peppermint sticks for stirring. Shaved chocolate is always delicious and children would most certainly enjoy showering their cups with winter-themed sprinkles.

When considering how to go about flavoring your hot chocolate, you have a few options. For example, crushed and melted candy canes will absolutely do the trick, although it may be slightly more difficult to gauge how minty the finished product will turn out. Also, it is a little more time-consuming. If you want to be fully in control of your peppermint-to-chocolate ratio, choose an extract. Pure peppermint extract is best. You can also use peppermint oil, although you will need far less of it, so be careful! If you’re looking to indulge in a cozy nightcap, peppermint schnapps is an ideal choice.  

The Ultimate Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 1-2 small mugs

(Or one large mug if you don’t feel like sharing!)

What You Will Need:

• 1 cup whole or 2% milk

• ¼ cup heavy whipping cream

• Sweeten to taste with sugar, 1-2 Tbsp.

• 3 oz. semi-sweet chocolate or ½ cup chocolate chips

• ¼ tsp. vanilla extract

• 1/8 tsp. peppermint extract, or your choice of peppermint flavoring to taste

• Pinch of kosher salt, to cut the sweetness

• Your favorite garnishes (whipped cream, marshmallows, etc.)

The How-To:

1. In a large saucepot over medium-low heat, whisk together the milk, cream, sugar, and salt.

2. When bubbles begin to form around the side of the pot, reduce heat to low and add chocolate and extracts. Whisk for 1-2 minutes, or until the chocolate is melted and glossy. It will also be slightly thickened.

3. Pour into your favorite mug and enjoy with as much whipped cream or as many marshmallows as your heart desires! Don’t forget the candy cane stirring stick!

Notes:

If you would rather your hot chocolate not be quite so rich, you can decrease the amount of chocolate you add to 2 ounces or 1/3 cup. Also, feel free to replace the heavy cream with an additional 1 ¼ cups of whole or 2% milk.

If you are a white chocolate aficionado, don’t worry, you were not forgotten here! To create your perfect cup, leave out the sugar and substitute 2 ounces, or 1/3 cup, of white chocolate that has been finely chopped or white chocolate chips in lieu of the semi-sweet.

Green Tea Brownies Recipe

Everyone knows about chocolate brownies and some people may have heard of “blondies,” a vanilla-based counterpart to the heavy chocolate focus of a traditional brownie, but have you ever considered that there was more to brownies than vanilla or chocolate? Provided below is a recipe for a type of brownie that focuses on the flavor profile of matcha green tea. Feel free to think of these baked goods as white chocolate “greenies.”

Ingredients for Brown Butter Green Tea Brownies

  • Butter, unsalted, 1/2 cup, browned
  • Chocolate, white, 4 oz
  • Matcha green tea powder, 2 tbsp
  • Sugar, granulated, 1 cup
  • Sugar, brown, light, 1/4 cup
  • Eggs, three
  • Vanilla extract, 1 tsp
  • Salt, 1/2 tsp
  • Flour, AP, 1 cup
  • Optional: Salt, flaky, 1/4 tsp

Tools and Equipment for Brown Butter Green Tea Brownies

  • Oven
  • Cake pan, 8″ square
  • Parchment paper
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Mixer, either handheld or freestanding

Directions for Making Brown Butter Green Tea Brownies

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. While the oven is warming up, grease up your baking pan and lines it with parchment paper. Set the readied baking pan aside for now.
  3. Heat your butter over high heat until it completely melts. Instead of taking the melted butter off the heat, change your heat to the low setting. Continue applying heat to the butter until you begin to see small, brown-colored bits of matter appearing. This is the moment when you need to remove the butter from the heat as you have sufficiently browned it.
  4. Add your white chocolate and matcha into a small bowl, followed by pouring brown butter over the top of the mixture and stirring everything up until the chocolate has melted. Give the chocolate/butter/matcha blend two minutes to cool off.
  5. In a large bowl, bring the sugars, eggs, vanilla extract, and salt together. Apply your mixer to it all until such time that it becomes a thick, creamy, and uniform mass; this should take somewhere between five and 10 minutes.
  6. While you are mixing, stream in the ganache (the chocolate, butter, and matcha), using a whisk until you have a nice, uniform green-colored mass.
  7. Sift your flour into the large mixing bowl and use a spatula to gently fold it into the batter until you have something resembling a green cake batter.
  8. Spoon the batter into the baking pan you greased and lined back in step 2.
  9. Bake for an amount of time between 20 and 30 minutes. Feel free to stab it with a toothpick to test if it is done; you will know your brownies are ready if the toothpick is free of batter when you pull it out.
  10. Remove the brownies from the oven and give them a good slam on the counter to free up any air held within.
  11. If you feel like being a little extra, give them all a sprinkle of flaky sea salt and return the brownies to the oven for another 10 minutes of baking.
  12. When you are all done baking these deliciously fudgy green tea brownies, give them 20 minutes to cool before letting anyone have a bite.

When everything is said and done, you will have nine delicious brownies imbued with the goodness of matcha green tea and white chocolate.