Today is a sad day. Time to put away the Christmas decorations.

NativityCandle

I love Christmas, don’t you? I guess there are still a few Scrooges in the world, but most people I know love the wonder of it–Jesus came for us! And we always enjoy warm times together with family and friends. Shortly before Christmas, we invited the students who live on our floor over for hot chocolate and cookies…

ChristmasCookieInvite1

ChristmasCookieInvite

Due to Christmas schedules, everyone couldn’t come, but we had a delightful evening with those who did…

CocoaParty1

CocoaParty2Warm

CocoaParty3

Here’s the cookies…most of the recipes are from O Taste & See Some More!

Cookies

For the hot chocolate, I decided to have a Hot Chocolate Bar…sort of a last minute decision so I didn’t go out and buy anything special for it–though you could–but just looked around my house for things that might go nicely in hot chocolate.

CoffeeBarClose

There was Bailey’s Irish Cream–don’t put too much! Peppermint–for a festive flare. Instant coffee–for a mocha taste. Chocolate Sprinkles–for the Dutch among us who eat them every day on everything. Cinnamon–for that Viennese twist. There were marshmallows–tiny white ones and colorful big ones, because what is hot chocolate without marshmallows? And we had whipped cream–for that final hurrah! on top.

For the hot chocolate, I used wonderful Belgian chocolate–of course.

Chocolate2

And I followed a “recipe” given to me by my neighbor, Fernanda, from Italy. This is not like the hot chocolate you mix up from a package. It’s rich and luscious so the serving size might be smaller than you’re used to. But it’s so rich that I find a big mug is almost too much.

Grammi 54 di cioccolato fondente al 66% di cacao
Grammi 70/80 di latte fresco scremato
Grammi 10 di zucchero bianco fine

(English recipe below.)

I added the sugar to the lowfat milk and heated it to the boiling point, stirring it occasionally. While it was heating, I chopped the chocolate…

ChoppedChoc2

…lots of chocolate since I was making ten servings…

ChoppedChoc
Once the milk was just at the boiling point, I dumped in the chopped chocolate…
DumpChoc2

…lots of chocolate!…

DumpChoc
Then, I put the cover on, and let it all melt. When everyone arrived, I heated it back to the boiling point, stirring it frequently so it didn’t burn on the bottom, and we ladled it into our frosted mugs…

HotCocoa

Everyone garnished their mug in their own unique way…and we sat down to enjoy a delightful evening together!

Even though we’re putting Christmas “away” this week, don’t wait until next Christmas to have a hot chocolate bar! You can enjoy one if you’re snowed in in Rhode Island today! Or after a day of skiing this winter! Or just any time you have a cravin’ for a warm, cozy cup of hot chocolate with family and friends!

Enjoy!

Ciao!

Debbie

Homemade Hot Chocolate

Yield: 1 mug; can easily be doubled or tripled...

Homemade Hot Chocolate

Ingredients

  • 2 oz./55 g good quality semisweet chocolate--at least 66% cocoa
  • 1/3 C. (80 g) low fat milk
  • 2 tsp./10 g sugar

Instructions

  1. Add the sugar to the lowfat milk. Heat just until the boiling point over low heat, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the roughly chopped chocolate, cover and set aside.
  3. After 5-10 minutes, stir gently until uniform in color.
  4. Reheat to the boiling point and serve. Garnish as desired with: marshmallows, whipped cream, instant coffee, peppermint, Bailey's, cinnamon, etc.
http://ciaofromdebbie.com/blog/holidays/hot-chocolate-bar/

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