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Homemade Hot Cocoa with Peppermint

My daughter and her two best friends decided it was more important to have a get-together this Christmas than to exchange gifts. I applaud them for this decision, as it reminds us that Christmas isn’t about how much money you spend purchasing gifts. When I asked the girls what they wanted to eat at their little party, they said “hot chocolate.” Hot chocolate is a perfect choice, but I wasn’t about to let them have it plain. It is a party after all! I decided to spice up the hot chocolate by adding a few key ingredients.

First, you have to make the hot cocoa base. Normally, I would just use a hot chocolate packet from the grocery store, but this was a special occasion. I Poured 5 ½ cups of milk in a medium-sized saucepan. Then I added ¼ cup of cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and ½ cup of granulated sugar. I made sure to stir it constantly while bringing the ingredients to a boil. Once the cocoa reached a boil, I removed the saucepan from the heat.

Next, I added the peppermint flavor. I did this two different ways. I mixed in 1 tablespoon of peppermint extract, and then poured the homemade cocoa into individual mugs. After, I set a plain candy cane in each mug of hot cocoa.

Finally, I topped each mug of hot cocoa off with a handful of mini marshmallows, and a dollop of whipped cream. The girls thought they were in heaven. I’ll have to make this again Christmas Eve to have with my family!