Mexican Hot Chocolate (and a 2014 rewind)

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Two weeks post-op and things are going well! I’m not back in the kitchen yet, but this recipe is one I came up with a couple of years ago and this is the perfect time of year to share it with you 🙂

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This year has been a doozy. I’ve bookended my year with two knee surgeries, been paid to write recipes, met some wonderful (and not so wonderful) people, laughed, cried and hugged. Watched my brother graduate from college (what?!). I’ve drunk too much wine and eaten too much cheese. Spent quality time with my family, and done all kinds of crazy, fantastic things with my best friends. Some things have dramatically changed and some have stayed the same. It’s been a good year and at times a really tough year, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. A year of self-discovery.

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But back to the recipe.

Is there anyone who doesn’t like hot chocolate? I mean, a perfect cup of rich, creamy hot chocolate is the perfect drink to warm you up on a cold day.

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This takes hot chocolate to a whole new level. It’s slightly spicy and will warm you up from your head to your toes. I’m even going to say it will light a fire in your soul. Yeah, I went there.

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This could not be any easier to make. All you have to do is through a few ingredients in a pot, heat it up, mix together and pour into mugs. Top with whipped cream if you want to go crazy. Maybe a little sprinkle of cinnamon on top, too. Yes!

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Mexican Hot Chocolate:
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. chile powder
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup water (if you like really thick hot chocolate, leave this out)

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients over medium heat, whisking constantly until hot but not boiling, about 8 minutes (mixture should be smooth). Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream, if desired.

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Gingerbread Cookies

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Fall quarter has officially come to an end, winter break has started and I’m writing this from my bed where I’m currently recovering from knee surgery.

This past quarter at school has definitely been my favourite quarter so far. I don’t think I’ve ever loved a class quite as much as I loved my chocolates class. I had great team members — we may have called ourselves the gimp squad but we got our stuff done and we did it well!

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We tempered chocolate, played with 320° sugar, created sugar masterpieces, made our own candy bars, truffles. I had so much fun I still can’t stop talking about it. Our final involved making a chocolate box and filling it with truffles, meltaways and marshmallows we made.

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The best.

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I can’t believe I only have one quarter left. This has all gone so fast and I’ve had the most amazing time.

But back to today’s recipe.

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This is a recipe for gingerbread cookies that I came up with and have been using for years. While I haven’t made them this year due to my problem knee, they have been a total hit in the past and you all should definitely put on your aprons and chef hats and make them! And then you can bring them to my house 🙂

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Gingerbread Cookies: 

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup unsulphured molasses

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
  2. In another bowl or using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and molasses and beat until combined. Gradually add the flour mixture, beating until incorporated. Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm (about 2 hours).
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Use gingerbread cookie cutters or other shapes to cut out cookies and place on baking sheet. Bake for 8-12 minutes, until firm and edges are beginning to brown. Remove cookies from oven and transfer to wire rack to cool. Decorate as desired, or leave plain.

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