On very special occasions and during the holidays I love to make a few different desserts and drinks. There are very few things that make me wish for rigid Florida weather so I can wear warm, fuzzy robes and slippers on the inside of the house. When winter arrives, my favorite thing to make is hot chocolate, whether I do it from scratch or get by with a little help from my friends (Swiss Miss, that is). My hot chocolate is always in high demand with my family and friends and there’s no group of people I’d rather make it for other than them.
Heat up your fav milk on low heat (whole, half-n-half, almond, soy…), stir in unsweetened cocoa powder, spoon in granulated sugar (or your fav sugar substitute). Another great alternative to using granulated sugar is making a simple syrup like this one. In your mug add a few squares of your favorite milk chocolate (or whatever kind of chocolate you want) and pour the hot mixture over top of it. Whip up some heavy whipping cream and icing sugar to make your own whipped cream for topping. I have made this many times but, unfortunately, I do not have a photo of the homemade version. But… feast your eyes on this!
CandyBar (because I like them better than sidebars): Be careful when heating up your milk. You don’t want it boiling… you just want it to simmer (or have little bubbles around the edges of the pot). It may form a thin skin for which you could just stir it in or dip it out of the pot. It doesn’t bother me, but if you don’t like the milk skin then just strain it out. Ok, it does sound gross when you call it “milk skin”.
Again… heat up your fav milk and add in your favorite packaged hot chocolate mix. Sometimes in place of the chocolate bar I add my favorite chocolate sauce to the bottom of the mug before pouring in the hot mixture. Top it off with some whipped cream, sprinkle with cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg. Don’t forget that final drizzle of chocolate sauce. Yum!
For holiday potlucks I love to bring desserts because the recipes I keep in my hip pocket are so, super simple. Below is the fruit dip, which is simply an 8 oz. package of cream cheese and an 8 oz. jar of puffed marshmallow stirred together until smooth. This is so easy and delicious. You can use any fruit you want but my favorites with this dip are strawberries and various types of sliced apples.
One of my staple desserts that I make all year round is the strawberry shortcake trifle. It is all semi-homemade because I buy a pound cake from the store, cut it up in squares and put a layer in the trifle dish. Sprinkle just a little cinnamon over the cake layer, drizzle in some premade strawberry sauce and whipped cream. If you want to make your own strawberry sauce then boil together a cup of strawberries, half cup of granulated sugar and half cup of water to make a strawberry syrup (which you could also use on pancakes and waffles). Just keep layerin’, just keep layerin, just keep layerin’ layerin’ layerin’ (in my Dory voice). There you have your trifle. OMFG (the ‘f’ is for freaking you naughty one you)!!!
Hope you have enjoyed my simple hot chocolates and desserts.
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