Chase the Winter Blues Away Cocoa


During the chilly winter months, it’s often more fun to entertain friends at home than to brave the elements to dine out. When your focus is warmth and comfort, consider serving your adult guests this sophisticated cocoa for dessert.

2 1/2    cups whole or low-fat milk (don’t use nonfat)
1/4       cup granulated sugar
31/2    ounces good-quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, grated or finely chopped
1/4      cup good-quality cocoa powder, loosely packed
4         tablespoons peppermint schnapps
1/2      cup heavy cream, whipped
2–3     small peppermint candies, crushed

In a medium saucepan, stir together the milk and sugar and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the chopped chocolate and the cocoa, whisk well and simmer, whisking continuously, until the chocolate and cocoa are completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the peppermint schnapps.

Pour cocoa into four prewarmed mugs. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with the crushed candy. Serves 4.