I never get sick of gingerbread, I truly wish it weren’t considered a seasonal thing (gingerbread is my pumpkin spice if you know what I’m saying). Finding ways to work those warm and delicious flavours into all possible things never gets old or boring. The marriage of gingerbread and hot chocolate therefore just seemed meant to be to me. Especially because one of the Christmas cookies that I always make are gingerbread biscotti. So now I can dip gingerbread in gingerbread! Mind blown.
Also, again going for the easy factor this time of year, you can easily quarter this recipe and just make it in a mug instead (heat up the almond milk in a mug in the microwave first, add everything else and whisk, whisk, whisk…and let it whisk you away to a joyful Christmas wonderland 😉 Lame Amber…I just….I can’t even 🙁 ).
Though they are typically used interchangeably, there is technically a difference between Hot Cocoa and Hot Chocolate (yes, they both needed to be capitalized here. With chocolate, I say go big or go home…even if you’re only spelling it 😉 ). Now in case their naming conventions didn’t tip you off, technically Hot Cocoa should be made with cocoa powder and Hot Chocolate is made with…well..actual chocolate. Which one sounds better/ more delicious to you?
If you want to be all fancy Parisian Hot Chocolatey about it, reduce the almond milk in this and up the chopped chocolate/ chocolate chip factor. It will be much richer and thicker, so you probably don’t want to drink a traditional mug sized portion (but you know, do whatever floats your boat. Just make sure you know your own limits for chocolate consumption, and if you do decide to drink a full mug size portion…or two…be sure to have a designated driver because I can’t be held responsible if you start speeding down the road while under the influence of vast quantities of sugar and chocolate). Think of the portion size as more of a chocolate shot size instead. Like a liquefied chocolate bar (except without all the messiness and “ah man!!” that usually accompanies finding out the hard way that the chocolate bar you just opened was completely melted).
I had decided that this would be the perfect thing to make for Kevin and I’s tradition of dressing up the house and tree for Christmas whereby we usually indulge in homemade Hot Chocolate and some of my aforementioned Christmas treats. Sugar overload? Yes. But I really don’t see it as such a bad thing to have a little Energizer Bunny-esque energy to help you get all this stuff done. And, in my humble opinion, it’s a much more delicious way of energizing yourself than coffee or energy drinks. Plus, the sugar crash after should help you sleep like a baby! Just try not to have sugar overdose nightmares. To avoid this, I recommend eating something salty or at least snuggling up with a bag of chips so that the salty and the sweet can duke it out in your dreams. Cookie vs Pretzel, the fight of the century! (My bet is on the pretzel. I mean, have you seen the pretzel-like contortions they manage to twist themselves into? 😉 The cookie would likely just roll slugishly across the boxing ring gasping for breath and asking for a break before the fight even starts)….or maybe this would happen:
Ah Pretzel-Cookie love – does anything say peace on earth and goodwill to all more than this? 😉
“The cookie and the pretzel will frolick together, and a little snack food will lead them.” (please don’t send me to hell fire and damnation for all eternity for bastardizing this bible verse…it’s really coming from a sweet sweet place of peace and mmmmm…….)
Yield: 4 servings
- 4 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips or chopped good quality chocolate (You’re obviously really going to taste the chocolate here, so do yourself a favour and don’t skimp by using “chocolate confection” *shudder*)
- 1 tablespoons molasses
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- a pinch of sea salt (optional)
- Coconut whipped cream (optional)
- Candied ginger slices (optional)
- Heat the milk in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.
- Once the milk is warm, whisk in the chocolate, stirring until melted and steaming hot.
- Add in the molasses and spices and whisk until completely blended.
- At this point, taste it and if you find it too rich, add a little more almond milk until it reaches desired level of deliciousness. If it’s not rich/ chocolatey enough, add a bit more chocolate, whisking until it’s completely melted in.
- If desired, take a slice of candied ginger and cut halfway through, then decorate the edge of your mug (or soup bowl depending how much of a hot chocolate mood you’re in 😉 ). Alternatively, you could top with coconut milk whipped cream and grate some of the candied ginger over top.
- Consume while tree decorating (but not while gingerbread making because you don’t want gingerbread overload, that would be a crying shame 😉 )