Tuesday, December 9, 2014


Our new feature while we count down to Christmas is called the Elves Station, one of Santa's culinary elves is in contact from the North Pole giving us all sorts of ideas to make our holidays merrier. 
Our first installment is about creating a hot chocolate bar for the holidays.  These are perfect for trim the tree parties, after walking in the winter wonderland, or just for relaxing around the tree singing Christmas carols.
Here's how -
Homemade hot chocolate from Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa)
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 cups half-and-half
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon instant espresso or coffee powder
4 to 5 vanilla beans or cinnamon sticks, for garnish
 Heat the milk and half-and-half in a saucepan on medium heat to just below the simmering point. Remove the pan from the heat and add both chocolates. When the chocolates are melted, add the sugar, vanilla extract, and espresso and whisk vigorously. Reheat gently and serve immediately. Use a vanilla bean or cinnamon stick to garnish each serving.
Additions to serve -
shaved chocolate, peppermint sticks, ground cinnamon, chocolate covered espresso beans, whipped cream, marshmallows


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