My heart often hurts for the most beautiful things in life. Pain in the midst of perfection, it almost seems impossible and yet I feel it everyday in the mundane moments that make up my life. I feel it when Octave tells me she loves me. When I watch how proud she is of counting, and memorizing Italian words and phrases. When I make a loud noise in the kitchen (which happens often,) and she runs in to ask “mama, you okay?” When I witness the look on her face when her and daddy soak up good music together, or when she tastes bacon or hot chocolate for the very first time. Perfection, because in these moments everything seems right in the world, and there is nothing I could ever want to change. Pain, because as soon as I acknowledge such perfection, the moment is already slipping away. I declare my gratitude and watch the moment absorb into my skin, and transcend its way into, forever in my mind. I tuck these moments inside my cells, weave them between our family meals, and preserve them through my recipes and words. Maybe these perfect moments really can last forever.
This hot chocolate is a cup full of warm sunshine, in a season that has been challenging for our family. It is heaven on earth, in our cups. It is that good! I look forward to drinking it next year, with my new family of four. I look forward to laughing and crying, and saying, “remember that crazy season in Wyoming…”
Merry Christmas friends!
Peppermint Hot Chocolate
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1 bar of 33% milk chocolate*
1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. peppermint flavor*
Pinch of sea salt
Coconut Whipped Cream
1 can of full fat coconut milk, refrigerated for at least 12 hours
2-3 tbsp. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
On low heat, in a medium saucepan melt the bar of chocolate. This will take only a minute or two so be careful not to burn. Slowly pour in milk and increase heat to medium. Whisk continuously until milk is luke warm and chocolate has combined well. Once milk is warm, add coco powder and whisk for 1 minute until combined. Add vanilla and peppermint. Continue to whisk until hot chocolate is very warm to the touch, but not quite boiling. Remove from heat, pour in glasses and serve with a generous dollop of coconut whipped cream.
To make coconut whipped cream, remove the solid coconut fat from the liquid, and discard liquid or save for later. (Keeping it in the fridge for at least 12 hours will help the separation.) Place coconut cream in a deep bowl. Add powdered sugar and vanilla, and beat with a hand mixer for 1 minute. Any longer it may lose its consistency. Store in the fridge until ready to use. This makes more than you need for 2 servings of hot chocolate but you can enjoy it on many other holiday goodies!
*I used the chocolove brand. If you choose to use a different brand just try to keep the percentage (33%) the same.