Peppermint Bark is a very popular Christmas and wintertime chocolate treat. It typically consists of layers of dark and white chocolate studded with bits of peppermint. Some have more chocolate than others, and some have more mint, but they all get the same chocolate and mint combination across. Peppermint mochas are already a popular winter drink in coffee shops and, after getting a huge box of peppermint bark as a pre-holiday gift, I decided to use it as a base for my own peppermint mochas.
The recipe is easy: melt peppermint bark into hot coffee, top with milk and serve. You can garnish it with a peppermint stick, if you like, or just munch on any unused peppermint bark while your sip your holiday drink.
The amount of peppermint bark you will need for this recipe will vary, depending on the type of bark you have and how minty it is. Start with the 2-oz I recommend and go up from there as needed. If you need to add more, just go ahead and do it. You can always reheat your drink a little bit in the microwave to ensure that it is hot enough to melt all the chocolate.
Continue reading »
An affogato is an Italian dessert where a fresh shot of espresso is poured over a small scoop of ice cream. It’s a perfect melding of hot and cold for a coffee-lover. I usually make these with vanilla ice cream or gelato because vanilla and coffee is always a winning combination in my book. That said, you can really use any kind of ice cream that you think will work well with your shot. I would stay away from ice cream with big chunks in it (such as chunks of cookie dough), but other than that, there are many options.
This Double Coffee Affogato is for coffee lovers. It starts with coffee ice cream and is topped with espresso. You can buy the coffee ice cream – mocha would be a good choice, too – or use homemade. I opted to use my homemade Cafe Latte Ice Cream, increasing the coffee to two tablespoons for a stronger flavor. If you are using store-bought ice cream, pick a high quality brand like Haagen Dazs (they make my favorite coffee ice cream).
The only thing more refreshing than a big cup of iced coffee on a hot summer day is a coffee popsicle – assuming, of course, that you’re looking to have something with a little caffeine in it as your refresher! These coffee popsicles are easy to make and are probably a little bit better than the popsicles that you got from the ice cream truck as a kid, since they are made with all natural ingredients.
The mix for the popsicles is made with strong coffee, milk, sugar and a touch of vanilla. The finished popsicle is a bit like a plain coffee ice blended drink – good coffee and cream flavors, and a hint of sweetness. You can make it with brewed coffee, espresso or even instant coffee dissolved in hot water, and can alter the ratio of coffee-to-milk to suit your tastes. I also find that foods don’t taste quite as sweet when they are frozen, so I always make this mix a little bit sweeter than I would if I were drinking it hot, and recommend that you do the same for the best results.
I have a variety of popsicle molds in my collection, but you can easily make your own popsicles without a mold by following this tutorial if you don’t have any but want to try these on a hot day!
The term “Mexican chocolate” can refer to many different types of chocolate they all have one thing in common: they’re spicy. Mexican chocolate, in just about every form, is flavored with a variety of spices, and you’ll find flavors that include cinnamon and a variety of ground, dried chilies to add some heat to the mix. I’ve had it in brownies and desserts, but Mexican chocolate makes a fabulous hot chocolate and you can find it on the menus at many higher end coffee shops. It’s also easy to use Mexican chocolate to spice up your drinks at home. You can buy bars of the chocolate at many regular grocery stores these days and grind them up to stir into hot chocolate. I like to make my own mix and use it for drinks like this sweet-spicy Mexican Chocolate Cappuccino.
The mix I make includes cocoa powder, shaved dark chocolate (for extra richness), sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and a generous pinch of ground chipotle or pasila chilies. Cayenne pepper can work well, too, but should be used more sparingly as it doesn’t seem to blend quite as well with the chocolate. I’ll make a big batch and keep it in a ziploc bag for when I’m in the mood for some kicked up hot chocolate, but you can mix it up a drink at a time.
For the cappuccino, I combine the mexican chocolate mix with coffee and whisk it very well, then top it with steamed milk. Sprinkle some on top for garnish at your own risk, as those chilies can offer some real heat when they touch the tip of your tongue!
Continue reading »