I was thinking about Christmas as a child and how so many of the holiday rituals were connected to specific foods: Christmas Eve – tourtière; Christmas day – turkey and dressing; Boxing Day – ham and cabbage rolls. Even preparing for the day had ritualistic dishes. Hanging the lights meant hot chocolate, and trimming the tree, egg nog. Of course now as an adult, I have only to catch a whiff of tourtière and I feel Christmas Eve. How powerful our senses are! When I saw this recipe for hot chocolate in Donna Hay’s issue #86, it immediately transported me back to the many years of hanging Christmas lights, getting the exterior of the house ready for Christmas festivities. We would race back inside and warm up with a steaming cup of hot cocoa. This recipe puts a little spin on our favourite winter beverage. It is as much fun to nibble the chocolate and cookie crumb rims, as it is to gulp down the creamy hot chocolate. I toasted the marshmallows with my kitchen torch, so they began to melt as soon as they hit the hot chocolate. Oh boy, this may become an addiction! And for all the adults, once you come down from the ladder, just add a good shot of chocolate liqueur to make this a truly celebratory holiday beverage.
I have the honour of co-hosting Fiesta Friday this week with my long-time blogging buddy, Hilda of Along the Grapevine. Be sure to check out her amazing blog for a myriad of ideas and recipes using foraged ingredients! If you have never joined Fiesta Friday’s link-up, please come and join us. Here are the guidelines. Happy Fiesta Friday to you all! And happy Thanksgiving to all of our American friends.
Spiced Hot Chocolate with Peanut Butter Biscuits and Toasty Marshmallows
100 g dark chocolate, melted
3 1/2 cups milk (I used whole milk)
¼ cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 white marshmallows
125 g unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup smooth peanut butter
½ cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup white flour
¾ cups whole wheat flour
To make the peanut butter biscuits, place the butter, peanut butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 6 minutes or until pale and creamy. Add the flours and beat until a dough forms. Roll out between 2 sheets of non-stick baking paper to 3 mm thick. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Using a fluted ravioli cutter, cut the dough into 2 inch by 6 inch strips (or whatever size you like). Place strips on parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Set aside to cool completely.
Crush 2 of the biscuits to fine crumbs and place in a small bowl. Place the melted chocolate in a bowl. Dip the rims of 2 x 1 ½ cup capacity glasses or jars in the melted chocolate and then in the crumbs.
Place the milk, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and remaining melted chocolate in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to just before boiling point and pour into glasses.
Toast the marshmallows with a kitchen blowtorch.
Add the marshmallows to the glasses of hot chocolate and pass the biscuits.
Store the extra biscuits in an airtight container. They would make a great crust for a chocolate and peanut butter pie!