Every year, about three weeks into the month of January, I start dreaming of beaches, sand, bikinis, warm sunshine, and margaritas. I shut my eyes tightly and plead to be transported somewhere, anywhere, warmer than here. These next three months, the long weeks between the bustle of the holidays and fluttering down the sidewalk in a cute sundress, toughen up us New Yorkers. Or at least it toughens up those of us who have migrated from warmer climates.
Mother nature has thrown us an especially harsh winter this year - an endless stream of storms coupled with unyielding frigid temperatures. This type of cold seeps deeply into your bones, only melting away by tucking yourself tightly under a down comforter and cupping a steaming cup of homemade hot chocolate. As each sip passes my lips, it warms me from head to toe, and I am one sip closer to the warmer days ahead.
Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate
adapted from Martha Stewart Living, February 2011
active time 5 minutes
total time 10 minutes
makes 4 servings
This recipe is the perfect cure for the winter blues - not only a vessel of warm, thick liquid, but also boasting the irresistible combination of chocolate and peanut butter. I replace the whole milk and cream with skim milk, allowing the richness of the chocolate and the peanut butter to ring through. This substitution also provides the perfect recovery drink for runners returning from a long, cold winter run.
2 cups skim milk
1½ ounces bittersweet chocolate
1½ ounces milk chocolate
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
Heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks, for serving
In a medium saucepan over low heat, warm milk until it just begins to simmer and bubbles form around the edge of the pan. Whisk in chocolates and peanut butter until melted and smooth. Cover and continue warming over low heat until warm. For a thicker cup of cocoa, simmer hot chocolate uncovered until desired thickness is achieved. Ladle hot chocolate into individual mugs and top a dollop of whipped cream.