Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The World's Most Delicious Hot Chocolate

My friends, my countrymen,

In the American season of Yule Tide, a good cup of hot chocolate plays a vital role. It matters not if you live in an area that sees feet of snow or inches of rain during the winter months, hot chocolate is a must-have. And while this has yet been proven, the quality of said hot chocolate directly affects the quality of your holiday experience.

This truth firmly implanted in my noodle, I have actively sought out the world's best hot chocolate recipe.

First, I tried the powdered varieties. Sure, the Swiss Miss packs taste chocolaty and yes, the premium and super premium powders at Kroger and Wal-Mart exceed the expectations for richness and flavor. But I always come away from this granulated beverages feeling let-down. They lack depth of flavor. Even if I substitute milk for water, it still leaves me wanting more yet getting less.

Then, I experimented with an old standby, Hershey's chocolate syrup and milk.

This combination has a more well-rounded flavor and is leaps and bounds above the powdered varieties. I am pleased when the host of the house offers me a cup of hot chocolate and it is made with milk and Hershey's syrup. It's the Honda Accord of hot chocolate; you pay a little more than the average but it's a quality ride from point A to point B. Hondas are nice but when it comes to hot chocolate I was a Rolls-Royce.

Tonight, I discovered a Rolls-Royce...fully loaded! I know! How could it possibly get any better, you ask? IT CAN'T!

  1. Start by melting some semi-sweet chocolate pieces. Fill bowl #1 with hot water, then fill bowl #2 with chocolate pieces. Gently place bowl #2 into bowl #1, thus passively and thoroughly melting the chocolate to a smooth-syrup consistency.

  2. Add the kick. Add one spoonful of peanut butter to the melted chocolate and stir until completely incorporated. Of course, if you are allergic to peanuts (or are too scared to experience hot chocolate as you've never before) leave out this step (wuss).

  3. Heat up your milk. Pour the desired amount of milk into your favorite mug and microwave for 2.5 to 3 minutes depending on your "hot" preference.

  4. Pour the chocolate/peanut butter mixture into heated milk. Duh. Then stir.

  5. Add a dollop of Cool Whip (or homemade whipped cream if you have it).

  6. And the Cherry on Top. Drizzle a small amount of Hershey's chocolate syrup on top.

  7. Sip slowly with eyes closed and Christmas music softly playing in the background.

I made this recipe for the first time tonight and it has lifted my holiday cheer to new heights! Speaking of holiday cheer, if you wanted to add some to your HC, I'd suggest a peppermint, almond, or caramel flavor keeping in mind that you may want to subtract the peanut butter. Try it one way and then suit to taste.

I call it Hot Reese's because simply "hot chocolate" doesn't do it justice. Give it a try and then tell me how you like it!

A New Virtual Library

For those of you who may be interested, I have been archiving some of my past writings online. These writings are old college papers, e-mail to the youth of the church where I served as youth minister, short stories, blog/forum posts, and much more.

If you'd like to visit Liberty's Library and read a spell, go to www.jecanterbury.blogspot.com

Thank you and have a great evening!

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