I love the pre-made holiday coffee creamers that you can find in the store this time of year, but unfortunately they come with so many added ingredients, even the natural ones. After discovering more than a few added into my favorite blends, I decided to just make my own. It so easy, fun and you can create so many different flavors. Until this morning I was using maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice to flavor mine but it must officially have become the start of the Yule season because this morning I woke up with a taste for chocolate and peppermint! I've even made cherry chocolate using some juice from the cocktail cherries and some really good cocoa or salted chocolate and caramel. really the skies the limit! The only common denominators are heat and heavy cream. You can even use half and half, but I like the thickness of the heated cream. You don't have to use maple syrup..you can easily substitute stevia or honey. If you're a sugar lover go right ahead and use it, actually brown sugar is pretty great and lends a holiday richness...We don't use a lot of sugar, so these alternatives work just fine for me.
This is so simple to make. I begin with a cup of heavy whipping cream, or you could use an alternative milk if you like, it just wont get as thick as the whipping cream. I put it on a saucepan on the stove and begin to slowly bring it to a simmer. Then I add about 2 tablespoons of sweetener, more if you want and whisk it in.
Lastly I add the flavorings. If it's just spices or extracts, whisk them in , if you use cocoa powder it will take longer because it will need to melt. I like to use chocolate chips or a few squares of my favorite chocolate because it melts more easily. For this I used my favorite Icelandic Chocolate that is already flavored with mint!
Keep whisking until it is heated all the way through and thickening just a bit (if you've used whipping cream) and then pour it into the bottom of a mug. Top with hot coffee and stir and then sip. I promise you'll love this more than anything you buy from a coffee house... keep some fresh whipped cream around and top your coffee with whipped cream, peppermint chip, chocolate shavings, sprinkles....you name it, you can use it. Have fun and let me know what you create!
Heres a little bit of Polar Express Hot Chocolate Holiday Cheer for you!