With a chill in the air, we all start thinking of warm drinks to help warm our bodies and souls. What better than a new mug from Dirty Dog Pottery (although they are out of Florida and don’t quite get what us Midwesterners feel this time of year), perfect mugs to wrap your hand around. They even add a comforting message on the bottom of each mug.
How about some fun ideas on what to fill them with?
And even better, check out the last two recipes for a hot cocoa dry mix and homemade marshmallows (so much better than what you can buy at the store) that you can make and couple with a new mug—just right for that “hard to buy for” person on your holiday gift list!
Who doesn’t love hot chocolate?
WHITE CHOCOLATE STEAMERS
Thanks to BrownEyedBaker.com
Yield: 4 drinks Prep time: 10 minutes
A recipe for white hot chocolate spiked with whipped cream vodka, infused with crushed candy canes and topped with whipped cream.
6 tablespoons Ghirardelli Sweet Ground White Chocolate
3 ounces (2 shots) whipped cream vodka
2 candy canes, crushed, plus more for garnish
24 ounces steamed (or warmed) milk
1. Place 1½ tablespoons of the ground white chocolate in four 8-ounce mugs. Add ½ of a shot to each mug and stir together with the ground chocolate. Sprinkle in a quarter of the crushed candy canes and stir.
2. Slowly pour the hot milk into each mug. Top with whipped cream and more crushed candy canes, if desired
GINGERBREAD HOT COCOA
Serves: Makes 4 hot cocoas
4 cups milk
½ cup cocoa powder
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup white sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon sea salt
whipped cream for topping
In a medium saucepan over low heat, heat milk. While warming the milk, combine the cocoa powered, brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, allspice and ginger in a small bowl. Whisk into the milk until hot. Serve with whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon.
KAHLUA HOT CHOCOLATE
Thanks to DamnDelicious.com
Yield: 2 servings Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 5 minutes
So cozy, so boozy, and so perfect for these chilly nights!
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
1 ounce Kahlúa coffee liqueur
Mini marshmallows, for serving
Salted caramel, for serving
Chocolate syrup, for serving
In a medium saucepan, combine milk, sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon and nutmeg over medium heat until heated through, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Kahlúa.
Serve immediately, garnished with mini marshmallows, salted caramel and chocolate syrup, if desired.
SPIKED COCONUT VANILLA STEAMER
Thanks to SugarandSoul.com
This Spiked Coconut Vanilla Steamer is one of the coziest winter cocktails you’ll ever have! Made with real vanilla beans, coconut, milk, and spiced rum! It’s delicious and frothy and topped with toasted coconut!
3 oz. Spiced rum
1½ whole milk
½ cup canned coconut milk
1½ tsp coconut extract
1 vanilla bean
Toasted coconut for garnish
You will also need a frother*
Add 1½ ounces of spiced rum to each of two mugs.
Add milk, coconut milk, and coconut extract to a small pot.
Slice vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape the paste out of the bean and add both paste and bean to the milk, bring to a simmer over medium heat and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove from heat and remove the vanilla bean.
Use a frother to froth the milk for 1 minute, evenly pour milk mixture into the mugs, holding back the foam with a spoon and then spoofing it onto the top of the liquid.
Garnish with toasted coconut and serve immediately.
*I use a frother, but you don’t have one, you can just use the milk without frothing it, it’s just not as fun!
WARM BOURBON CIDER
Thanks to CountryLiving.com
1 gal. fresh apple cider
5 tsp. ground cinnamon
2½ tsp. ground nutmeg
2½ tsp. ground ginger
3 c. bourbon
In a stockpot, heat apple cider, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
When mixture is hot but not boiling, remove from heat and add bourbon. Stir to distribute spices and divide cider among 20 mugs.
HOT AND SWEET GINGER DRINK
Thanks to Allrecipes.com
“This old Chinese recipe is deceptively simple but addictive. Great substitute for hot spiced apple cider during the holidays. Warms the soul on a cold winter’s evening!”
5 cups water
1/4 cup sliced fresh ginger
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey (optional)
Bring the water and ginger to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar and honey until the sugar has dissolved. Strain out the ginger to serve.
HOT SPICED WINE RECIPE
Thanks to LeitesCulinaria.com
2 bottles light-bodied red wine, such as pinot noir, gamay, or Cabernet Franc
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
Strips of zest from 1 orange, preferably organic
Strips of zest from 1 lemon, preferably organic
3 black peppercorns, crushed
2 cardamom pods, crushed
1 3-inch cinnamon stick, crushed
1 clove, crushed
1 star anise, crushed
1/2 cup kirsch (optional)
1. Place the red wine, sugar, and orange and lemon zests into a large saucepan. Tuck the crushed spices into a tea ball or a small square of cheesecloth and add it to the saucepan.
2. Bring the wine to a very gentle simmer over moderate heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove the pan from the heat, remove the tea ball from the pan, and stir the kirsch into the spiced wine, if using. Ladle the spiced wine into mugs and serve at once.
The spiced wine will keep up to several hours or even overnight at room temperature.
HOT HONEY LEMON DRINK
Thanks to GlobalTableAdventures.com
1/2 cup honey
4 cups water
1 lemon, zested and sliced
1-2 cinnamon sticks
Vodka, to taste
Heat and enjoy! You might also like to add fresh ginger or other spices… this can be done to taste.
GRAND COFFEE COCKTAIL
Thanks to Liquor.com
1 oz Grand Marnier, warmed
3 oz Hot brewed coffee
.75 oz Brown sugar syrup, if desired
1 Whipped cream
Pour all the ingredients into a mug and stir.
Spoon about 2 tbsp of whipped cream on top.
HOMEMADE HOT COCOA MIX
Thanks to PioneerWoman.com
Yield: 8 servings
2 cups Confectioners Sugar
1 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 cups Powdered Milk Or Instant Nonfat Dry Milk
In a large bowl, sift the confectioner’s sugar, then the unsweetened cocoa, to get rid of any lumps. Stir in the powdered milk, and whisk well until everything is combined. Add mini marshmallows to the container, if desired. This can be kept in the pantry for 6 months.
When you want to make hot cocoa, combine equal parts hot cocoa mix and hot water. I like to put the hot cocoa mix in the cup and add the hot liquid on top, and stir, in order to not get any lumps. Enjoy!
Note: As a guideline, ½ cup of cocoa mix and ½ cup hot water is the right amount for me to enjoy in one serving.
Thanks to AltonBrown.com
Prep: 35 min Inactive: 4 hr Cook: 10 min
Yield: approximately 9 dozen marshmallows or 1 1/2 pounds miniature
3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 cup ice cold water, divided
12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water. Have the whisk attachment standing by.
In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.
Turn the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows.
For regular marshmallows:
Combine the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.
When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares using a pizza wheel dusted with the confectioners’ sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining mixture, using additional if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
For miniature marshmallows:
Combine the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Line 4 half sheet pans with parchment paper, spray the paper with nonstick cooking spray and dust with the confectioners’ sugar mixture.
Scoop the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round piping tip. Pipe the mixture onto the prepared sheet pans lengthwise, leaving about 1-inch between each strip. Sprinkle the tops with enough of the remaining cornstarch and sugar mixture to lightly cover. Let the strips set for 4 hours or up to overnight.
Cut into 1/2 inch pieces using a pizza wheel or scissors dusted with the confectioners’ sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining sugar mixture and store in an airtight container for up to a week.