Stephen's Hot Chocolate Recipe
This makes one serving. Multiply it as needed to serve more people, or to have some to reheat for later.
1 cup milk (any type will do; I use rice milk. Whole milk or even some cream will make it extra thick and delicious.)
1/4 cup chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli semi-sweet, which are available in most grocery stores.)
Vanilla, orange, or peppermint extract
Salt (smoked salt is especially good)
Spices (e.g. cinnamon, cayenne, cardamom)
Liqueur (e.g. Bailey's, Grand Marnier, Amaretto, Kahlua, peppermint schnapps)
Cocoa powder (makes it just a little more velvety and rich)
Piece of candy cane
Heat milk in a saucepan. If using whole spices such as cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, or lavender buds, steep them in the milk as it heats. Add chocolate chips and keep heating, stirring, until they are completely melted in. If using candy cane, melt it in as well. Add whatever other flavorings you prefer, quantities to taste. Pour into a mug (through a strainer if you used whole spices). Add whipped cream or marshmallows if you're feeling extravagant.
Suggested flavor combinations
Espresso powder, smoked salt, maple syrup (good for mornings)
Peppermint, vanilla, cinnamon, Amaretto
Orange extract and/or Grand Marnier, cayenne, Bailey's
Lavender, vanilla, cardamom