Holiday Hot Cocoa!

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Tis’ the season for all things snowflakes,  gingerbread men, and Hot Cocoa! 😉 After trying a million and one hot chocolate recipes and not finding one that hit that chocolatey goodness spot, I created my own recipe. So, today I am sharing my top secret Holiday Hot Cocoa recipe with y’all! It has been dubbed ” Christmas in a cup” by a sister and it a perfect Hot Cocoa fit for you! ♥

Serves 2 large mugs!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk (I use whole milk!!)
  • 2 tbs heavy cream
  • 2 tbs sugar(I used raw but you can use regular white or even pure maple syrup!)
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate  chips
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • Dash salt
  • Dash  or two 😉 of nutmeg

Directions

  1.  in heavy sauce pan, whisk together 1/2 cup milk with raw sugar, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt over medium high heat until chocolate chips and cocoa are dissolved. Whisk continually during this step!
  2. Slowly whisk in remaining milk and heavy cream. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir frequently until hot. Add vanilla and whisk for 30 second!
  3. Pour into your favorite mug and ENJOY!!

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Whipped Cream Sweetened with Maple!

Fresh Whipped Cream 1

Okay, I know what y’all are thinking, “whipped cream isn’t that hard to make!” True. 🙂 But I often post pictures of my coffee creations on instagram and am always asked for my whipped cream recipe. So, here it is! About 3 years ago we decided to move away from refined sugar as much as possible and started using pure maple syrup for much of our baking and sweetening. At first I was extremely skeptical but since the first taste I can say it doesn’t get much better than pure maple in freshly whipped cream! Delicious on coffee, fresh strawberries, or(if your like me) just by the spoonful! 😉

 

Yields 2 or more cups whipped cream

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Fresh Heavy Cream
  • 3-4 TBS Pure Maple{I use 3 but if you prefer less/more sweet adjust accordingly!}

Directions

  1. Place cream and maple syrup in mixer bowl and beat on high until fluffy and stiff peaks form!
  2. ENJOY!

Fresh Whipped Cream

Fresh Whipped Cream 2

Homemade Marshmallows! { no corn-syrup? no problem! :) }

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I started searching frantically for a homemade marshmallow recipe last year that didn’t take corn-syrup and preferably didn’t use refined white sugar! I tried and failed more than a few recipes and was on the verge of giving up…. THEN my favorite food blogger, Sarah, posted a recipe! Homemade Marshmallows made simple, sweet, and {happy day!} cor-syrup & refined sugar FREE! It was almost as if she was reading my mind. 😉 I have since made her marshmallow recipe over a dozen times and it hasn’t failed me. Only change made is pure maple syrup instead of agave nectar as we don’t keep agave nectar on hand! White fluffy shares of delightfully goodness. On Hot cocoa, in a s’more, or by themselves, you won’t be able to stop eating them! 😉

Recipe credits: Sarah // CheffingIt

Yields 9×9 inch pan

  • 3 pkg. unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 2 c. organic cane sugar
  • 2/3 c. organic agave nectar
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 2 t. ground cardamom
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • powdered sugar
  1. Preparation – oil plastic wrap and use it to cover a 9×9 square cake pan. (Double the recipe for a 9×13 pan.) I found the easiest way to do this is to lay the wrap on a flat surface, rub the oil in your hands, then onto the wrap, making sure to coat every bit that might hold marshmallow. Lastly, place the wrap over the pan. Don’t worry about getting the plastic wrap in the corners. The marshmallow will help with that. Oil one more sheet to place over the top and set aside.
  2. Combine gelatin and 1/2 c. water in mixer bowl and let sit for a few minutes.
  3. Mix sugar, agave, 1/4 c. water and cardamom in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Boil one minute.
  4. Start the mixer and beat on low as you slowly pour the hot sugar mixture into the bowl of gelatin. Add salt, drape a towel over the mixer to catch any drips and turn to high speed. Beat for 12 minutes.
  5. Using a heavy spatula, scoop the mixture into the waiting pan, pressing into the corners and spreading evenly. Cover with the oiled sheet of plastic wrap and press smoothly over the top.
  6. Let sit for at least 2 hours, or overnight if you make them a day ahead.
  7. Prepare a bowl of powdered sugar. Lift the marshmallow out of the pan onto a flat cutting surface. Dust surface with powdered sugar. Using a large knife, cut into squares, coating in powdered sugar as you go.
  8. Stack in an air tight container and store for up to 3 days.

Marshmellows GRANOLA GIRL BAKES 2

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Marshmellows GRANOLA GIRL BAKES

 

 

Seriously Delicious Hot Chocolate

The last 2 days have been COLD. Even colder seeing our heater is down for repair. We weren’t expecting such extremely chilly weather but after the scorching summer, we are loving it! So what goes with super cold weather better than a cup of Hot Chocolate and a few layers of sweaters?? 🙂

Hot Chocolate is a necessity for the winter months and I had been looking for the perfect Hot Chocolate recipe for years.  Finally found it! In the words of my sister, Grace, “this hot chocolate  is like drinking a brownie!” I found the original recipe on Cooking for Seven a year and a half or so ago and with only a few minor changes, we have been drinking it ever since!
Sweetened with Pure Maple Syrup and topped off with a maple whipped cream, yes, this recipe is RICH…. So rich, you may have a hard time drinking an entire serving! But y’all are sure to love it. 🙂

Original Recipe 5-6 cups of cocoa!

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups whole milk(I usually add up to 1c more depending on thickness)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces chopped unsweetened chocolate
  • 6 tbs pure maple syrup(might need more if you prefer your cocoa a little sweeter!)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Directions:

  1.  In a medium saucepan, bring the milk and cream to a low simmer over medium heat, whisking occasionally.
  2.  Add the chocolate, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt. Whisk vigorously until all of the chocolate has melted. Cook for an additional 4 minutes, whisking constantly.

Maple Whipped Cream

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1-2 tbs maple syrup (more if you like your whipped cream very sweet)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and beat until stiff.
  2. Add a dollop or two or four 😉 on your cup of cocoa and enjoy!