The last few days have been bitterly cold. The car thermometer showed single digits on the drive into work, add some wind into the mix and the temp with the wind chill factor is in the negatives. I feel like Ralphie in the Christmas Story when we bundle up to take the girls for their walk – can’t move! My arms stick out and I have to turn my whole body to see to my left or right. But the girls looove the cold and the snow, so we persevere and brave the cold, we pile on layers and layers of thick socks, silky thermals, woolen scarves and gloves, ear muffs and heavy snow boots to tread through the snow. We hike through drifts, slip and slide across icy patches, and break new trails trying to find some virgin snow for the girls to play in. Dolce loves to make snow angels, Amore just loves the cold.
Our reward at the end of the trail? If we finish our trek before 5:00 p.m. – we whip up some hot chocolate with some added peppermint liquors . After 5:00 p.m. and we go for the stronger warming up beverage – Santa Fe Sluggers.
PEPPERMINT & HOT CHOCOLATE
- 2 Cups milk
- pinch of salt
- 6 oz. semisweet chocolate (finely chopped)
- 1 tbsp. creme de methe liqueur
- 1 tsp. instant coffee granules
- 1/2 tsp. Mexican vanilla
Heat milk and salt for the hot chocolate in a saucepan over medium heat and steam is starting to rise. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth. Continue to heat until just before the mixture comes to a boil. Ladle into mugs and top with frozen whip cream (see below).
- 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
- 2 tbsp. pulverized peppermints
- 1 tbsp. powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp. crushed peppermints
Beat cream, pulverized peppermints and sugar for the whipped cream to stiff peaks. Pipe or spoon onto a baking sheet lined with parchment. Sprinkle with crushed peppermints and place in freezer until firm. About 20 minutes.
SANTA FE SLUGGERS
- 1 Cup Freshly brewed strong coffee (I use dark roast)
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 1/2 oz. Kahlua
- 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (not unsweetened)
- 6 tbsp. heavy cream
- 1 tsp sugar (or more, depending on taste)
Heat coffee, bourbon, Kahlua, chocolate and 2 tbsp. cream in a 1 1/2 quart saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate has melted. DO NOT ALLOW to BOIL!Beat remaining 1/4 cup cream with sugar to stiff peaks. Pour coffee mixture into two large mugs and top with the whipped cream.