I know that not everyone loves the winter (Hi, Mom), but I happen to be pretty happy when the days are shorter. I know that it’s counter to how everyone else in the world works, but I get more done after work if it’s dark outside. In the summer (and now that the bastards have extended Daylight Saving Time, in the spring and fall) I come home and kind of fiddle about in the yard and suddenly it’s 9 PM. This time of year I come home, work on a project until what feels like 10 PM, and then realize I can work on something else because it’s really just 7. And once Daylight Saving Time ends, I can finally sleep! My internal clock does not appreciate those longer days, so I spend the entire summer sleep deprived.
So I guess I have some strange reasons for loving this time of year, but I also love the usual: snow. I’m a BIG fan of snow. I love the snow itself of course, but I also love the whole experience that comes with impending snow in the South. I love the crowded grocery stores full of people worrying about whether the store will have bread and milk. I love the debates at work over whether we’ll really get snow this time or not. And I strangely love the ridiculous delays in my commute (I will say I don’t love those delays once I realize I have to go to the bathroom while stuck on the highway). Once the snow comes, I love being one of the few people on the road for a few days. And when I inevitably end up running up the street to Walmart in the snow, I love the nearly-empty store and the strange, friendly energy of the handful of us who pretend to be ill-prepared but who were really just looking for an excuse to leave the house.
All of that was supposed to be an introduction about how even if you don’t love the winter, I bet you love hot chocolate. So let’s pretend I had stayed on topic, okay? Yes. That’s what happened. Anyway, today I’m going to share with you my recipe for Gingerbread Hot Chocolate. It’s fantastic. It’s just as chocolatey as regular hot chocolate, but with the addition of traditional gingerbread spices. Now, you’ll see that I make a big batch of this hot chocolate. That’s for a couple reasons: first, when I make hot chocolate I like to take it to friends’ houses. Second, y’all know hot chocolate is just warmed up chocolate milk, right? So if there’s leftovers then you get to have a glass of cold gingerbread chocolate milk the next day! And lastly, if I made a smaller batch of this hot chocolate then I’d have to measure smaller amounts of spices than 1/4 teaspoon. And I’m betting people would be pissed at me if the recipe called for a dash of this followed by a dash of that.
Gingerbread Hot Chocolate
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2/3 cup water
- 8 cups whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (use the good stuff)
In a large pot, combine all the dry ingredients.
Add the water and turn the burner up to about medium heat. Whisk the syrup and let it come to a boil. Let the syrup boil for two minutes. Whisk in the milk.
Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Enjoy!