We finally have all of our Christmas lights and other decorations up. And, true to form, Colorado has given us crazy warm weather, leaving me feeling like we've put all of these decorations up in May instead of December. It's very confusing. Still, I'm pushing through by listening to constant Christmas music, watching Christmas movies, and burning pine scented candles. And lets not forget the hot chocolate. There are other warm holiday beverages that are equally as festive, but nothing so classically comforting as a mug of hot chocolate. There has been lots of hot chocolate happening around here lately. I decided to mix things up a little bit by adding a bit of Chinese 5 Spice powder to my hot cocoa mix and boy am I glad I took that leap. The star anise, cinnamon, and cloves are natural flavor enhancers for hot chocolate. Then, there's the Szechuan pepper and fennel that give it that little bit of uniqueness that makes traditional recipes more special. Who knew Chinese 5 Spice Hot Cocoa could spur such excitement?
I would tell you to make your own hot chocolate mix, but let's be honest: sometimes it's nice to have a recipe that dresses up something you can purchase, ready made, in the store. That may seem like cheating to some people, but I am becoming a believer in good quality store bought items to make life a little easier. With that said, if you do have the energy to make your own hot chocolate mix (unlike my 8 months pregnant self) have at it! In fact, this recipe is my favorite. Otherwise, trust me that this will be just as delicious with a good quality mix.
No matter where in the world you are celebrating Christmas, this hot chocolate will make you feel cozy and warm from the inside out. And the twist the Chinese 5 Spice Powder brings will no doubt inspire other new holiday traditions to bring the world to you and your family. Minus the expensive plane tickets.
Chinese 5 Spice Hot Cocoa
Makes 2 servings
- 1/3 cup hot cocoa mix (about 2 envelopes store bought)
- 1 teaspoon Chinese 5 Spice Powder
- 2 cups milk
- marshmallows or whipped cream for topping
Begin by whisking the hot cocoa mix and Chinese 5 Spice Powder together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Heat the milk over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until steam begins to slowly rise from the surface a couple small bubbles rise to the surface.
Whisk the hot cocoa mix into the milk. Pour into two mugs and top with marshmallows or whipped cream.