Part of me wasn't sure if I should post this the.very.day.after Thanksgiving. The leftover turkey, sweet potatoes, and cranberry sauce are still in the fridge, after all! But the truth is, as soon as Thanksgiving passes, I'm ready for Christmas. Christmas music, Christmas decorations, and Christmassy food of all types.
My first foray into holiday flavors is always the peppermint mocha creamer I stir into my morning coffee. Every year, I buy my first bottle during my Thanksgiving grocery shopping trip so I can have it at the ready. This year, I thought I'd go the DIY route. I looked through multiple blogs trying to find just the right balance of cream, chocolate, and peppermint. I just couldn't. Some called for sweetened condensed milk or WAY too much sugar. Other were basically chocolate milk with crushed up candy canes melted in. No thank you.
As much as I love my peppermint mochas, I don't like them to be overly sweet. In fact, when I do splurge on one from you know where, I order it with half as much chocolate; I really like the peppermint flavor to come through. So I came up with my own ratio of ingredients--real half and half, Dutch-process cocoa for a rich chocolately flavor, just a touch of sugar, and a healthy dose of peppermint extract. I think I got it right. I hope you'll agree.
Homemade Peppermint Mocha Creamer
an "Apple a Day" original
2 c. half and half
up to 1/4 c. sugar, depending on taste (I used 2 TBSP)
3 TBSP Dutch process cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
1. Warm half and half on low heat until it just begins to steam. Whisk in desired amount of sugar and cocoa powder. (Cocoa powder will not dissolve all at once.)