Haute Cocoa

by Karin Calloway

Sharing cookies and hot cocoa while decorating the Christmas tree is a holiday tradition at my house. For the cookies, they’re home baked, and as for the cocoa, it features two kinds of gourmet chocolate and is appropriately called “Haute Cocoa.”

Making hot chocolate at home is quite simple. In this extra-rich version, whole milk and half and half are simmered together with two types of sugar and chopped chocolate. For the chocolate, I usually choose a bar of Valhrona bittersweet (look for bars with around 70 percent cocoa) and Ghirardelli semisweet, with 60 to 65 percent cocoa. If I have leftover milk chocolate on hand, I’ll usually add some in place of some of the semisweet chocolate for further chocolate character.

The cocoa can be served as soon as the chocolate melts, but I like to froth it up with an emersion blender before serving. Top each mug of cocoa with a big marshmallow.

Haute Cocoa

  • 3 cups milk
  • 3 cup half and half
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3.5 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Marshmallows, for garnish

Heat everything in a saucepan, except the vanilla, until chocolates melt and sugar dissolves. Stir in the vanilla. Blend with an emersion blender until foamy. Ladle into mugs and serve with marshmallows.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Haute Cocoa

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This month's recipes feature three of my favorite cookies to get you on the way to hosting a cookie swap or holiday drop-in.