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Homemade Hot Cocoa with Whipped Cream Hearts

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Level: Easy

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Description

Winter and cups of cocoa go hand-in-hand, and making your own is worth the little bit of extra effort it takes. Adding whipped cream cut-outs is a charming, special-occasion addition to an already delicious treat. The recipe makes 8 to 10 hearts, depending on the size of your cookie cutter. You can store the hearts in the freezer to use as needed.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream (for The Heart Cut-outs)
  • ¾ cups Low Fat Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon Plus 1 Teaspoon Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 teaspoon Finely Chopped Bittersweet Chocolate (optional)

Preparation

For the whipped cream hearts:

Line a 9X11-inch baking pan with parchment paper so the paper drapes over two sides.

Pour the cream into a large bowl and use an electric mixer to whip the cream just until it forms stiff peaks.

Spoon the whipped cream into the prepared pan and spread it out until it is about 1/2-inch thick. It won’t cover the entire surface of the pan. Put the whipped cream into the freezer until it is frozen, at least an hour.

Once frozen, remove the pan from the freezer. Hold onto two sides of the parchment to lift the cream out of the pan and set it on your work surface. Press a heart-shaped cookie cutter into the cream, cutting out as many hearts as will fit. Store the hearts in a covered container in the freezer until ready to use.

Makes roughly 8 to 10 hearts (the number will vary depending on the size of your cookie cutter).

For the cocoa:

Put the milk, cocoa powder, and sugar in a small saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Whisk vigorously to incorporate the cocoa powder and sugar into the milk. Once the cocoa powder is mixed in, stir occasionally until the cocoa is warmed to your liking, being sure that the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, add the vanilla and stir again.

Pour into a mug, sprinkle the optional chopped chocolate over the cocoa, and top with a whipped cream heart.

Serve immediately.

Makes one cup of cocoa.

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