Thursday, December 13, 2012

Gingerbread Hot Cocoa

by Darla

It’s embarrassing confession time.

First of all, I think today is National Hot Cocoa Day. It might have been yesterday. Whatever.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s every day, so I’m celebrating.

More embarrassing, though, I’m about to reveal to you all how low my level of self control actually is.

Prepare yourselves. It’s shockingly low.

My latest obsession from Starbucks these days is a gingerbread hot cocoa. It’s pretty much the only thing I’ve ordered for the last month.

I’m powerless against them. Resistance is futile, and as far as I’m concerned, there’s no real reason to resist.

Except that they’re three bucks a pop.

I have the Starbucks app on my phone; the one that lets you pay for your drinks from your phone. I always keep money on it.

I’ve finally had to do something to stop myself.

I made the Hubster change the passcode on my app, so that I couldn’t buy myself anymore hot cocoas. I had three in two days, people, and one of them was a grande. There’s no excuse for that.

They took over my brain.

So much so that when I couldn’t buy them anymore, I came home and created my own recipe for them.

Obsessive is my middle name.

But that means you get to try it, too, so I think you’re all ok with that, right?

Good.

This syrup is the key to my gingerbread hot cocoa, and it has a secret ingredient (which is totally about to not be secret anymore).

The Hubster was helping me perfect this, and we kept going back and forth, back and forth, between the Starbucks version and mine, trying to figure out what mine was missing. I mean, it was good…really good; we both liked it very much, but there was something missing.

I sipped the Starbucks cocoa, and said, “I just can’t get that cookieness.” The Hubster took a sip and said, “Oh yeah…almost like a Biscoff.”

LIGHTBULB

“Maybe I should add some Biscoff spread to my syrup?” I said.

And boom. Just like that, I had perfected my syrup.

My gingerbread hot cocoa doesn’t taste exactly like the ones that Starbucks makes, but it’s even better, because it’s all-natural, and it’s definitely just as good, if not better, than the ‘Bucks. The Biscoff spread adds a wonderful creaminess to the drink that you don’t get with the Starbucks version, and it gives that perfect bit of cookieness that you need when gingerbread is involved.

Of course, these cute little ginger kid marshmallows floating on top sure do help, too. :)

The great thing about this syrup is that it can also be added to a homemade latte for a yummy holiday coffee. The syrup is incredibly easy to make, and if you don’t have whole cinnamon sticks and cloves, you can substitute ground spices instead.

I couldn’t be happier with my new treat, and I don’t have to be locked out of my own app anymore. Now, I can overindulge in the privacy of my kitchen. And I highly recommend that you do the same.

Enjoy!

P.S. My friend Tina from Sugar Bean Bakers is also celebrating National Hot Cocoa with all sorts of funness, but most especially, I wanna try her candy cane syrup. Cheoutput her Carnival of Cocoa!

Gingerbread Syrup
Makes about 2/3 cup

Ingredients

1 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup Biscoff spread (omit for gluten free)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 4-inch cinnamon sticks
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)

In a small saucepan, combine all of the ingredients and bring to a soft boil over medium high heat. Reduce to a low simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, until the mixture has thickened to a syrup consistency (about the same as maple syrup). Use in hot cocoa or a latte right away, or transfer to a heat proof container, and keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Gingerbread Hot Cocoa
Makes 4 servings (**to make a single serving, see below)
*This can be made vegan/dairy free by substituting almond or soy milk and vegan chocolate chips

Ingredients

4 cups milk
1 recipe gingerbread syrup (above)
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 teaspoons semi-sweet chocolate chips (about 24 chips)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pour milk in a bowl and warm in the microwave for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes (optional).

Transfer milk to small saucepan over medium heat and whisk in the syrup, cocoa, sugar, chocolate chips, and vanilla. Continue cooking over medium heat, whisking almost constantly, until it just barely begins to lightly boil, about 10 minutes; remove from heat.

Divide between 4 mugs, top with marshmallows or whipped cream, and any other treats you want.

**Single Serving**

1 cup milk
2 tablespoons gingerbread syrup (I like to add an extra teaspoon)
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder (for a stronger chocolate flavor, add an extra 1/2 teaspoon, or more)
1 teaspoon semi-sweet chocolate chips (about 6 chips)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Prepare as directed above.

Gingerbread Syrup recipe by Darla, Hot Cocoa recipe by The Hubster

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen December 13, 2012 at 7:28 am

Hello. Get in my face.

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2 Jill @ Sincerely Jill December 13, 2012 at 7:40 am

I need this in my life STAT!

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3 Amber December 13, 2012 at 7:42 am

Because of your obsession, I went with a Gingerbread White Hot Chocolate.. also super delightful. =]

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4 Karly December 13, 2012 at 8:55 am

I’ll open my mouth, you pour it in.

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5 Nini December 13, 2012 at 8:59 am

wow, I’m so jealous! x) <3

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6 Becc - Cookie Jar Treats December 13, 2012 at 10:19 am

Oh boy these looks absolutely scrumptious! I can’t find biscoff spread here in Colorado, but I do have a jar waiting for me in my dorm, so I guess I’ll need to wait until January to make this. :( Sad, but it looks worth the wait! :)

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7 Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie December 13, 2012 at 11:03 am

Love this! That syrup alone would be a great gift

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8 Emily ~So Domesticated~ December 13, 2012 at 7:06 pm

Totally know what you mean… I’m so addicted to Dutch Bros. coffee….. it’s embarrassing. True story.
P.S. This hot cocoa loos fab!

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9 Heather S. December 14, 2012 at 10:24 am

I got addicted to these last year when I tried it at IHOP! I actually prefer the IHOP version to the Starbucks one… So I think these will be a “must make”! :) Thanks for sharing the recipe!

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10 Raizel @ Sweet Pickled Reality December 15, 2012 at 2:15 pm

This cocoa looks so tasty! Too bad I don’t have the ingredients here in my dorm room. I’ll be sure to make some when I go home for the holidays! Do you know how long the gingerbread syrup keeps?

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11 Clarissa December 16, 2012 at 6:20 pm

I tried this Friday night at Starbucks just because you mentioned it. Gingerbread hot chocolate? It was one of those moments where I was KICKING myself for not thinking of that while I worked at Starbucks and got free drinks. So flippin’ good!

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12 Jenny December 17, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Just made this and oh my gosh it is delicious! Your recipes never fail me.

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13 Jessica January 5, 2013 at 7:10 am

If you don’t have Biscoff spread, Trader Joe’s makes Cookie Butter and it is just as fabulous!

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14 Agos February 19, 2013 at 1:32 pm

This sounds sooo good! Though we don’t have biscoff here… I think I’ll have to make my own one :P

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15 beth July 28, 2013 at 7:56 pm

This is the best thing I’ve ever seen. All last christmas I was obsessed with Starbucks gingerbread frappuccino. Now I don’t have to wait for christmas to come around again!

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16 ro November 21, 2013 at 4:09 pm

mmmmmmmmmmm

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17 Iona November 22, 2013 at 1:00 pm

I’ve made some of this and it’s making the winter mornings wonderful :)
I’m also going to make some for our Christmas stockings
Thanks for the inspiration :)

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18 Jennifer November 22, 2013 at 5:14 pm

Love your recipe idea! I just made it but it turned out thicker like a caramel than a syrup. Any idea what I did wrong?

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19 Darla November 23, 2013 at 2:22 pm

The only thing that I can think of that you might have done differently is that your stove might run hotter than mine, which would cause the mixture to thicken more.

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20 Jennifer November 24, 2013 at 4:27 pm

I had a feeling. So sweet of you to say it was my stove and not just the fact I cooked to too long. :) it was still delicious though!

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21 Jane Seager December 19, 2013 at 9:14 pm

Thank you!!! I am in the UK and had my first gingerbread hot chocolate yesterday, and I loved it, trouble is, the place I got it from is not on my daily route! So I came online looking for a solution and found it in your recipe! Thank you!!

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