This post is sponsored by the National Milk Producer’s Federation. All opinions provided are my own. Thanks for supporting me in working with brands I love to bring you new recipes!
Now that we’re in the full swing of the holiday season, my partner REAL® Seal challenged me to concoct a festive warm drink recipe to share with you. At first I was torn as to what I should share, there are so many amazing ways to warm up with a sweet drink throughout the holiday season!
Then I remembered seeing an adorable hot chocolate bar at a holiday gathering last year complete with snowflake shaped whipped cream ice cubes.
The idea came to me to use a small gingerbread man cookie cutter to create adorable whipped cream cubes, and to add some warm spices and brown sugar to hot chocolate to give it an even more festive flavor.
The key for whipped cream ice cubes is to use a cookie cutter that’s small enough that the shape won’t take up the whole glass or mug you’re using. I found a mini gingerbread man cookie cutter along with a regular sized one at Walmart, but I’ve also seen them at craft or hobby stores.
It’s also important to handle them delicately. I lowered mine into the hot chocolate with the help of a spoon so as not to splash everywhere and ruin the chocolate vs. white color contrast.
The other key is to be sure to use real cream and whole milk that has little red REAL® Seal on the packaging to ensure you’re buying genuine dairy products that meet strict standards and are made with milk from cows on U.S. dairy farms. Nothing else quite compares!!
Taste: Just like your favorite gingerbread, with a generous dose of chocolate added in!
Texture: Rich, creamy, and oh so smooth.
Ease: Super easy, but if you want to do the gingerbread men shaped whipped cream cubes, that’ll take some extra planning since they need to freeze completely.
Pros: The perfect festive drink.
Would I make this again? Absolutely!! This makes me want hot chocolate year round (and I live in Phoenix).
How to make Gingerbread Hot Chocolate
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
For the whipped cream cubes:
1 cup REAL® Seal heavy cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
For the hot chocolate:
4 cups REAL® Seal whole milk
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
Cinnamon sticks, for garnish
Make the whipped cream:
In a bowl, whip the cream and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until firm peaks form. Line a baking tray about 8 by 8-inches big with parchment paper and spread the whipped cream out into one even layer. Freeze for at least 3 hours, or overnight, until completely firm.
Use a small gingerbread man cookie cutter to carefully cut out shapes from the whipped cream. For cleaner cuts, dip the cookie cutter into hot water and pat dry in between cuts. If the cream starts to melt, freeze for 15 minutes until solid again.
Place the cutouts back in the freezer to solidify while making the hot chocolate.
Make the hot chocolate:
Add all ingredients to a small pot and bring to a simmer while whisking. Heat until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and whisk in the chopped chocolate. Whisk until melted.
Divide between 4 mugs. Garnish with the whipped cream gingerbread man and cinnamon stick.
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