With a scarf wrapped snugly around my raw and swollen throat (because, yes, even this crunchy, natural, herbal mama catches the crud from time to time), we embarked on our annual tree hunt. Two perfect-tree-envisioning parents and eight happy kids in tow, we descended on a friend’s noble Christmas tree farm. As is tradition, we ambled over to the “uncut”, “untrimmed” and “unsprayed” acres, always drawn to the wild, feral looking trees. Our life is hardly uniform or symmetrical, and, yet, we find it beautiful — so our tree is perhaps a little symbolic of that. With the tree cut down and carried some distance back to the truck (after only a hour or so of playing “how about this tree?”) and boots red with the characteristic soils of the hills we live among, we headed home, all excited for the post tree trimming treat, our very favorite Nutella hot cocoa.
After all the furniture rearranging, power strip locating, light stringing, and ornament hanging is finished we love to sit down with our favorite winter indulgence. Velvety rich, deeply chocolate-y, a bit spicy and oh-so-delicious, our favorite hot cocoa is neither budget or waistline friendly, but heck – we have some pretty healthy eating habits so I not going to cut any corners on this rare treat!
There is no fast way to make this yummy stuff, so consign yourself to about 10-15 minutes of slowly heating and whisking the cocoa until it is silky smooth. Top with freshly whipped cream and garnish with grated nutmeg and a cinnamon stick if you are feeling fancy. Of course, serve only in your most festive of mugs…
- 8 cups whole milk
- 1 cup Nutella
- ¼ cup dutch processed cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Place all ingredients in a heavy bottomed saucepan and whisk slowly over medium low heat until hot and smooth.
- Pour into mugs and garnish.
- Optional for garnish: whipped cream, nutmeg and/or cinnamon stick