We’re having a very mild winter this year, much to my chagrin. As a native Virginian, I love cold, snowy winters as a reprieve from the humid and sticky summers. And, snow meant a guranteed snow day as a kid…and who doesn’t love a snow day? So, when this happened a couple weeks ago:
I was ecstatic! My husband greets the snow with a much more lackadaisical attitude. He’s from New England, where snow is nothing special. But, he does enjoy one thing about snow – hot chocolate! I adapted a recipe from the incredible Ina, steeping vanilla beans in milk and adding a wee bit of peanut butter (I can’t help myself). I needed to use up some of these:
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup half and half
- 2 whole vanilla beans
- 5 ounces good semi-sweet chocolate, in chips, chunks, or chopped
- 1/2 tablespoon of sugar
- 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1. Add milk and half and half to a small or medium pot. Split vanilla beans with a knife and scape down the insides, adding the yummy paste directly into the milk mixture. Now, dump those vanilla beans in there too. It will infuse the milk with a fantastic, deep flavor.
2. Heat up the milk and half and half over medium heat until almost simmering.
Look at all of those beautiful flecks of vanilla! Mmm, mmm.
Fish out the vanilla beans and set aside. Remove the pot from the heat and dump in the chocolate.
Let it sit for a minute – the residual heat will melt the chocolate. Add in the sugar and peanut butter and whisk, whisk, whisk!
3. Reheat over low heat. Pour into 2 tall mugs. Garnish with a generous dollop of whipped cream and enjoy!