Maple Hot “Chocolate”

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Hey friends, how’s it hanging?  I’ve been doing a lot of cooking and baking this week, so I’ve got plenty of post ideas ready to go.  I’ve never been on top of this blogging thing (you know that)…so this is a miracle!  Today I’ve got something maple-y, creamy, and warm–something that says “January in the North” in a cup (I was going to say “in Wisconsin”, but our Canada Friends have us outnumbered in the maple department).  This is Maple Hot “Chocolate”.  Quotation marks are in place because this doesn’t actually contain any chocolate.  It’s more like a steamer, if you will.

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This all started when my dearest friend and I made White Hot Chocolate a few weeks ago.  I know that you chocolate purists wish that there were quotation marks around “chocolate” in that sentence too–and usually I agree, but my love for steamers (who doesn’t love hot sweet milk?!) deems it acceptable this time.  Sometimes I just don’t like to drink my chocolate, especially when Hot Chocolate from public places is more often than not that silly white packet with some water thrown in.  WHERE IS THE MILK?  Ahem.  Anyway, I wanted a fancy hot drink with neither coffee nor chocolate, so I set out to make another White Hot Chocolate.  Then I passed by the fridge that holds our opened maple syrup, and thought “Yum.”

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I debated simply adding some syrup to the White Hot Chocolate mix, but white chocolate has a strong enough flavor of its own that I didn’t want competing with the maple.  Plus, both of these flavorings come with excessive amounts of sugar, and I didn’t want this to be a death drink more suited for that theoretical 8-year-old’s birthday party where they eat Rainbow Safari Cake.  So I dreamed up a steamer-like beverage flavored and sweetened entirely by maple syrup, and it’s pretty great.  Need recommendations for syrup?  Like Alton says: don’t let me catch you trying to pass off any of that artificial table syrup, and Grade B Maple Syrup is better than Grade A.  Less refined=purer maple flavor=more flavor for less sugar.  And let me tell you, even when using Grade B, it is still super sweet.  Thus the pinch of salt in the recipe to round out the flavor–don’t let me catch you skipping out on that either.

So, without further ado…

Maple Hot “Chocolate”

Yield: 8 ounces

Ingredients:

3/4 c. Milk (I used 1%)

1/4 c. Heavy Cream

1 1/2 – 2 T. Maple Syrup, plus more for optional Whipped Cream

Pinch Salt

Whipped Cream (optional)

Method:

Mix the milk, cream, maple syrup, and salt into a small pot.  Place over medium-low heat and cook until desired temperature is reached–do NOT let the mixture boil.  Once hot, pour into a mug and serve.  If desired, mix a few tablespoons of cold heavy whipping cream with a teaspoon of maple syrup and beat with a whisk until soft peaks form; spoon on top of drink.

Enjoy!

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