white hot chocolate

from as far back as i can remember, my grandpa worked in a nestle plant. their candy drawer was always full of boxes of gobstoppers and nerds and bags of funsize butterfingers, o henry, and baby ruth. the fridge was loaded with juicy juice. grandma would tease us with stories of her trips to the company store - all that candy! and cheap! it was a kid's dream. and every year for christmas each of us grandkids got a milk chocolate santa. except me. i got a white chocolate snowman. i can still remember ripping open the box, sliding the plastic mold out, and biting the head off on christmas morning. i don't know exactly what year chocolate santas stopped coming - probably around the same time grandpa retired from the chocolate works, as he called it - but not a christmas day goes by that i don't have a split second vision of that snowman.

as an adult i tend to get most of my white chocolate in the form of hot chocolate. which surprisingly i have never thought to make myself until this year. besides, i needed something to wash down all these cookies.

white hot chocolate
adapted from martha stewart
10 minutes, fills two large mugs

this hot chocolate is incredibly rich. if you want to lighten it up a bit, omit the cream and use 3 cups of whole or even 2% milk. sure, you'll lose a bit of creaminess, but i think the lack of calories makes up for it. you decide.

since white chocolate is the star of the show, you want to pull out the good stuff for this one. you'll definitely notice a difference if you use lower quality chocolate.

6 ounces good white chocolate
2 1/4 cups whole milk
3/4 cup heavy cream or half & half
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. place white chocolate in a medium heat proof bowl, preferably one with a spout (my 6 cup pyrex measuring cup worked perfectly), and set aside.
  2. place the milk and cream in a saucepan and heat over medium low heat until bubbles start to form around the edges.
  3. pour the hot milk over the chocolate, add the vanilla, and whisk until smooth. continue whisking until a light foam forms on the top.
  4. serve hot and store leftovers in the refrigerator.

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