It is widely accepted that a mug of hot chocolate is by far the coziest drink to enjoy in December. Make it peppermint and you take the holiday cheer up a notch. Dip a “buttery” shortbread cookie that has been filled with the spices of Christmas into your mug, and you may just turn into St. Nick yourself - you’ll be so jolly. I’ve taken two classic recipes here and put a little spin on them to make each a little extra special. They are a breeze to whip up, full of holiday flavor, and will make decorating the Christmas tree this season extra cozy. I hope you enjoy all of the merriment that is to be had during December, and spend some time making a few special treats with those you love.
Peppermint Hot Chocolate
Makes 1 serving, multiply by however many mugs you’re wishing to fill.
1 cup plain almond milk
1/4 cup good tasting dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
Place the chopped dark chocolate and peppermint extract in a mug and set aside. Bring the almond milk to a low boil in a small saucepan on the stove, and pour (carefully) into the mug. Stir until the chocolate has dissolved completely, and the mixture is creamy. Enjoy while hot.
Christmas Spiced Shortbread Cookies
Makes about 16 cookies.
6 tablespoons refined coconut oil, softened or as a liquid
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup maple sugar (coconut sugar or cane sugar work as well)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
a pinch of cloves
2 cups light spelt flour
Combine all of the ingredients except for the spelt flour in a mixing bowl. Stir well to combine. Add the flour and mix well (it may take some elbow grease, but the dough will come together, just keep mixing). Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap, pressing the dough together with your hands to form a log shape. Wrap tightly in the plastic wrap and give it a roll or two to smooth out the edges. Place in the refrigerator and let chill for one hour.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Unwrap the chilled shortbread dough and slice into rounds 1/2 inch thick. Place the shortbread slices on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes, the edges should be lightly browned. Transfer to the counter to cool completely before serving. Best dipped in a mug of hot chocolate.
HUGE thanks to Jessie of Faring Well blog for the delicious holiday recipes!
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