Sip: Hot Cocoa Affogato with Peppermint Ice Cream

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Most kids begin their Winter Break today and what better way to celebrate than with a hot cup of homemade cocoa? An Italian delight of espresso poured over ice cream takes a kid friendly turn with Hot-Cocoa Affogato with Peppermint Ice Cream! You can, of course, use any ice cream you wish and feel free to add a shot of rum, Kahlua or perhaps Bailey’s for an adult version! Cheers and Happy Happy!

Hot-Cocoa Affogato with Peppermint Ice Cream

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups whole milk

1 cup chilled heavy cream, divided

1/3 cup sugar

1 large pinch of kosher salt

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

5 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 72% cacao), chopped

1/3 cup (loosely packed) natural unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon finely ground espresso or dark-roast coffee beans

2 pints peppermint or mint chip ice cream

8 small candy canes (optional)

 

PREPARATION:

Combine milk, 1/2 cup cream, sugar, salt, and 1/4 cup water in a large heavy saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add chocolate and cocoa powder; whisk until chocolate melts and mixture just comes to a boil. DO AHEAD: Cocoa can be made 1 day ahead. Let cool; cover and chill. Bring to a simmer before continuing.

Whisk remaining 1/2 cup cream and ground coffee in a small bowl until firm peaks form. DO AHEAD: Whipped cream can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover and chill. Rewhisk if needed before using.

Remove vanilla bean from hot cocoa; discard. Transfer cocoa to a blender and purée until thick and foamy, about 2 minutes.

Scoop ice cream into teacups; pour hot cocoa into cups, dividing evenly. Top each with a small dollop of coffee whipped cream. Garnish with a small candy cane, if desired.

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Sip: Lemoncello Sangria

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With summer officially here, I say it’s high time to gather a few friends and share in the fun that is known as the summer break!! Give this Lemoncello Sangria recipe a go with pineapple juice, vanilla rum, pineapple rum, lemons and lemoncello…how can you go wrong?!? Serve with salty meats such as salami or prosciutto to offset the sweetness of the sangria, a sampling of hearty cheeses, such as Dubliner or Collier’s cheddar with crunchy crackers and you’ve got yourself a party!