Staying Warm: Spicy Mexican Hot Chocolate

Staying Warm


This week brought us 10 inches of snow, a mad hunt for our snow shovel, and a sub-zero trek to the park on a sledding expedition (which was only semi-successful with a toddler). Upon returning to the warmth of our home, and after shedding piles of wet clothing in the hall, I was bombarded with requests for hot chocolate. As I pulled the Swiss Miss box out of the cupboard, I was alarmed at how light it felt. Alarm quickly turned to panic as I realized the box was empty. The first snowstorm of the year and we were out of hot chocolate. Total rookie-mom mistake!  Frantically, I started digging and digging, and thankfully discovered that we had all the fixings for homemade hot chocolate — even better! So if this month has you shoveling snow and dreaming of a more tropical climate, than wrap your hands around a steaming mug of chocolate, tuck in with the ones you love, and smile as you weather the storm together.

Spicy Mexican Hot Chocolate


The chiles in this recipe add just enough of a kick to get your blood circulating — and the orange? It just serves a little reminder that warmer days are soon to come.

Spicy Mexican Hot Chocolate

Serves 2

  • 3 cups milk
  • 4 oz. dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 dried chile peppers (such as Chiles de Arbol), cut in half
  • 1 3-4″ long strip of orange rind


Divide chocolate among two mugs. Set aside.

In a saucepan over low heat, bring milk, cinnamon, cloves, peppers, and orange rind to a gentle simmer, continue simmering on low for 2-3 minutes, stirring. With a fine-mesh sieve, strain milk into a large measuring cup or bowl. Pour half of milk into each mug and whisk until chocolate has melted. Serve topped with marshmallows or whipped cream. (My toddler prefers mini marshmallows; “Ten for my hot chocolate and one my mouth,” as she says.)



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