Peppermint-rimmed Hot Cocoa

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I can write about how great Runamok maple syrups taste until my fingers hurt but for this recipe, I have to be honest that its most important attribute is that it is sticky.  Before you discount this virtue, allow me to explain that its sticky nature will create a fun drink for kids (and adults) that you will be famous for.  Take an ordinary mug and dip the rim in maple syrup then dip the sticky rim in a bowl of crushed candy canes. (Pulverize the peppermint candy to a chunky or a powdery consistency depending upon how thick you want it on the rim.) Let the rim dry a few minutes and then fill the mug with your favorite hot cocoa.  Using simple syrup doesn’t work because it is not sticky enough and corn syrup or honey will make the rim overly sweet.  Make a few of these rims while the kids are out playing in the snow then fill with hot cocoa when they came in.  You are now the hero of the neighborhood.

Peppermint-rimmed Cocoa

About 1 Tbsp Sugarmaker’s Cut Maple Syrup

1 -2 candy canes crushed with a mallet or in a food processor

1 cup whole milk

1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa

1 Tbsp sugar

Crush the candy canes to your desired consistency and place on a small plate.  Kids will likely enjoy getting a big chunk of candy with their sip while adults may prefer more subtle peppermint with just a dusting of powdery candy.  Put the maple syrup in a small, wide bowl and roll the rim of a mug in it.  Then dip the rim in the crushed candy.  You may have to use a spoon to pour the candy over bare spots.  Set the mug upright and let the rim dry for a few minutes.

In a small pot, heat the milk, cocoa and sugar.  Stir occasionally to break up any cocoa chunks.  When you are ready to serve pour the hot cocoa in the mug, being careful not to splash the edges.  Serve with a smile.