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Spice It Up!

Here are some of the spices you might consider adding to your hot drinks:

cayenne and other chili peppers
chicory root
fenugreek seed
lemon peel
licorice root
orange peel
peppercorns (black and white)
peppermint leaf
spearmint leaf
star anise

You might also want to have on hand:
cocoa powder, carob powder, nonfat milk powder, maple syrup (powder, granules, and bits), orange or lemon peel (granules, powder, and cut and sifted), vanilla beans and vanilla extract, other Frontier and Simply Organic baking flavors and extracts (from almond to walnut).

Spiced Butter

Sweetened and flavored butter makes a lovely final touch for hot drinks, especially atop some softly whipped cream. To make your own, simply blend butter with a little brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and orange or lemon peel. Store in the refrigerator, in a covered container or wrapped in waxed paper. Top hot coffee, tea, cider, or cocoa with a small dab of the spiced butter.

Tips for Cocoa Lovers

If you love hot cocoa, you'll want to know the best cocoa powder to use and maybe how to make your own cocoa mix and special topping. Here's a little info to help you enhance your cocoa experiences:

What kind of cocoa powder should I use for hot cocoa?

You want to use pure unsweetened cocoa powder, made from ground cocoa solids without any added flavorings or sweeteners. There are two kinds of pure cocoa powder: Dutch-process (which has been made more soluble with the addition of an alkaline agent) and non-alkalized cocoa powder. Because it's darker and less lumpy, the Dutch-processed cocoa powder makes the best drinks. But you can substitute the non-alkalized powder, and the flavor will be similar.

How can I make my own hot cocoa mix?

Making your own hot cocoa or carob mix is easy and well worth doing if hot cocoa is popular at your house. Vary this recipe according to taste for sweetness and richness, but start by combining equal parts cocoa or carob powder and sugar. Add twice as much instant dry milk powder. (You can also add spices, like allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg, now, or use these as variations during preparation time.) Store in a covered container. Add a vanilla bean to the container for lovely aroma

To use, shake the container to mix ingredients, then place 3 tablespoons of the mix in a cup. Add a small amount (about 1/4 cup) of boiling water. Stir well until mix is completely dissolved. Add warm milk to fill and stir well. (In a pinch, you can use boiling water rather than milk, though your drink won't be as creamy.)

If you're looking for cocoa convenience, you'll also want to try Frontier's Cocoa Mix.

cocoa con chile - yummy!Cocoa Con Chile
Cooks in South and Central America are fond of adding chilies to hot chocolate, while in Mexico cinnamon is traditional. Mexican cooks also use a special stirrer called a molinillo to fluff hot chocolate before serving; you can get similar results with a whisk.

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Quick Links

» Delicious Hot Drinks for Fall & Winter
» Spicing Up Hot Drinks
» Spice it Up
» Tips for Cocoa Lovers

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