Decadent Spiked Hot Chocolate {Holiday Treats}

This past weekend while Harrison was off doing a stage, I put on my double layers, toboggan, boots and gloves and briskly walked downtown to see my home girl Jen on display at the “Touch of Vermont Holiday Market” at City Hall.

Guess whose friend got a new camera? No one's safe.

As I waited for the line to subside at her booth, I went ahead and moseyed around to see what this market was all about.  I, of course, gravitated towards a booth ‘o baked goods belonging to Butterfly Bakery of Vermont and got a whiff of some decadent vanilla that I just couldn’t resist.

Sweetest little bottle. Butterfly Bakery is located at 87 Barre St in Montpelier, VT.

When I returned I waved it around in front of Jen to show off the dreamy little bottle to which she asked, “So whattcha going to make?  Cookies? A cake?”

“A cocktail!”, I interjected and slid the little vial back in my camera bag and off I went.

Well actually I waited for Harrison to return so I could put in my request.  “How about a hot toddy?”, I announced.  “If you mean another hot chocolate…” he replied back with a knowing look in his eyes. “Yep, that’s right,” I said. “But this time, let’s make sure it’s spiked!”

Perfect for your upcoming holiday parties… why don’t we let loose on some Decadent Spiked Hot Chocolate, shall we? Two thumbs up, yes we shall.

Oh yeah. This is going to be good.

Ingredients:

  • (2) cups of organic whole or 2% milk
  • (1) cup of mini chocolate chips
  • (1) teaspoon of organic vanilla (we just loved ours from Butterfly Bakery of Vermont)
  • (1) Tablespoon of raw sugar
  • (1/4) cup of Bailey’s Irish Cream

Optional Additions:

  • (1) ounce (a.k.a. one shot) of peppermint schnapps
  • (4) to (6) ounces of freshly brewed dark roast coffee
  • (1) ounce of vodka (we like Barr Hill)…add this and you have what we call a Hot Black Russian

Directions:

1. Whisk your milk, sugar and vanilla together in a medium sauce pan and bring to a simmer on medium heat.

2. Then add in your chocolate and Bailey’s Irish Creme and whisk until blended (reduce heat to low).  You want to achieve a rich, velvety texture then turn off heat to serve.

Warm milk and chocolate. Feeling dreamy already...

3.  Pour into your cups and top with some fresh whipped cream (plus coffee or other optional additions if you please).

I wanted to just pour it straight into my mouth. But, got to be a lady.

Bottoms Up! Spiked with coffee to make a mocha on your left. Spiked with peppermint schnapps on your right!


Until we get decadent and dreamy again,

A + H

Want to see what Jen had on display?  Check out her etsy shop here.

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Freshly Picked Field Trip! {Blueberry Muffins}

We were walking home from The Skinny Pancake the other week and stopped in our tracks when we saw our neighbors/friends/Vermont day trip guides Jen and Ian unloading “big ‘ole bags” of fresh blueberries from their car.  Harrison’s eyes popped out like Wile E. Coyote.  “Where’d you get those?!”

Come to find out “a friend of a friend who lives near Calais” (which we have learned is how a lot of stories here begin) “knows this house that has beautiful rows and rows of blueberry bushes open for picking for donations.” Sold.

The next day we packed up in their Subaru (the unofficial vehicle of Vermont) and headed down the gorgeously green winding back roads to the site of our future bed and breakfast…. OK, OK, not really.  Dare to dream though, right?

Vermont House for Sale

You should see the house. We didn't take a picture because it felt a bit stalker-esqe.

 
Vermont Blueberries

Beautiful rows and rows of blueberries. A lovely place for a lunch break indeed.

 
 
Go for the bright blueberries. Don't get distracted and start picking the pink ones like "someone" did.

Go for the bright blueberries. Don't get distracted and start picking the pink ones like "someone" did.

 
 
Fresh Vermont Blueberries

Now those are some good looking blueberries.

 
 
Jackpot! $2 a pint. We picked 3.

Jackpot! $2 a pint. We picked 3.

And what to do with all of these vibrant freshly picked blueberries?  Breakfast muffins of course!  Here’s our latest blueberry muffin recipe.  Keep it on hand in case you wind up with cool neighbors like us who kindly take you blueberry picking.

Let’s let loose on some blueberry muffins with crumbles, shall we?

Muffin Ingredientswe’ll start with the dry
– (2) and (1/4) cup of organic all-purpose flour
– (1) and (1/4) cup of natural sugar
– (1/4) teaspoon of Kosher salt
– (2) teaspoons of baking powder

Muffin Ingredientsnow on to the wet
– (2/3) cup of vegetable oil
– (3/4) cup of organic milk
– (2) large eggs (we recommend cage free)
– (2) cups of vibrant freshly picked blueberries (or store-bought…)

1. Combine all of your dry ingredients (sift if you like to get fancy) in a large bowl and make a well in the center of the dry mixture ready for your wet ingredients.

2. Combine your wet ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk together.

Ready. Set. Bake!

Ready. Set. Bake!

3.  Add your wet mixture into the well you created in your dry ingredients and mix together.

4.  Add your vibrant freshly picked blueberries (or store-bought…) into your mixture last and fold in lightly.
      ***Remember! Lumps are good so don’t go crazy perfectionist on us and over mix.

5. Grease your cute muffin pan (ours is a large, 12 count pan). 

6.  Fill each “hole” (3/4) of the way.


Ingredients for your scrumptious crumble topping:

– (1/2) cup of natural sugar
– (1/3) cup of flour
– (1/4) cup of unsalted butter

7.  Mix your crumble topping mixture in a medium bowl until it looks like fish fine gravel.

I'm learning baking includes a lot of textures.

I'm learning baking includes a lot of textures.

8. Sprinkle your crumble mixture evenly over your muffin batter in the “holes”.

With and without our crumbles.

With and without our crumbles.

9. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out smooth and clean.

10. Done. Delish. Devour!

{Insert glamour shot here.} 
Rookie mistake. We started digging into the muffins and *gasp* forgot the final shot.
But don’t you worry, in its place we’re including a shot of another dish we whipped together with a little blueberry twist… more on this one soon!

Homeade Brownie with Heath Bar Frosting and Blueberry Garnish

MMMM... we love inspired treats.

Neat side note:  Our lovely neighbor Jen just opened her own online shop on one our favorite websites, etsy.com.  I’m going to swing by for some pretty notecards.  We would love it if you did too.