Leftover Candy Canes? Make a Peppermint Mocha

Maybe you aren't ready to give up on the Christmas festivities yet. Maybe you haven't made any cut out the sugar New Year's resolutions or maybe you've already given up.  Maybe you couldn't pass up all the 90% off post-Christmas candy cane sales.  Maybe you should try a peppermint mocha.

The peppermint mocha has long been a seasonal favorite even though it's often available throughout the year.  And even though most people pack it up when they throw out the Christmas tree, as far as we're concerned we're still on winter break since the first snow storm of the year has canceled the first day back for many schools.  (We'll start those New Year's resolutions soon, and focus on some health benefits.  We promise.)  So with that in mind, we're raiding the candy cane stash while everyone's out playing in the snow and having one last frivolous - and easy - hurrah.

Tools:

Ingredients:

  • 1 shot espresso (approximately 50 mL)*
  • 2 parts hot cocoa made with milk (approximately 100 mL)**
  • ~1 teaspoon (or less!) of peppermint extract**
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  • Candy Canes, crushed or otherwise (optional, I guess, but come on!)

*Espresso in the AeroPress: 15-17g fresh beans ground extra fine are placed in an upright AeroPress.  Add enough (~195ºF) water to reach the '1' mark and start pressing quickly after 30 seconds.

**If you prefer your peppermint mochas iced, make sure you have ice available, and you can also cheat and use the homemade Peppermint Patty creamer that you kept for yourself.

Steps:

Add your peppermint extract to your hot chocolate, remembering to taste test as you go so you aren't overwhelmed with peppermint.  Once that's done, add your hot chocolate to your espresso shot, using a spoon to hold back any froth.  Top with said froth, whipped cream and crushed candy canes.  

If you are making the iced version, pour your espresso shot over your glass full of ice and then add your peppermint patty creamer.  Adorable straws recommended, but not necessary.