Have you ever drank a gingerbread cookie? No? Well, you’re about to! The recipe for my blog this week is Gingerbread Hot Cocoa. The recipe is virtually Christmas in a cup! It’s decadent, festive, and comforting on a freezing ass December night.
I tried making a spiced gingerbread loaf last week but fucked it up. My baking skills are neanderthal-ish at best. If your life ever depends on my baking skills I apologize in advance, you’re going to die.
So, rather than present you a dry, tasteless gingerbread loaf, I jammed the gingerbread flavor into a hot steamy cup of cocoa!
2016 has been surreal. Every year people experience highs and lows but this year was a fucking doozy! 2016 started by Kieran taking me hiking then throwing me a surprise party for my 39th birthday in January. The high I felt during that trip came crashing down 5 days later when my Step Dad unexpectedly died. I’ve never experienced that type of sorrow before. Rick wasn’t perfect but I’ll sorely miss that goofy guy 🙁
After the funeral, Kieran and I flew back to Portland to pick up the emotional pieces, the best we could. Luckily, Oregon is insanely beautiful so we healed emotionally by hiking at least once a month. Immersing myself in mother nature did wonders for my emotional spirit, I released stress with each step I took. Little did I know the stress of 2016 was just getting started.
Next up was buying a house in Portland and selling my Chicago condo at the same time. Dude, house buying, and selling are intensely stressful and frustrating! Portland’s housing market is hot. Actually, saying hot doesn’t do the market justice. Portland’s housing market is like molten lava on crack. We’d show up at a house the day it went on the market to find it already had 6 offers on it. We were outbid 10 times trying to find a home. The only reason we scored our house is that of our realtor’s assistant, Jennifer liked us. She sold us her house off the market. The stress was worth it though, our little castle house is super cutie! Thank you, Jennifer!!!
Holy shit- remind me to tell you about one of the previous owners of our house, Frank Rhodes. His daughter, Kim Rhodes, is an actress who played the mother on The Suite Life and is currently playing Sheriff Jody Mills in Supernatural. Kim wrote a blog post about how her father died… in our house. I’ll tell you this crazy story another time!!
Moving on to selling the Chicago condo. Ugh, what a shit show experience that was. Selling the condo was as stressful as it was gut-wrenching. I bought the condo before the housing market crashed for 200K. After trying to sell for a couple of years, I finally offloaded the son of a bitch for 134K. I ended up walking away with 3K when I could have made over 60K. C’est la vie.
During this time Kieran and I were camping or hiking at least once a month. Again, exploring nature cures all that ails ye! We’d think during the hike, this would be so much better with a dog.
In comes Homie Barkybottoms the 2 1/2-month-old german shepherd puppy we adopted in September. I was laid off from my job the same day we adopted Homie. Life was batshit bonkers this year. Kieran and I would be overjoyed with life one minute, then it would rear its ugly head and kick us in the crotch the next. But who am I kidding? My stresses fail in comparison to some people. I’m extremely lucky and lead a great life, yet I’m glad to see 2016 come to an end.
How was your year? I’d love to hear about it!
In the midst of this crazy year, I had the privilege to capture those moments in my blog posts. I’m excited to click through Shock Munch 20 years from now and re-read all the shenanigans I’ve experienced over the years. But I’m MOST excited about sharing this Gingerbread Hot Cocoa recipe!
We actually have snow in Portland today!! I’ve enjoyed sipping on Gingerbread Hot Cocoa while watching Homie and Kieran chase each other in the snow.
My favorite (non-chocolate) dessert is gingerbread, hands down. I enjoy anything with ginger in it, gingerbread, ginger beer, ginger ale, gingersnaps, candied ginger, ginger meat, ect. OK, I made up ginger meat although I frequently make chicken and beef stir-fry with fresh ginger, so I guess ginger meat’s an actual thing!! See! I’m being serious when I profess my love of all things ginger.
I posted the recipe Chewy Chocolate Gingersnap Cookies a couple years ago, the cookies are to die for. Ginger and chocolate pair so well together I couldn’t wait to make gingerbread hot cocoa! The recipe is crazy good and easily adaptable to your preference.
I made homemade ginger syrup for this cocoa but you can use store-bought ginger syrup or even ground ginger. However, don’t use 6-8 tablespoons of ground ginger for this recipe! Add a teaspoon of ground ginger at a time until you’re happy with the taste. However making ginger syrup is easy and leaves you with amazingly piquant candied ginger as a result! Ginger syrup can be used in Gingerbread Hot Cocoa, tea, drizzled over ice cream, in marinades, used as a flavor booster in stir fry’s, ect. You can add ginger syrup to club soda and make your own ginger ale too!
You can’t’ help thinking about Christmas after taking a sip of Gingerbread Hot Cocoa. I sipped this cocoa while listening to Christmas music the other night, I felt festive AF!!! Be festive to you guys, grab yourself a mug of steaming hot Gingerbread Hot Cocoa and feel the magic of Christmas… in your mouth.
Happy Holiday’s everyone, thanks for stopping by,
- 4 cups milk (I used 2%)
- 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
- ½ cup chocolate chunks (I love Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mega Chunks)
- 6-8 tablespoons ginger syrup
- 1-3 teaspoons full-flavored molasses
- 2-3 tablespoons brown sugar
- Large pinch of ground cinnamon
- Pinch of the following: ground allspice and nutmeg
- Small pinch of ground cloves
- Pinch of sea salt
- Add everything together in a pot, on the stove, over medium heat. Once the mixture warms up whisk the ingredients until everything is melted and well combined. Once the cocoa is at the temperature you desire you're done!
- Serve with marshmallows or whip cream and even gingersnap cookies!
To make your own bring 2 cups water and 1¾ cups sugar to a boil. Add a cup of peeled and thinly sliced ginger to the water and stir. Turn the heat down to simmer and cook the ginger for 30-40 minutes, or until it's tender. Remove the ginger from the pot and allow to air dry for at least 5 hours. You can eat the ginger as is or roll it more sugar. The remaining liquid in the pot is your amazing homemade ginger syrup!