I think I dreamed this cinnamon bun hot chocolate. I woke up one morning with the idea fully formed in my head. Was it divine inspiration? Crazy pregnancy cravings? My crafty husband whispering delicious things in my sleeping ear to plant them in my subconscious?*
*For the curious among you, Jason actually does talk in his sleep quite a bit, but it is usually either:
b) unbelievably boring and mundane and/or
c) about politics. (I wish I was kidding.)
I don’t know where this drink came from, but I’m so glad it’s here.
Never fear—no actual cinnamon buns were harmed in the making of this white hot chocolate. (Buns in beverages? That’s just crazy. What’s next, doughnuts in hot chocolate?!) What IS involved, however, is white chocolate, LOTS of cinnamon, brown sugar, vanilla, candied pecans, whipped cream, and if you’re extra crazy, a caramel drizzle. Diabetes medication not included.
This drink sounds deadly, and it’s definitely not an every day indulgence, but it’s not as heavy as you might think. It has a pretty low chocolate-to-milk ratio, and uses only milk (instead of cream or half and half) so it’s a bit more like drinking gussied-up milk than a thick, rich sipping chocolate.
The overwhelming flavor is cinnamon, with a nice vanilla undertone and a caramelized flavor from the brown sugar. It’s a fun change from regular hot chocolate, and if you happen to eat it with a cinnamon bun on the side, I won’t judge. It’s a pretty dreamy combination.
Cinnamon Bun White Hot Chocolate
yields: 2 servings
2 cups whole milk
2 cinnamon sticks, coarsely broken
4 ounces good-quality white chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract pinch salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons lightly whipped cream
2 tablespoons toasted pecans or candied pecans, chopped
1 tablespoon caramel sauce
Combine the milk and the broken cinnamon sticks in a saucepan and bring the milk to a simmer. Once simmering, remove the pan from the heat, cover it with a lid, and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to infuse the milk with cinnamon flavor.
After 30 minutes, remove the cinnamon sticks and return the saucepan of milk to medium heat. Add the chopped white chocolate, brown sugar, vanilla bean paste, salt, and ground cinnamon. Heat, whisking frequently, until the milk is hot and the white chocolate is completely melted.
Pour into two mugs to serve. Garnish with your choice of whipped cream, additional cinnamon, toasted or candied pecans, or a drizzle of caramel sauce. (Or all of the above!)