Years ago, in a kitchen where the smell of coffee brewing titillated the nostrils, and the cold wind swirled outside, three girls set to work on a night of warm winter treats. One of those girls was me. We had a box of cheap brownie mix and a carton of eggs, some oil and butter, milk and a big bowl, a Kitchen Art mixer and beaters, a big red bowl, and spoons so that we could eat the remainder of the batter once we got our creation into the oven.
I still like to cook out of a box or bag- thanks Bob's Red Mill & Betty Crocker- rather than do a from-scratch brownie half the time, admittedly. I like to eat as soon as I can (Preferably, just making sure I don't burn myself.)-and while getting there is half the fun, I like to GET THERE ASAP. I already do most things from scratch
But, here's my secret... to make the chocolate POP, I add a dash of cayenne pepper. Remember with spices of any sorts, you don't want to numb the lips with heat or look like you just took a shower, sweating through your meal. You want a touch to make your other flavors pop.
For hot chocolate, I like to add a candy cane, or tie a ribbon through a chocolate chip or gingerbread cookie, and tie it around the mug's handle to let the cookie infuse the chocolate.