There is a restaurant called in San Francisco called Oaxaca on 19th St and Mission St that makes Mexican hot chocolate that I sometimes crave to an embarrassing degree. I once ordered it to go because it was a cold day and I thought it would greatly improve my imminent city bus ride. They told me that it didn’t come to go, only in a full pot. So obviously I had them fill the entire pot of frothy hot chocolate into two to-go cups and walked on my merry way. Now this is feasible I’m sure, but then I unexpectedly ran into a friend and hung out with them for over an hour and didn’t offer the second cup. I drank every single drop. That is how good this cocoa is.

I live in Northern Arizona now, where the weather more often warrants hot cocoa but Oaxaca Restaurant is a 14 hour drive away. I’m a pretty industrious kitchen witch so I decided to throw together my own recipe. Now, this recipe doesn’t quite match the deliciousness of their cup; specifically because I no longer drink dairy so real milk escapes it. But gosh darn, does it get closer than I thought it would. Make this up for a night by the fire, a Winter picnic at the beach (West Coasters only) or a brunch treat. You’ll be glad that you did.

Makes: 2 mugs of thick frothy cocoa

2 cups unsweetened almond milk

1 heaping TB of brown sugar

1 heaping TB of local honey

4 oz non dairy chocolate chips

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp cinnamon

a pinch of cayenne pepper

Directions: Simmer the almond milk, brown sugar and honey in a small saucepan whisking frequently until heated but not burnt. About 5 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the vanilla, cinnamon, cayenne and chocolate chips. 

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