The End of the Holidays is So Bittersweet Sipper

Number of Servings: 4

This candy cane & bittersweet chocolate sipper is for those of you who leave the tree up a little too long and keep the lights up until March. You can use fat-free milk, 2% or whole for this one, dealer’s choice. There’s some peppermint extract called for, so the candy cane doesn’t have to do all the work. And the bittersweet chocolate bounces off that brisk peppermint for a crave-able flavor profile. It’s scrumptious any time of year, but ideal for those holiday parties that happen in January & February.

Additionally, this hot cocoa recipe with a candy cane stirrer gives you something fun and tasty to do while you enjoy it. Stir the drink, sip, lick the candy cane; stir the drink, sip, lick the candy cane. Repeat…all…day…long.


  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup hot water
  • 4 cups milk (fat-free, 2% or whole)
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60% to 90% cacao), chopped
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract (not spearmint)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
Optional Toppings:
  • Whipped cream
  • 4 large candy canes or ¼ cup finely crushed red and white peppermint hard candies


In large saucepan whisk together cocoa powder, sugar and salt. Whisk in hot water until paste forms. Stir in milk. Cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat until hot. Do not boil. Remove from heat.

Whisk in chopped chocolate until melted. Stir in peppermint extract and vanilla.

Ladle into four 10- to 12-ounce mugs. If desired, top with whipped cream. Serve with candy canes as stirrers or sprinkle crushed peppermint candies on top.

Approved by the Michigan Dairy Market Program Committee.