There are dozens of round-up articles of the best hot chocolate in town, and there is a cup out there for every taste. The ones I associate most with Prague are the thick ones, like the one served at Cafe Louvre – it’s more like hot chocolate pudding then a drink, but it’s certainly an exercise in indulgence. I made a pot of hot chocolate – the thick kind made from real chocolate – and a batch of chocolate cut-out cookies for dipping. It’s hitting the spot.
European-Style Hot Chocolate
Serves 2-3. (A little goes a long way!)
- 4 oz. high quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped into pieces
- 1 1/2 c. whole milk
- 1 TBS sugar
- 2 tsp corn starch
- whipped cream for topping
- Add chocolate and 2 TBS of the milk to a small saucepan. Melt the chocolate over low heat, stirring the whole time. Once melted, slowly whisk in remaining milk until well combined. Add the sugar and the corn starch and whisk to fully integrate and dissolve. Cook the hot chocolate over low heat, whisking the whole time, until the chocolate has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. It will take about 10 minutes for the chocolate to begin thickening, but once it does, it will continue to thicken quickly so keep an eye on it! Serve hot.
Chocolate Cut-out Cookies
Makes 40-50 cookies.
- 2 1/2 c. flour
- 1/2 c. cocoa powder
- 1 tsp instant espresso powder
- 1 c. (2 sticks) salted butter, at room temperature or slightly softened in microwave
- 1 c. sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, and espresso powder in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, beat together softened butter with sugar until the mixture is light and creamy. Beat in the egg until fully combined, then beat in the vanilla.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in 3 additions, fully incorporating the flour into the butter between each addition. The dough will appear somewhat crumbly, but should stay together when pressed into a ball. Press the dough into two disks, then wrap these in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Lightly flour your work space and a rolling pin, and roll out one of the disks of dough to about 1/4 inch thickness. If the dough is cracking or not staying together, knead with your hands until it is smooth and workable. Cut out as many cookies as you can from the dough, then press back into a ball and roll out again. Repeat until all dough is used. Bake cookies for 7-8 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack. Frost and decorate once fully cooled.