For the Chocolate-Dipped Cinnamon Sticks (optional)
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chip
- 4 teaspoons shortening, divided
- 12 (6-inch) long cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
For the Aztec Hot Chocolate
- 2 cups bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup whipped cream, heavy
- 2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee powder or instant coffee crystals
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle Chile pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 9 cups milk, fat-free, 2% or whole - divided
- 3 cups miniature marshmallows, optional, divided
- chocolate syrup, optional
*These values are approximate. Per serving, based on a 2,000 Calorie diet.
If desired, prepare Chocolate-Dipped Cinnamon Sticks for garnish. In small microwave-safe cup, combine 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips and 2 teaspoons shortening. Microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth, stirring every 30 seconds. Dip one end of twelve 6-inch-long cinnamon sticks into chocolate mixture. Place on wax-paper-lined baking sheet. Let stand until firm. In another small microwave-safe cup place 1/2 cup white chocolate chips and 2 teaspoons shortening. Microwave on medium-high for 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth, stirring every 30 seconds. Pour into sandwich bag. Snip off corner of bag. Drizzle white chocolate, by pressing it through cut corner of bag, onto dark chocolate on cinnamon sticks. Return sticks to wax-paper-lined baking sheet. Let stand until firm. Place in single layer in freezer container. Cover and freeze until needed.
For the Aztec Hot Chocolate: Line twelve 2 1/2-inch muffin pan cups with paper baking cups. Set aside.
In a medium microwave-safe bowl combine chocolate chips, whipping cream, espresso powder, cinnamon, chipotle chile pepper and salt. Microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes or until smooth, whisking every minute. Evenly portion into baking cups. Place muffin pan into freezer. Freeze for 2 hours. Remove filled baking cups from muffin pan. Place in re-sealable plastic freezer bag. Store in freezer for up to 3 months.
For each serving, remove 1 filled baking cup from freezer. Remove paper baking cup from chocolate. Place chocolate in a 9- to 10-ounce mug. Pour 3/4 cup of the milk over chocolate. Microwave on high until smooth and hot, stirring every minute. Allow 1 1/2 to 2 minutes for 1 mug or 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 minutes for 2 mugs.
If desired, top each mug of hot chocolate with 1/4 cup of the miniature marshmallows and drizzle with chocolate syrup. Serve with Chocolate-Dipped Cinnamon Sticks as stirrers, if desired.