WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- With so many "named days" this season (think Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday), it's easy to lose track of the fact that today, Dec. 12, is National Cocoa Day.
Which -- if you take the leap with us thanks to this cold weather with who-knows-what in the upcoming forecast -- means hot chocolate time. After all, if you're going to indulge in this winter warmer, you might as well go for the good stuff. Some area options (in no particular order):
Valrhona Hot Chocolate, City Limits : Created by Pastry Chef Tracy Kamperdyk Assue, this rich, decadent drink is comprised of a combination of heavy cream, milk, sugar, vanilla bean, a small cinnamon stick and a good chunk (2.5 ounces) of Valrhona chocolate. Get Your Chocolate Fix : 200 Central Ave., (914) 686-9000, www.citylimitsdiner.com/ .
Adult Hot Chocolate, Emma's Ale House : This version offers one way to warm up thanks to an infusion of Bailey's Irish Cream, steamed milk and chocolate sauce. The fact it's topped with marshmallows is icing on the cake. Get Your Chocolate Fix: 68 Gedney Way, (914) 683-3662, www. emmasalehouse.com/ .
Mexican Chili Chocolate, Lilli Pilli Health Bar : When you really want hot, as in spicy, check out this creative option, which offers a dose of chocolate with a serious kick (ingredients are "secret"). Get Your Chocolate Fix: 240 Main St., (914) 230-0064, www.lillipillihealth.com/ .
Caramel Hot Chocolate, Peppermint Hot Chocolate, White Hot Chocolate, Hastings Tea: A place that offers an abundance of tea leaves to sip and savor proves just as serious about its chocolate. So, these varieties, made with peppermint and caramel syrups and extracts, and in the white hot chocolate case, Ghirardelli white chocolate powder, make for a perfect way to come in out of the cold. Get Your Chocolate Fix: 235 Main St., (914) 428-1000, www.hastingstea.com/.
Fro-Yo Hot Cocoa, 16 Handles : Following in the footsteps of food fusion trends such as the cronut and ramen burger, 16 Handles now offers Fro-Yo Hot Cocoa, a cold but "hot" concoction made with fudge brownie and Tahitian vanilla bean frozen yogurt. Whipped cream is optional, but oh so recommended. Get Your Chocolate Fix: 361 Mamaroneck Ave., (914) 607-7783, www.16handles.com/.
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