A dollop of foamed milk—courtesy of a simple microwave trick—lends a little flair. Reduced-fat and fat-free milks work best for foaming in the microwave. You agitate the milk in a sealed container, then heat in the microwave to set the foam, no fancy frother required. Peppermint oil, much more concentrated than alcohol-diluted extract, lends bold mint flavor with just a couple of drops. Look for it at Whole Foods or natural foods stores in the essential oils section. While we love very dark chocolates (80% percent or more), bittersweet works best here, making for rounder, smoother flavor.

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You'll need:

2 cups strong brewed coffee
1/2 cup 2% reduced-fat milk, divided
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ounce 60% bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 to 2 drops peppermint oil
Crushed peppermint sticks (optional)

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Directions:

1. Combine coffee and 1/4 cup milk in a small saucepan over low heat. Add sugar, cocoa, and chocolate to pan; cook over low heat 4 minutes or until chocolate melts, stirring frequently. (Do not simmer.) Stir in peppermint oil. Divide hot coffee mixture among 6 small coffee cups.

2. Place remaining 1/4 cup milk in a microwave-safe 1-cup container with a lid. Shake vigorously for 1 minute or until milk is frothy and doubled in volume. Remove lid; microwave milk at HIGH for 30 seconds. Top each coffee cup with a dollop of milk froth. Divide any remaining hot milk evenly among cups. Garnish each cup with crushed peppermint, if desired.

Active time: 8 minutes. Total time: 8 minutes. Yields 6 servings (serving size: about 1/3 cup).

 

This recipe originally appeared on CookingLight.com.