Hot Chocolate

Source: Martha Stewart Living
adapted by http://theresalwaysthyme.blogspot.com

4 cups milk
10 ounces semisweet or milk chocolate, cut into small pieces
whipped cream, for serving (optional)
chocolate shavings (optional)

Optional: You can also add a cinnamon stick, 6 sprigs fresh mint, or 2 split vanilla bean. Or use a candy cane in the cup as a stirrer!

Heat the milk to scalding in a medium saucepan. Add cinnamon, mint, or vanilla, if using. Let steep 10 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat; strain, and return to saucepan. Reheat milk; using a whisk, stir in chocolate until melted and milk is frothy. Serve immediately with a dollop of whipped cream garnished with chocolate shavings.
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