Tuesday, July 27, 2021

EASY FROZEN HOT CHOCOLATE + #Giveaway News from Cleo Coyle #NationalMilkChocolateDay


Serendipity (noun):

Finding the pleasantly unexpected by chance...

From Cleo Coyle: Serendipity isn’t just any noun. It's the name of a legendary café in the basement of a New York brownstone. And as of July 9th of this year, it has reopened for post-pandemic joy (huzzah)!! Today we're sharing an easy version of their famous frozen hot chocolate, but first...

Marc and I are happy to share some giveaway news. Our publisher recently released a new paperback edition of our bestselling hardcover Coffeehouse Mystery Brewed Awakening, and Kings River Life magazine just published my article on how we came up with and developed the concept for the novel. There is a comment giveaway attached to the post...


Win an autographed copy of the 



+ A sturdy, canvas tote bag &

A collection of Cleo's recipe cards.

To enter, click here or on
the red button below...

This hosted giveaway at 
Kings River Life magazine
remains open until Sunday
August 8, 2021

Now let's take a trip 
to Serendipity...

Serendipity 3 cafe - photo by Ben W
Wikimedia Commons 

Serendipity 3 Frozen Hot Chocoalte
By Tduk Alex Lozupone,
courtesy Wikipedia Commons 

Back in the 1950s, three bohemians originally launched this legendary café as a hipster coffee house. Four tables, sixteen chairs, and one giant, old espresso machine were all they needed to attract nightly lines around the Upper East Side block.

The trendiest of avant-garde types were soon packing the place, including Andy Warhol, who declared it his favorite sweet shop. (As legend has it, he paid his checks with drawings.) 

These days, Serendipity has a much different vibe. The Tiffany lamp-decked ice cream parlor is packed with happy tourists, families, couples, and kids celebrating birthdays.

More than five decades may divide Serendipity’s then from its now, but one delicious bridge closes all gaps—chocolate! Frozen hot chocolate to be exact. Serendipity is world famous for it. 

Although you may not have this legendary café in your town, today I’m going to show you how to make a simple, inexpensive home version of their famous frozen hot chocolate. 

Perfect timing too, because tomorrow
is National Milk Chocolate Day!

How’s that for serendipity?

Cleo Coyle writes two
bestselling mystery
 series with her husband.
To learn more, click here.

A Recipe Note from Cleo 

Some recipes for frozen hot chocolate make no sense to me. Heat up milk and cool it again? Use 3 cups of ice, which dilutes the chocolate flavor?

There is a better way. This version of the icy chocolate drink is much simpler yet still quite tasty. It cooled me off nicely enough during our recent 100-degree "real feel" heat wave in New York City (and I never had to fire up my stove, a very good thing indeed). 

You can easily make a sugar-free version of this recipe. Or treat it as a chilly adult dessert by splashing in a little alcohol. Need ideas? Here you go:

* Kahlua is a great addition for a chilly after-dinner chocolate-coffee refresher. 

* Creme de cacao will boost the drink's chocolate flavor, and creme de menthe will thrill chocolate-mint lovers.

* Or simply splash in some Baileys for a creamy Irish whiskey kick. 

To download a free PDF
version of this recipe 
that you can print, save
or share, click here.

Frozen Hot Chocolate
by Cleo Coyle 

Serves 2


2 one-ounce packets of your favorite hot chocolate or cocoa mix*
2 cups milk (skim or whole)*
1 ounce semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped or grated
Whipped cream (optional)

See ideas below for optional adult versions**

* Note: If you're cutting calories, use a sugar-free version. If using loose hot chocolate powder instead of packets, see my directions below on how to proceed. If your brand of hot cocoa mix requires water instead of milk, then use water instead.

** For optional adult versions, here are some ideas: Try splashing in Kahlua for a chocolate-coffee refresher. Creme de cacao will boost the chocolate flavor, use creme de menthe if you're a chocolate-mint lover, or try Baileys for a creamy Irish whiskey kick. 


Step 1 – Make "Hot" Chocolate Milk: Whisk one packet of hot chocolate mix into one cup of cold milk (or water if your brand of hot cocoa requires water instead of milk). If using loose powder instead of packets, then measure out enough powder to make the equivalent of one six- to eight-ounce serving. 

Note: No need to heat the milk as some recipes direct. Simply whisk the milk (or water) and hot chocolate mix for 30 to 60 seconds until the powder is dissolved. Be sure to use a real whisk, not a spoon or fork. You’re finished when the liquid resembles smooth chocolate milk with no sign of powder or granules.

Step 2 – Make "Hot Chocolate" Ice Cubes: Pour the chocolate milk mixture into an ice cube tray. Chill in your freezer until solidly frozen. Note: When ready to use, if the frozen chocolate cubes stick to the ice tray, simply set the bottom of the tray in a warm water bath and use a knife to carefully dislodge the cubes. 

Step 3 – Repeat and Blend: Repeat Step 1, using your second packet of hot chocolate (or enough loose powder) to create another single cup of chocolate milk. Place this milk in your blender with the "hot chocolate" ice cubes. Pulse the blender to chop the frozen cubes into fine particles. You can create a slushy drink with small ice chips (like a frozen margarita) or you can run the blender full speed until the mixture is completely liquefied yet still cold and frothy. If adding a splash of alcohol for an adult version, do so now. And finally, if you like...

Step 4 – Optional Choco-fication: Add most of the finely chopped chocolate into the blender with the hot chocolate slushy (holding back a little for garnish). Pulse once or twice to mix. 

Divide between two cups or mugs. Finish with whipped cream for a drink or ice cream for a dessert. If you like, garnish with a final sprinkling of grated chocolate and...drink with summertime joy! ~ Cleo 

Eat (and read) with joy!

New York Times bestselling author
of The Coffeehouse Mysteries and
Haunted Bookshop Mysteries

This is me -- Cleo (Alice) 
with my husband Marc.

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