I think I will have finally found the man of my dreams when he brings me coffee in bed every morning. Sure, there are many other qualities that I hope he'll have. But that gesture (and its implicit recognition and understanding of my true struggle to join the waking world every morning) is what could seal the deal.
So when we were meeting here at Epi HQ, trying to come up with a fun new recipe to develop for Valentine's Day, and someone suggested a special hot drink that you could make on Valentine's morning, I was there for it. Especially as I imagined lounging in a cozy world of blankets while said drink was presented to me. Then our food director Chris Morocco started talking about a coconut-rose cocoa that is his wife's favorite drink at At Land in Dobbs Ferry, NY, and I was sold.
Chris talks about At Land so often I feel like I've been there, but I haven't (yet), so I reached out to the owner and founder Melissa Lauprette to find out more about this rose cocoa that Chris and his wife love so much. The entire beverage and snack bar at At Land is dairy-free, gluten-free, and refined sugar free, which is in line with how Lauprette eats at home. She told me that "the Rose Cocoa was inspired by the beautiful Rosy Cocoa tonic powder made by herbalist Lauren Haynes of Wooden Spoon Herbs, and a desire to feature rose on our menu a few different ways." To make a serving of rose cocoa at the café, Lauprette mixes the Rosy Cocoa tonic powder with coconut cream powder, vanilla, local honey, and a pinch of salt, and tops each mug with dried rose petals. Her menu explains that "This blend acts as an aphrodisiac, reproductive tonic, stress reducer, and bless inducer." What could be more appropriate for this holiday of love?Anna Stockwell
To recreate the flavors of this drink without any specialty ingredients, I whisked together coconut milk, cocoa powder, honey, vanilla, and a pinch of salt in a pot until hot, and then steeped culinary dried rose petals (make sure you buy dried rose that's safe to eat—not just meant for potpourri!) until the hot cocoa tasted just enough like rose to entice, but nowhere near overly floral or soapy. It was lovely. I poured a mug for Chris and he agreed that it captured the essence of his wife's favorite drink, with ingredients he already had in his cupboard at home.
I have always believed in buying myself flowers regularly, and on Valentine's Day, too, for no reason other than that I love them and they bring me joy. But this Valentine's Day morning, I'll definitely be sprinkling rose petals on top of this cocoa instead (and yeah, adding some coffee to it, too, because I still need that caffeine). If you've got a special someone, I hope you make it for them and deliver it to their bedside—I promise that most people will be happier with a drinkable mug of roses made just for them than an overpriced dozen long stems.
Originally Appeared on Epicurious