Hot Cocoa from The Kid’s Daily Plate

It finally feels like winter here in Massachusetts. Ask me in February if I want snow, and I’ll undoubtedly say “no way”, but I’m ready for it now!

The absolute best way to warm up after a couple of hours of playing in the snow is to cuddle up in a blanket with a steaming mug of hot chocolate (preferably by a roaring fire in the fireplace!); so I thought it would be a good time to share this recipe from my second e-cookbook (which is now only $3.99) with you.

Enjoy, and stay warm!

hot cocoa

Rich & Creamy Hot Cocoa

Step away from the prepackaged packets of hot cocoa! They are full of refined sugar, and it’s honestly just as easy to make your own from scratch. Your kids will love these warm mugs of comfort so much that they won’t even miss the mini marshmallows that so often accompany hot cocoa. If your kids like chocolate milk, make a double batch, chill the leftovers, and serve cold straight from the fridge.

Yield: 4 servings


  • 3 cups 2% reduced fat milk, preferably organic
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3-4 Tbsp pure maple syrup, depending on taste preference
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract


Combine all ingredients in a saucepan set over medium heat. Whisk until the cocoa powder is thoroughly combined with the milk (this may take a few minutes).


Recipe from The Kid’s Daily Plate by Lauren Zembron


Sparkling Grapefruit Cookies {Gluten-Free}


Well, here I am posting a recipe before Christmas; a feat I quite honestly did not think I’d accomplish with a nearly three year old and a nearly three week old. I thought it was difficult taking care of an infant when we had Lily; but taking care of an infant and an active preschooler is immensely more challenging! Lily has been a great helper with Jack, but there’s obviously some inevitable jealousy. My sister-in-law has been staying with us for the past few weeks, and I’m not sure how I’m going to manage once she leaves and I have to do this solo during the day while John is at work! Fortunately, my mom is coming for a couple of weeks in the new year. I wish we had family who lived in Massachusetts, but these extended visits are the next best thing.


I don’t have a cookie recipe (or recipes) that I make every year for the holiday season, but these soft, chewy, and partly sweet/partly tart cookies might just become an annual tradition. I love the subtle grapefruit tang, and the texture is really nice: soft with a sugary crust.

There’s only two tablespoons of honey in the entire batch, which leaves room for a sugar coating that sparkles. The almond flour renders the cookies gluten-free, which is a nice option to have on a cookie plate if any of your friends or family avoid gluten. The cookies are a cinch to toss together, and bake up in no time.

Sure, the holidays are about decadence and indulgence, but with these healthy cookies, you can actually feel good about having two. Or three. Or four.



Sparkling Grapefruit Cookies {Gluten-Free}

by Lauren Zembron

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10-12 minutes

Keywords: bake dessert gluten-free almonds cookies

Ingredients (12-14 cookies)

  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 6 Tbsp melted coconut oil (make sure to melt before measuring)
  • 2 Tbsp honey (or maple syrup for a vegan version)
  • 1 Tbsp freshly grated grapefruit zest
  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1/4 cup unrefined granulated sugar, such as evaporated cane juice, for rolling


Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt, and baking soda. Whisk, making sure to break up an clumps of flour.

In a small bowl, whisk together the melted coconut oil, honey, grapefruit zest, and grapefruit juice.

Add wet ingredients to dry and stir with a rubber spatula or spoon until combined.

Place dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least 1/2 hour, or until it firms up.

Scoop out 2 Tbsp portions, roll into balls using your palms, and then roll each ball in the granulated sugar.

Place cookie balls on prepared cookie sheet. Using the back of a spoon or your fingers, gently press down on the balls of cookie dough so they form discs.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cooked through and lightly golden brown around the edges. Cookies will be very soft.

Allow cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a baking rack to cool completely.

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