When a pastry chef puts both hot chocolate and a sinful concoction called “Drinking Chocolate” on her menu, you can be sure she’s a huge fan of this lush treat. Courtney Bonning, the proprietor of BonBon Pastry and Café (and winner of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars “Dodgers Episode”), has done just that.
“Hot chocolate has become quite indulgent for me,” Bonning says. “Now when I have a cup, I realize how lovely it is to enjoy with a simple pastry that accents it rather than competes with it.”
Exactly which pastries does Bonning recommend with hot chocolate? She emphasizes crunchiness and flavor, rather than heaviness or sweetness. Here she shares her personal favorite accompaniments and a delicious recipe.
Brioche: “A buttery bread with extra crunch. Who would’ve thought! [The crunch] adds a nice dimension.”
Buttered Sourdough Toast with Cinnamon Sugar: “Just doesn’t get any better than this. My grandma used to make it.”
Panettone: “Citrus flavor and floral notes are the ideal complement.”
Gingerbread Cookies: “Especially good if made with fresh ginger juice, orange zest, or black pepper. Perfect for dunking.”
Mexican Wedding Cookies: “Pack a ton of flavor with a nuance that doesn’t override.”
Financiers: “These fairly dry, almond-based cakes are totally dippable.”
Kolachki: “The flaky ones from Kathy’s Pastry Shop in Westlake are mind-blowing.”
Peanut Butter Oaties: “One of our hottest sellers. Think Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
Pretzel Sticks: “Crunchy, salty, no muss, no fuss.”
Brown Butter Madeleines: “We use local Fresh Fork butter. When browned, it adds a nutty quality. Another BonBon classic.”