A warm Mexican chocolate cereal that can also double as a delicious beverage.
Even though I grew up in California with its sunny weather throughout the year, we still had the pleasure of cool mornings every now and then. On such cooler mornings, we enjoyed atole, a cereal prepared with cornstarch. The flavor of choice was typically chocolate, but some other favorites were strawberry, coconut and pecan.
It was easy enough to purchase the atole mix in such flavors, but it is also easy to prepare adding your own ingredients. For this recipe, I chose Mexican chocolate, my all-time favorite! And even though it is a cereal of sorts, it's super delicious as a warm drink, too.
In a saucepan, combine milk and cinnamon sticks. Heat until bubbles form around the edge of pot. Add chocolate and whisk until chocolate dissolves.
In a small bowl, whisk maizena (corn starch) with 1/4 cup of milk until smooth; set aside.
Raise heat slightly and stir to combine. Right before milk comes to a boil, whisk in the cornstarch, making sure there are no lumps in the slurry. Whisk until smooth.
Reduce heat, stir in vanilla and cook for a few more minutes or until it becomes thick. Serve warm. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
This recipe for atole can be prepared ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator. Reheat on low until warm. Top with sliced bananas and granola for a more substantial snack.