Spiced and Spiked Hot Cocoa
In a 2-quart saucepan, combine all the ingredients except the chocolate, bourbon and cream. Heat over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Do not allow the mixture to boil or it will bubble over. Add the chocolate to the pan and continue to cook over low heat, stirring or whisking until all of the chocolate has melted. Continue to cook the cocoa for another 10 minutes to allow all of the flavors to blend. Remove the cocoa from the heat, add the bourbon or brandy to the pan, and stir to combine. Serve the cocoa in warm mugs, topped with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.