Place the milk and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Off the heat, stir in the chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper with a wooden spoon and allow to steep for 3 minutes. Reheat the hot chocolate over low heat until it simmers.
Strain the chocolate into a measuring cup and pour into mugs. Stir with cinnamon sticks, if desired.
2010, Ina Garten, All Rights Reserved
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