As locals savor cooler temperatures, Honeybee Doughnuts in South Miami recently debuted the city's first hot chocolate bar.
"It's so funny because I've had this in my mind for a while now," Honeybee owner Karen Muirhead says. "I thought, We drink hot coffee. Why not hot chocolate?"
With a bounty of toppings, including homemade whipped cream, torched marshmallows, and cookie dough, customers can create their own hot chocolate drinks by mixing and matching more than 20 ingredients.
"Some customers add almost every topping we have," she says. "Others keep it simple. Either option works for us."
Honeybee's hot chocolate base, inspired by Muirhead's home recipe, is thick and creamy versus watered-down and overtly sugary. Each drink is finished with whipped cream, which is made from scratch each morning, as well as other toppings such as pumpkin spice, cinnamon sticks, and chocolate chips ($3.25 to $5.25).
"I've made this at home with my kids for many years," she says. "We use pure chocolate, and you can definitely taste the difference."
Repeat customers can purchase a reusable Honeybee thermos ($12) for $1 off each subsequent hot chocolate refill.
Honeybee is known for doughnuts, including traditional glazed, double chocolate, dulce de leche, chocolate pecan with Valrhona chocolate and a honey glaze, and guava and cheese. The shop also makes gluten-free and vegan varieties, as well as bite-size minis.
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Though it's unclear how long Miami's cooler weather will last, Muirhead says Honeybee's hot chocolate will remain a permanent fixture at her doughnut operation.
"I have different ideas that will help make it more seasonal," she says. "We'll definitely do a frozen version once spring rolls around."
If you can't make it to Honeybee, Muirhead's minidoughnuts are delivered daily to all Panther Coffee locations, as well as Sloan's Ice Cream in Doral and Gelatti in Wynwood.
Honeybee Doughnuts. 7388 Red Rd., South Miami; 786-773-2770; honeybeedoughnuts.com. 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to noon Sunday.