When Lucky Peach Magazine hired me to shoot for their upcoming winter breakfast issue, I was so excited! Not only would I be shooting for a magazine I love, but I would be shooting Champurrado with Rick Bayless.

Lucky Peach Magazine and Chef Rick BaylessLucky Peach Magazine

Lucky Peach magazine is published quarterly and focuses on food and writing. Each issue has a theme and each article features art, photography, essays or deliciously unique recipes. It has been one of my favorites for a long time. You’re sure to learn something from each issue… it’s clever, quirky and incredibly informative. I love it.

Lucky Peach Magazine and Chef Rick BaylessLucky Peach Magazine and Chef Rick BaylessMeeting Rick Bayless

I’ll admit to being completely star struck when I met Rick Bayless. Mike and I are huge fans of his recipes and restaurants. One of the first times we cooked at home together, we made Lobster Tails with Mojo de Ajo after watching an episode of his popular tv show Mexico, One Plate at a Time. I also had my very first Michelada at Frontera Grill in the popular River North neighborhood of Chicago. Needless to say, Chef Bayless has introduced both Mike and me to lots of ‘favorites’ over the years.

Lucky Peach Magazine and Chef Rick BaylessChampurrado

Chef Bayless’s calm demeanor reminded me to stay focused on the recipe. Champurrado is Atole with chocolate. It’s a very popular breakfast drink in Mexico. I was able to taste it and the flavors surprised me in such a good way. It was a complex balance of corn and nutty flavors, with just hints of chocolate. I really enjoyed it because it wasn’t overly sweet like I was anticipating.

Lucky Peach Magazine and Chef Rick BaylessLucky Peach Magazine and Chef Rick BaylessThe issue hits the stands Tuesday, November 17th! Go get it!



  • 1-3/4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup (4.5 ounces) freshly ground masa, or a scant 1/2 cup masa harina mixed with a generous 1/4 cup hot tap water
  • Generous 1/3 cup (1/2 ounce) cacao nibs, or a 2.7 ounce tablet of Taza Mexican chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1/4 teaspoon canela, or cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup (4 ounces) piloncillo, chopped or a generous 1/2 cup (3 ounces) if using Mexican chocolate
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanila extract


  1. Combine the water, masa, cacao nibs, pecans, canela and piloncillo in a blender, and blend until smooth. Pour into a saucepan.
  2. Add the milk and bring up to a boil, whisking constantly. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, whisking frequently, until the piloncillo is completely dissolved and the texture is somewhat akin to that of a cream soup, about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Strain, if you wish, then serve in cups or mugs.

All images © Regan Baroni 2015.

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