This time of year, many people reach for their canisters of hot cocoa mix to make themselves a warm cup of holiday tradition.
But for the more adventurous, here are simple, yet delicious hot chocolate recipes that don’t take much longer than placing a powdered mix in the microwave.
FROZEN HOT CHOCOLATE
5-6 ounces chocolate (Marabou from Ikea and/or a few different kinds of Ghiradelli work well)
2 teaspoons hot chocolate powder mix (Stephens brand hot chocolate mix works great)
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
1 ½ cups milk
3 cups ice (to make it a little more rich, use frozen milk cubes)
Whipped cream (see recipe below or store-bought)
Chop the 5-6 ounces chocolate into small pieces and melt in a double boiler or a small saucepan over med-low heat. Stir occasionally until melted. Add the hot chocolate mix and sugar, stirring constantly until blended.
Remove from heat, slowly add half a cup of the milk, and stir until smooth. Cool to room temperature.
In a blender, place the remaining cup of milk, chocolate mixture and ice. Blend on high speed until smooth.
Pour into cup or mug and top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
1 cup heavy cream, very cold
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ tablespoons light corn syrup
Combine the cream and vanilla and mix well. Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, start whipping the cream on medium speed. Add the corn syrup slowly while beating. Whip until the cream holds soft peaks.
DELICOUS LOW CALORIE HOT CHOCOLATE
1 cup of low fat milk
2 teaspoons Dutch cocoa artificial sweetener to taste
1/8 teaspoon Mexican or real vanilla
Warm the milk in a sauce pan and whisk in the Dutch Cocoa. Add artificial sweetener a little at a time until it’s the sweetness you want and then add vanilla. Whisk to get a little froth and enjoy. No guilt!
WINTER NIGHT COCOA
Makes: 4-6 servings
2 cups whole milk
2 cups half-and-half
8 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Heat the milk and half-and-half in a saucepan on medium heat to just below the simmering point. Remove the pan from the heat and add chocolate. When the chocolate is melted, add the sugar and vanilla. Whisk vigorously. Reheat and serve immediately. Makes 4-6 servings.
WHITE HOT CHOCOLATE
½ cup white chocolate chips
2 cups whole milk
½ cup heavy cream
½ to 1 teaspoon real vanilla
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the heavy cream and white chocolate chips. Stir until the white chocolate chips are melted. Stir in milk and vanilla extract. Peppermint flakes can be added for variety.
PUMPKIN SPICE HOT CHOCOLATE
1½ cups dark chocolate hot cocoa water or milk
6 cups milk
6 tablespoons canned pumpkins
6 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice whipped cream (optional)
Make 1½ cups dark chocolate hot cocoa as directed on package with water or milk and set aside. In a saucepan, combine milk, pumpkin, and sugar; cook on medium heat, stirring, until steaming. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and spice, transfer to a blender, and process for 15 seconds until foamy. Pour into mugs and pour some of the dark chocolate hot cocoa into each mug. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin spice.