There are so many things to enjoy about fall, the leaves, the holidays, cozy sweaters and hot beverages to warm your hands AND your appetite. My favorite to drink is hot cocoa, but sometimes I want something fancier than Swiss Miss and mini marshmallows. Here are my top recipe picks to jazz up your hot chocolate!
MAYAN HOT CHOCOLATE
This recipe comes from the NY Times, and it’s my all time favorite version of hot cocoa! I love the kick of chili to really spice my palette, and the rich dark chocolate.
– 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
– 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
– 2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
– ⅜ teaspoon ancho chile powder, or to taste
– 1 ¾ cups whole milk
– ¼ cup heavy cream
– 1 cinnamon stick
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– Marshmallows or whipped cream, optional
In a medium pot, whisk together chocolate, cocoa, sugar and chile. Place pan over medium-low heat and whisk until chocolate begins to melt. Slowly whisk in milk, then cream. Drop in cinnamon stick. Bring to a simmer.
Remove pot from heat. Cover pot tightly and steep 1 hour. Whisk in vanilla and taste for sweetness, adding more sugar if you like. Warm over low heat before straining and serving hot, with marshmallows or whipped cream if desired.
PEPPERMINT HOT CHOCOLATE
This recipe comes from the Food Network, and is a refreshing mix of cool and warm.
– 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
– 1 1/2 cups milk
– 1/4 cup sugar
– 1/8 teaspoon salt
– 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
– 3 drops peppermint oil
– Sweetened whipped cream, for garnish
– Chocolate shavings, for garnish
In a saucepan, combine the cream, milk, sugar, and salt and heat over medium-low heat. When the cream mixture just begins to steam, add the chopped chocolate, and stir, until melted. Stir in the peppermint oil. Divide the hot chocolate among mugs and top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
WHITE HOT CHOCOLATE
This white hot chocolate recipes comes from Gimm Some Oven, and this is perfect for those who don’t like rich chocolate and want something sweet and creamy.
– 4 cups of milk of your choice (or you can substitute heavy cream or half and half, or do a mixture)
– 1 tsp. vanilla extract, store-bought or homemade
– 8 oz. white chocolate, chopped into small pieces (or white chocolate chips)
– whipped cream or marshmallows for topping
Stir together milk, vanilla and chopped white chocolate in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the white hot chocolate comes to a simmer. (Do not let it come to a boil.) Remove from heat and serve immediately, topped with whipped cream or marshmallows if desired.
PEANUT BUTTER HOT CHOCOLATE
This recipe is from The Garlic Diaries and if you are a peanut butter lover like me, all you thinking right now is “yuuummmm.”
– 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
– 1½ tablespoons sugar
– 2 tablespoons water
– 1 cup 2% milk
– 1 tablespoon peanut butter
– 1 teaspoon brewed coffee
– ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
– Small pinch of salt
In a small pot, add your cocoa powder, sugar, and water
Heat over medium heat, whisking until the mixture is simmering and thoroughly combined. Add your milk, peanut butter, salt, coffee, and vanilla. Whisk until everything is completely combined (it might need to heat up a bit before the peanut butter totally mixes in). You may want to run a spoon or rubber spatula along the inner edge of the pan in case any of the cocoa/sugar mixture is stuck in there where your whisk can’t reach.
Heat until hot and almost simmering, but don’t let the milk simmer too hard or boil! It will scorch and mess up the flavor.
Optional toppings: whipped cream
GINGERBREAD SPICED HOT CHOCOLATE
This Christmas in a cup recipe is from Savory Nothings, and is the epitome of the holiday season!
– 4 cups milk
– 4 teaspoons gingerbread spice (if you don’t have – gingerbread spice mix readily available you can use a mix of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and ginger)
– 1/4 cup dutch processed cocoa powder unsweetened
– 2 tablespoons sugar
– 2 tablespoons honey
– 1 tablespoon dark molasses
– Whipped cream for topping optional
Add all ingredients to a small pot and bring to a simmer while whisking. Heat until the sugar has dissolved and serve hot topped with whipped cream if desired.