December is here! In the north, that means you’ll need a good cup of hot chocolate, and I’m ready.
After making snowmen and forts with my brothers on cold, blustery days, Mom would have steaming hot chocolate waiting for us! Nothing tasted better, and nothing warmed us more, beginning with our frozen hands on the warm cups.
As an adult, I often made it two ways, one was with unsweetened cocoa powder and sugar and milk, the way my mother made it, built-in memories with every sip. The other method was simple – melt really good chocolate into warm milk, much more decadent, but on the expensive side.
The Cocoa Contest Resulted in a Tie
While trying to figure out which one I liked best, I made both batches, sampled them, and had everyone else sample them to mixed reviews. In fact, we had a tie, even with the kids. With quite a bit left over from both, I blended them together in a canning jar to chill and become chocolate milk for the kids. Before putting it away, I tasted this merger, and loved it better than either separately! So here we go!
I used Droste Dutch processed cocoa here, one of the house staples. Start with 2 tbsp. and taste, you might like yours a little darker, and this is all about making it your way. I used 2% milk here, but you can also use any % or a non-dairy milk. If you like things sweeter, use milk chocolate or increase the sugar. While a little really good chocolate is a nice indulgence now and then, you can also use baking chips here.
You can’t really mess this one up. I rarely actually measure the ingredients, just go by the feel, and it always tastes great!
Better than Mom’s Hot Chocolate
In a medium saucepan over medium low, heat and stir with a whisk:
- 2 -3 tbsp. unsweetened Droste cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp. organic white sugar
- 3 cups milk or plant milk, any percentage
- Pinch of salt
Heat until the milk starts to steam then add:
- 4 ounces (or a little more) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Continue whisking until the chocolate is melted, but do not let this boil.
Remove from heat and pour into cups. If you really want to be naughty, top with a bit of whipped cream.
At Christmastime, we like to add a candy cane to each cup to flavor the chocolate and act like a stirrer. You can also toss a few Andes mints in with the dark chocolate. For the adults, you can add a splash of peppermint schnapps as well.
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