‘Tis the season for fuzzy blankets and curling up with a good book and a gigantic mug of delicious hot chocolate. No matter what you celebrate this holiday season, hot chocolate is a promised crowd pleaser. It can make a great gift or an amazing drink to enjoy on your own. Let’s be honest here—tea is fine, but a mug of steaming hot chocolate sounds 10 times better. Though a typical cup of hot chocolate topped with marshmallows is passable, there are many more ways to enjoy warm cocoa. For instance, you could have or serve peppermint swirl, caramel or my personal favorite, almond joy hot chocolate. At less than 17 cents per packet of Wegmans hot chocolate, these could be a cheap and easy gift to make. Just place a packet and various sealed additions like candy canes or caramel candies in a new mug and adorn with a ribbon or a bow.
Peppermint Swirl Hot Chocolate
Make one packet of hot chocolate as directed on package and add one teaspoon of peppermint extract and one tablespoon of chocolate chips. Take out of microwave and stir until chocolate chips are completely dissolved. Top with whip cream, crushed peppermint pieces, chocolate chips and garnish with a candy cane.
Caramel Hot Chocolate
1/2 cup milk
5 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons caramel sauce
Heat all ingredients in a pot at medium/low heat until fully combined. Be sure not to burn or overcook the hot chocolate—burnt milk is hard to clean. Once fully combined, pour into a mug and top with whipped cream or marshmallows and drizzle with caramel sauce.
Almond Joy Hot Chocolate
Make one packet of hot chocolate as directed on package using milk and add half of a teaspoon almond extract and one tablespoon of milk chocolate chips. Take out of microwave and stir until fully combined and chocolate chips are dissolved. Top with whipped cream, coconut shavings and a few chocolate chips.
Pumpkin Pie Hot Chocolate
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon unsweetened dark cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon maple syrup
Heat all ingredients in a pot on medium/low heat until everything is fully dissolved. Once ingredients are fully combined, pour hot chocolate into a mug and top with whipped cream and cinnamon. Garnish with a cinnamon stick if desired and enjoy.