I make a lot of hot chocolate this time of year. It is probably the thing that my babes request more than anything. I’m happy to oblige. It is one of the few things that all 3 of them agree on. It is really cold here in New England and I like to have some going when they get off of the school bus or after they have been playing outside. I want them to look back and say, “My mom is awesome, she had hot chocolate waiting for me after school.” They probably won’t. In fact, they probably won’t even remember. But in my dreams they will. Sometimes if I am feeling particularly motivated, I make some whipped cream to go with it. I bought a bag of pre-crushed candy canes (because I really am that lazy) and fold it in at the end. I also really like marshmallows AND whipped cream. I know it’s a little decadent, but why not? You only live once, right?
I bought these adorable mugs at Pottery Barn, but they don’t have them online anymore. I bought them in the store, and I need to grab a couple more. They are so cute, and the perfect size for hot cocoa.
This recipe can be adapted easily if you are a dairy-free family. Simply use your favorite non-dairy milk. I have also made this with a little honey in place of the sugar and it is also delicious.
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ⅓ cup boiling water
- 3 ½ cups whole milk
Mix together cocoa, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. Whisk in boiling water. Bring this mixture to a bubble. Add milk, stirring constantly, until it is hot being careful not to bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. If the hot chocolate is too hot for children, add a few splashes of cold milk or half-and-half to cool it down. Pour into cups.
Peppermint Whipped Cream
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 Tablespoons crushed candy canes
Whip cream until it forms soft peaks with an electric mixer. Add powdered sugar and vanilla until it forms stiff peaks. Fold in crushed candy canes. Serve with hot cocoa.
Sometimes I add a little whipped cream stablizer to the cream if I am making this ahead of time.