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Chocolaty Hot Chocolate

Updated on October 17, 2014

It's Hot Cocoa Time

Here in Michigan it is definitely HOT COCOA TIME! Of course, anytime can be hot cocoa time, but especially when your yard is blanketed with snow and you can't even see the pool cover.

I grew up in Michigan and lived very near some ponds that were used for hatching fish. The ponds froze over in the winter and it became the neighborhood play land. We could skate all day and would come home exhausted from all that skating and the best part of the whole day was that big pot of hot chocolate on the stove. I'll never forget sitting in front of that big old fireplace with my big warm cup of hot chocolate. Back then you had to make your hot chocolate with real milk and real chocolate syrup. We did have Nestle's Quik back then so that is what my mother used. Today you can buy your hot cocoa in packages or canisters. You can make a pot or an individual cup. Most of these mixes use hot water for the hot cocoa. And, you can even use the microwave to warm the water. Microwaves were not part of my mother's generation. I still love the real thing made with milk but my grandchildren don't care how it is made. They love it all.

Now that I have grandchildren I find that that is one of their special treats. Summer or winter they love the hot chocolate. So, I have to keep those tiny marshmallows in the house at all times.

Hot Cocoa Machine

This isn't a must have because a big pot on the stove works just as well. But the convenience is wonderful.

When you are cooking HOT COCOA you need to make sure you don't burn the milk. Bring the milk to a nice simmer and not to a roaring boil. When you have a nice simmer add your chocolate. Don't be shy....add that chocolate!

I love marshmallows but not in my HOT COCOA. I prefer a big glob of whipping cream. Do you have a preference?

What kind of topping do you want on your HOT COCOA?

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The Single Server

I must confess, this is how we make the HOT COCOA around our house these days. No pot to wash and everyone gets exactly what they prefer.

Hot Cocoa Recipe

This recipe is something my grandchildren love to make. We make this one on the stove just like the good ole' days.

I won't be giving you specifics on how much of an ingredient that you need as it will depend on how many cups you want to make and your particular taste. These are just the basics, so get in there and use your imagination!

Milk - whole or fat free

Chocolate - milk chocolate or the really dark chocolates (my preference) I use about 3/4 of a Hershey's candy bar per one cup of hot cocoa

this is where your preference comes in...if you like a more chocolatey hot cocoa, throw in a whole candy bar for each cup.

Vanilla - about 1/4 teaspoon per cup

Now for some "add-ins"... (1) try adding about 2 teaspoons of Nutella per cup of milk

(2) add a pinch of cinnamon on top of the marshmallows or whipping cream

(3) Use sugar sprinkles on top of the marshmallows

(4) Crush a candy cane and sprinkle on top of whipped cream

For you coffee/mocha lovers - add some instant coffee to the milk while you are heating it or if you have some leftover coffee in the coffee pot, throw that in. You will get a wonderful mocha flavor.

The Best Part of Drinking Hot Cocoa

Sharing with those grandchildren I hold so dear...

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