Do you want to know my absolute favorite thing about winter? It’s when it gets so cold that the only thing you want to consume is one thing: delicious, velvety hot chocolate. It just warms the soul.
There’s just something so magical about your first hot chocolate of the year. It may be while you’re watching your hometown parade and you stop at the local coffee shop. It’s filled with that unmistakable cocoa flavor, topped with whipped cream and most likely chocolate syrup. Or maybe it’s when you just put up your Christmas tree and you turn on your favorite holiday movie and you’re snuggled under a blanket. Whatever it may be, hot chocolate really just makes winter 10000x better.
I won’t lie – most of my hot chocolate drinking career has revolved around those little instant packs of powder. Let me just start out by saying: There is NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT. To be quite frank, for our wedding, we had 3 of four big vats of that delicious powder to make hot chocolate for our guests. And we ended up taking an entire one home and surviving that winter off of it. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
But, this year, I wanted to give homemade hot chocolate a whirl! I’ve had this unsweetened cocoa powder sitting in the back of my cabinet just giving me the eye for months. Desperately screaming: “Useeeee me!!! Brownies, cake, hot chocolate, anything! Just useeee me!!!”
So i finally took the bait. And I tried it 3 ways because WHY NOT. Thankfully, all three of these ways are easily customizable with items you most likely already have in your fridge/pantry.
Let’s get started with the first one.
Here we have (drum roll plz…!!!) Peppermint Hot Chocolate!
This one is probably the “healthiest” of the bunch. It’s made with creamy almond milk, peppermint extract, and the only sweetener is one tablespoon of pure maple syrup! This allows the cocoa powder to really shine through and the slight bitterness of the cocoa really pairs well with the freshness of the peppermint.
Plop a candy cane in there at the end for the extra minty goodness you’ve been dreaming about all season long.
The second kind of hot chocolate is: TOASTED COCONUT.
Can I just tell you that I used to hate coconut? Like, anything coconut really grossed me out. It wasn’t until recently, when I delved into using things like coconut sugar, flour, and oil that I’ve really grown to love the rich, unmistakable flavor. Plus, coconut is SO good for you. Filled with so many nutrients and healthy fats! Now I can’t get enough of it! Which is why I made this delectable treat.
The base here is coconut milk. Full fat. Don’t be scared by those two words – fat is good for you! Plus it makes this drink SO VELVETY AND THICK AND RICH. It’s literally like drinking the fancy European sipping chocolate.This is subtly sweetened with coconut sugar for those extra coconut vibes. I want to swim in this mug of chocolate. Like straight up Willy Wonka style. Augustus Gloop foreva.
I topped this baby with just a few marshmallows and some additional coconut sugar for a fancy touch!
Last, but CERTAINLY NOT LEAST, we have Mexican Hot Chocolate!
I was a barista for about a year at a local coffee shop and we had a delicious beverage known as the Mexican Mocha. Espresso, milk, chocolate, cinnamon and cayenne. SO. GOOD. So, I decided to make a Mexican Hot Chocolate. No espresso, although I’m sure some added coffee would be delicious!
I made this one with whole milk (you can use your milk of choice on this one!) and I added in just a dash of cayenne (seriously JUST a teeny dash or else it’ll be too spicy and some cinnamon! I sweetened it with about 2 tablespoons of regular sugar. On top, I added whipped cream (because duh) and I shaved some of this fancy chocolate bar we had sitting in our cabinet that was chili dark chocolate. Mmmmm. This one was so creamy, dreamy and spicy sweet.
It’s honestly hard to say which one is my favorite. For an everyday type of hot chocolate, I’d choose the Peppermint One. It’s less rich but still retains a creamy vibe to it. For the most indulgent, I would choose the Toasted Coconut because it seriously SO deliciously smooth wow. The Mexican Hot Chocolate also has a special place in my heart because I do love any contrasting flavors like sweet and spicy.
Bottom line is, you should probably make all of these. And drink them by a fire while snuggling under a blanket. Or while watching your binging Netflix. Or while reading your fave book. The weather outside may be frightful, but this hot chocolate sure is delightful. (Wow, that was cheesy!)
HAPPY HOT CHOCOLATING! Find the recipes + the nutritional info below!
Homemade Hot Chocolate - 3 Ways!
A recipe on how to make 3 different types of hot chocolate at home - peppermint, toasted coconut, and mexican!
For the Peppermint Hot Chocolate
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp peppermint extract
- 1 handful mini marshmallows
- 1 candy cane for garnish (optional)
For the Toasted Coconut Hot Chocolate
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 tbsps unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 handful mini marshmallows
For the Mexican Hot Chocolate
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 dash cayenne
- 1 dash cinnamon
- 2 tbsps unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tbsps sugar
- 1 dollop whipped cream as garnish
Place all ingredients in small pot and mix together well with a whisk. Cook on medium heat until the mixture begins boiling and then take it off. Top with mini marshmallows or whipped cream!
For the Peppermint Hot Chocolate:
For the Toasted Coconut Hot Chocolate:
For the Mexican Hot Chocolate: